On air: Is Islamic extremism Africa’s newest fear?

_46117397_bbc_arrests226150 people were killed in Northern Nigeria after two days of violence. Residents in the state of Borno said that Islamic militants burnt a police station, a church and a customs office early yesterday.

The group, which calls itself Taliban, emerged in Nigeria in 2004. It has never been clear if it has proper links to the Taliban in Afghanistan but its leaders profess allegiance to and admiration of Osama bin Laden.

Nigeria is not the only African nation to suffer from Islamic extremism. This article describes Al Shabab (The Youth) group in Somalia as…

“An entire generation, those born after 1990, has never known a functional government or a society with a constitution and a rule of law. Denied an education, cut off from the outside world, overcome by a sense of injustice, despair and anger, these redundant Muslim youth were easy prey for al Qaeda.
First lured by money, then brainwashed through jihadist lectures and sermons, they were found eager to give their life the meaning it never had: the ultimate sacrifice for Islam.”

This article describes how Al Shabab and another Islamist group called Hizbul Islam (The Party of Islam) are seeking a merger to draw more strength and control of the violence stricken country.

In Kenya, Haroun Fazul Abdullah Mohammed who’s said to be Al Qaeda’s most senior figure in the country is still on the go as police lose essential files on him for the second time in six years according to this article.

And, In a bid to avenge the deaths of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang, Al-Qaeda’s North African wing, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), has threatened to target Chinese workers in Africa.

Earlier this month we’ve discussed if the war in Afghanistan is making the world safer and if we’re actually fighting Islamic extremism in the right place.

But is Africa the place to be, to curb a rise in Islamic extremism on several new fronts? Will Islamic extremism end any hope for economic development in Africa? Is this Africa’s newest fear?

87 Responses to “On air: Is Islamic extremism Africa’s newest fear?”

  1. 1 Ramesh, India
    July 28, 2009 at 10:26

    Even if Islamic terrorism rises in Africa, the west(US & Britain!) wont be interested in sending their forces because of Iraq and Afghanistan lessons. Besides, Africa doesn’t serve any of their their business needs. Probably, China would be forced to take action if its workers in Africa are targetted by Al Qaeda.

    • 2 ramesh
      July 28, 2009 at 18:01

      Hi… My name is Ramesh and I am from Kuwait… I think its time we realise that Africa is the new emerging market for all kinds of businesses. Isnt the oil reserves in Nigeria a good reason for the world powers to help Nigeria keep peace and start more extraction?

      As we heard from BBC, these people are mostly college dropouts and the hardcore islamists mock these people. They are just a bunch of youngsters who are behind fame and money… but the only danger is they are not thinking in the right way… Most of the times… its the fools who create maximum confusion.

  2. 3 Konstantin in Germany
    July 28, 2009 at 11:43

    I’m very interested in what the listernes in Africa would have to say about it.
    The easy in method would be intervening in every threatened state… But it also would mess everything up. What about those states, who asked for international military help?

    By the way, is there any way to listen to Africa Have Your Say online? I just can’t find any internet streams for it.

    • 4 UMOH AMOS (Nigeria)
      July 28, 2009 at 14:21

      @ Konstantin
      I am rahter familiar with http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/whys and i thought you may give it a try. Up till date, ROS and his team have not been able to give LIVE online streams of WHYS. Hopfully, that will happen SOON.

    • 6 tipsylife
      July 28, 2009 at 18:18

      BBC Africa service is availble via satelite. I do not know how you could get it from your region which isis a different geographical area. You will need to feed the frequencies/transponders which somebody in the BBC should be able to be of help you with. I am able to get it via Pass or panam 710 sattelight on c-band. Through this means I am able to get BBC World Service, Africa Service, Burmese Service; in fact almost five transmission modes of the station in succession. I think you should get it from your area.

      I am in Africa though I am not a regular listener of BBC Africa service. I hope you will be able to access and enjoy.

