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Friday, August 26, 2011

UN Building in Nigeria Car Bombed Today

Though no one has yet claimed credit, this has the earmarks of Boko Haram carrying out an Al Qaeda, Africa Agenda.
  • both Al Shabaab in Somalia and AQIM in Algeria have explicitly declared the UN as an enemy, having attacked UN assets in the past. They are both a part, in one way or another, with the Al Qaeda Network.
  • Boko Haram has not yet explicitly declared the UN as an enemy but has started a Nigerian insurgency, with unclear demands.
  • Boko Haram has regular contact with, and received training and funding from Al Qaeda Africa
  • TBDA suggests Al Shabaab and AQIM have been looking for email addresses to reach out to each other over the last year, more frequently in the last few months.
  • There are other organizations in Nigeria who wish to harm the Nigerian government, but they have shown neither the resources nor the inclination to attack the UN.
-Shimron Issachar

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ABUJA, Nigeria - A car bomb tore through the United Nations' main office in Nigeria's capital Friday, flattening one wing of the building and leaving an unknown number of people dead.

A U.N. official in Geneva confirmed to CBS News that it was a bomb attack, and a Nigerian security official told Reuters news agency it was the result of a car bomb.

"I saw scattered bodies," said Michael Ofilaje, a UNICEF worker at the building. "Many people are dead."

He said it felt like "the blast came from the basement and shook the building."

A medical worker at the scene told Reuters at least 10 people were killed and local media said as many as 40 more were injured, but the death toll was not immediately confirmed by officials and many more victims could still be buried by rubble.

The building, located in the same neighborhood as the U.S. embassy and other diplomatic posts in Abuja, had a huge hole punched in it.

The building houses about 400 employees of the U.N. in Nigeria, including the majority of its offices.

U.S. Embassy spokesperson Debbie MacLean tells CBS News that, as far as she is aware, no U.S. citizens were injured in the blast, but the embassy was still collecting details and the facts from the incident were still evolving rapidly.

MacLean said there was no damage to the U.S. Embassy.

Nigeria, a nation of 150 million, is split between a largely Christian south and Muslim north. In recent months, the country has faced an increasing threat from a radical Muslim sect called Boko Haram, which wants to implement a strict version of Shariah law in the nation.
The group has carried out assassinations and bombings, including the June car bombing of the national headquarters of Nigeria's federal police that killed at least two people.

Earlier this month, the commander for U.S. military operations in Africa said Boko Haram may be trying to link with two al Qaeda-linked groups in other African countries to mount joint attacks in Nigeria.

Gen. Carter Ham told AP on Aug. 17 during a visit to Nigeria that "multiple sources" indicate Boko Haram made contacts with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which operates in northwest Africa, and with al-Shabab in Somalia.
"I think it would be the most dangerous thing to happen not only to the Africans, but to us as well," Carter said.

"This is very likely the work of Boko Haram and, or, AQIM and is a serious escalation in the security situation in Nigeria," the unnamed security official told Reuters.





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