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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Boko Haram is Not Just Another local Islamist Movement

Recent commentary has reminded us that Boko Haram is not an Al Aqeda or even a regional Islamist movement, but overflow from simmering local ethnic and political disputes in Nigeria. While I agree with this assessment, in the context of the larger next calpihate Islamist movement, their points are irrelevant, and dawdling on these distractions delays us from any real action that will disarm Boko Haram.

Ye:s Boko Haram is fueled by lasting local disputes, but understand also that Al Qaeda and their regional affiliates have been raising funds, providing military training, and transporting arms to Boko Haram for nearly a decade.  They offer to help in local issues, but al Qaeda trains an army that they later persuade to engage in global Jihad. This pattern has been repeated in a dozen places, most notably with AQIM in West Africa and Al Shabaab in the Horn of Africa.

Look for later "local Islamist militias" to arise in Cameroon, South Africa, Tanzania, in addition to The Countries impacted by the Arab Spring like Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. They all begin with local issues irising from aleged or real oppression of Islamic populations. "The Brotherhhood" will first come to their aid, and the Ikhwan will introduce them to people who will begin to help local groups train. The process that eventually creates an Al Qaeda-friendly military organization  moves on from there.

Here is how to interrupt the process:

  • Watch Ikhwan Dawa Activites
  • Follow traditional Lebanese - Hezbollah business shipments carefully
  • Follow Known Al Qaeda trainers and bomb makers in Africa
  • Work with oppressed local Muslim populations in Africa to address issues, and educate their leaders on al Qaeda's agenda, which is to train and enlist them in Global Jihad, which will attract Western military action to their people.
The Long War, as it grows in Africa, must be understood and addressed in a strategically comprehensive and Cohesive way. Pretending that every new African Islamist group is an isolated and separate situation works to al Qaeda's benefit. In Africa, treating a skin puncture injury in isolation without  understanding that it is the entry source for  a deadly infection can be life threatening. This is true for the body, and for the Islamist Disease in the Africa community of nations as well.

- Shimron Issachar

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