      • 7 Konstantin in Germany
        July 28, 2009 at 18:32

        @ TIPSYLIFE

        Thanks for the advice. I’ll try and see if there’s coverage over Northern Europe, but I doubt it. But what isn’t still can be…

    • 8 Francis Moses Bidasala
      July 30, 2009 at 06:40

      There is alot of frustration in the East-African muslims with their governments and I’m afraid we are headed for extremism. Take a look at Uganda: the government has sided with people who have sold muslim properties, atop that is the fact that muslims in East-Africa have since time imemorial been sidelined in education,resource allocation, etc.They feel more attached to somalia,Palestine,Iraq,Iran,Afghanistan than Uganda,kenya or Tanzania where they were born;and, they feel all that people suffer in those countries is because they are muslims.
      In the nineties the Ugandan government sided with some muslims who the majority wanted out; when those who wanted them out threatened to take a tight course of action if government didn’t stop meddling in their business, everyone thought it a joke: a short-while later a rebel group (ADF) whose leaders were trained in Afghanistan and several arab countries emerged with sudan being its arms supply link.In-fact one of the leaders had ever been a personal bodyguard to Bin Laden himself.
      So, are we worried about extremism in East-Africa?
      Yes many of us are.
      With so many Eritreans and Somalis flocking into my country, I’m worried that amongst these refugees will come a wo/man strapped with a bomb. God knows, I’m even weary of veiled women, yet I shouldn’t be!!!

  3. July 28, 2009 at 12:24

    USA and allied are too much preoccupied in Iraq Afghanistan Pakistan Border to deal with Nigerian Taliban.Probably 7 out of 10 African being Muslim and Nigeria with highest Muslim Population of an African Country was open for Islamic Terrorists recruit.Like in Xinjiang suddenly displaying half a dozen Alqaida Cap Terrorists causing Havoc in an around oil gas iron ore uranium rich
    seem menace in Nigerian Islamic Alqaida Terrorism away from Afghanistan Focus is very strange.

    • 10 Tom K in Mpls
      July 28, 2009 at 16:02

      Not ‘preoccupied’, committed is more like it. Without a directly threatening war both Afghanistan and Iraq had us spread slightly thin and spending way too much money. To shift focus away from the known root of Al Qaeda would be a mistake. These nutcases seem to be a copycat group looking for recognition from established terrorist groups.

    • 11 Helen
      July 28, 2009 at 17:13

      I believe.people with motives to do violence can generate violence by directing people and giving them reason to act on a passionate impetus like religious beliefs. So this violence is directed violence the same as the other violence. I think there is more to it than meets the eye. Note to WHY’S;the more sensitive members of your audience cannot read a story posted next to a photograph of dead peopple. Maybe I am the only one. So I added my thoughts in response to another comment.

  4. 12 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 28, 2009 at 12:30

    Most conflict result from inequalities in how resources are shared among different races, religions or ethnic groups or because of open hostilities between or among disparate religious groups.

    Militant Islamists usually arise in states that are not well governed where the government is weak in implementing law and order. This has been the story in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and North West Frontier Province in Pakistan.

    Africa is not the place to be. A MILITARY SOLUTION WILL NOT SUPPRESS AN IDEOLOGY ONLY EQUALLY AN OPPOSING IDEOLOGY. The continuation of powerful 1st world armies to enter and dictate terms and conditions to locals only adds to the problem.


    • July 28, 2009 at 17:19

      Deryck, you said it much better than I could have.

    • 14 Tom K in Mpls
      July 28, 2009 at 19:46

      I disagree, it is perceived needs that matter. Some perceived needs such as food are real, others like power and religion are are more debatable. This case is clearly one nutcase convincing others to follow in a state of religious ecstasy. In this case the framework is religious but can be anything. The US has seen plenty of this but is better able to stop it early. It is a sad thing to see, but please don’t confuse it with other larger problems.

    • 15 RightPaddock
      July 28, 2009 at 22:47

      @Deryck/Trinidad – I agree with your first paragraph, and I agree there’s probably no military solution

      But what about Indonesia, Thailand, India, Morocco, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia; why aren’t they in your list, not to mention the UK, France & Spain. Or are they too governed by weak governments with inadequate law & order regimes?

      And lets not forget that not all terrorists are connected to Islam, e.g. ETA in Spain, IRA and UDF in Ireland, LTTE in Sri Lanka, Maoists in India, NPA in the Philippines, Christian Fundamentalists in the USA (Timothy McViegh, Scott Roeder) …

      And Iraq didn’t have much terrorism before the arrival of the Anglosphere’s armies.

  5. July 28, 2009 at 13:54

    It seems Somalia is becoming the replica of the once Talib Afghanistan

  6. 17 VictorK
    July 28, 2009 at 14:00

    Violent and murderous conduct by Muslims directed to non-Muslims is not new in Nigeria, so let’s not get too excited about the emergence of a ‘Taliban’ there.

    Nigeria is not a Muslim country: it’s roughly equally divided between Muslims & non-Muslims, with power (i.e. control of the army) lying with one particular ethnic group (as with most African countries). That and its complex ethnic make-up render meaningless comparisons with an overwhelmingly Muslim and ethnically homogeneous country like Somalia. The real conflicts in Nigeria are ethnic (illustrated by the impossibility of knowing the country’s true population: the various ethnic groups are all suspected of inflating their numbers in census returns in order to secure political and economic benefits as a result). Westerners who are ignorant of the background to African states like Nigeria will only distort the facts when they try to fit them into a template they’re more comfortable with (‘Islamism,’ ‘war on terror,’ invasions to spread democracy, etc).

    There is even less of a Western interest in what happens in Nigeria & Somalia than there is in Afghanistan and Iraq. No more Liberal jihads, please.

  7. July 28, 2009 at 14:08

    It seems Somalia is becoming the replica of the once Taliban ruled Afghanistan. The exception is that it is a land where pirates and jihadists co-exist under the nose of the international community which appears hesitant about direct intervention to make Somalia a normal state with a functional central government.

    Islamic extremism in Africa can lead just to civil wars as the majority of African countries are partially Muslim. Which means there will be a clash between Muslims and people of other faiths, mainly Christians.

    In the case of Nigeria, the rise of extremist Islam can be caused by the tension between Muslims and Christians, each making almost half of Nigeria’s population. However furthering democracy in African impoverished countries and enhancing development is the best way to tackle extremism of whatever sort.

  8. 19 Michael in Ft. Myers, Florida
    July 28, 2009 at 14:42

    Sadly the west has a very long history of only involving their interest if there is a financial benefit, and Africa has been forgotten by the world for far too long. War, genocide, female circumcision and all sort of horrors continue unabbated because Africa has little that the West wants. My Uncle, a US Diplomat spent most of the 70’s through the early 90’s in Africa fighting against apartheid and other attrocities, and has told me first had how simply the world could contribute to help Africa help itself. Investment and interest by the greater world community would go a long way to take the extremists tools out of their hands. I fear the problem has grown to such proportions that there may never be a true resolution to Africa’s problems, but as a wise person once said : all evil needs to propogate is for good men to stand idly by and do nothing.

  9. 20 Methusalem
    July 28, 2009 at 15:02

    The developed West is quietly watching while Africa let itself starve and die from disease and wars. HIV is rampant across the continent and will kill many millions. Pollution, droughts, floods are accounting for untold more. An Arab league orchestrated genocide is occurring in the Sudan, killing off blacks in the south who occupy oil rich territories. Million are also dying in tribal political wars in the Congo and elsewhere.

    The role of non-African Muslims in Africa is getting bigger. Wahabis are trying to ruin Africans of all faiths who have experienced a remarkable peaceful coexistence for a long time, by spreading hatred and false beliefs.

    While the West is committed to eliminating the likes of the Talibans in Asia, the Wahabis are free to play an important role in countries like Somalia with the Islamic legal societies and supporting them with weapons and money to become the Taliban of Africa. The next Mohammed Attas will come from Somalia or Nigeria.

  10. July 28, 2009 at 15:12

    TEHRAN – Poverty and deprivation have made Africa vulnerable to Islamic extremism. It is not always clear what they believe. Islam is wielded as a force against arbitrary rule and excesses by ruling cliques. We have had thirty years of it, and realized excessive fervour leads to bigotry, image worship, idolatry and tyranny.
    Saudi Arabia and Iran fund many groups in the Mideast, Afghanistan, Pakistan Southeast Asia and probably Somalia, Sudan etc..

  11. July 28, 2009 at 15:38

    Islamic extremism should not only be Africa’s new fear but, should concern the entire free world and the unfree world. Those persons vocabulary do not contain the words freedom,liberty or personal choice. Theirs is a question of total control. A Somali major, Barigye Ba Hoku, recently said, he was worried about Africa’s inertia to deal with the problem of Islamic extremism? And recently,I believe that 53, African leaders,refused to arrest a Somali, accused of human rights abuses in Darfur. What hope for Africa?

  12. 24 John in Salem
    July 28, 2009 at 15:53

    Joseph Conrad didn’t make up “Heart of Darkness” out of thin air. Poverty, ignorance and hopelessness are the ideal growing medium for a disease like fundamentalism and Africa has always had an abundance of each.
    The names have changed – instead of Kurtz it’s now bin Laden – but the dynamic is the same and there is little that anyone outside of Africa can do. The nations of that continent need to get it together and fight it together if they don’t want to die together.

  13. 25 Anthony
    July 28, 2009 at 15:56

    Islamic extremism is the WORLDS new fear. I always try to put real quotes from the Koran (Like the Verse of the Sword: Sura 9:5) and Hadiths, but for some reason they never get approved :(. Why is it that just quoting verses is apparently intolerant?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 26 Sameer.
      July 28, 2009 at 17:06

      Anthony, after the World War Two exit of the West from most Muslim lands, they eventually became socialist countries. Which anyway what real Islam is. I include Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, Egypt, Palestine. It is only in the last twenty years that Democracy brought in by the West plus Wahabbi alliance which has allowed the ignorant in these places to place their religion-dominated views as government. Look at history and find the Wahabbi being more Hindu than Muslim.

      And what is this word Islamist. If You use the words Religious Fanatic, would that be a problem to your friends, the majority community in India.

      • 27 Tom K in Mpls
        July 28, 2009 at 19:52

        Sameer, the BBC and others have coined the term Islamist properly. It is a short term. An Islamist is a person using violent means to promote his religion and claiming to be following the Islamic faith. By intention, it gives no credibility or offense.

      • 28 RightPaddock
        July 28, 2009 at 23:08

        @Sameer – wrote “Wahabbi being more Hindu than Muslim” – poppycock!!

        I don’t think many Saudi clerics have even heard of the Veda’s or the Mahabharata or the Ramayana, let alone read them. Nor is there any evidence that Wahabbism’s founder Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Al-Wahhab Al-Tamimi (1703–1792) did either, or that he traveled beyond the Arabian peninsular.

  14. July 28, 2009 at 15:57

    No, it’s CIA/MI6/Mossad black-op, provocations and yes a few genuine fanatics, mostly incited by whom? CIA/MI6/Mossad-funded/directed operatives – the goal? Chaos and more chaos – failed states everywhere – more easily manipulated by CIA/MI6/Mossad-installed strongmen. Get a clue folks: The Global War Of Terror is the most massive psy-op of all time!

  15. 30 Michel Norman
    July 28, 2009 at 16:19

    It is quite convenient to talk about islamic extremism in the middle east, in the far east, in Africa, all of those areas are safe and far away from home for you. Why not take a trip to the East end of London,to Birmingham and Bradford, and there, quite easily you can get your hands on extremist islamic videos, designed to generate the next generation of 7/7 bombers.

  16. 31 Bert
    July 28, 2009 at 16:54

    Islamist extremism is becoming a global problem, but I don’t agree that the solution is for the West to recolonize, as some people seem to be suggesting (in so many words). Countries need to figure it out for themselves.

    An outside power cannot successfully “nation-build,” no matter how idealistic its purported intentions might be. Why is it so hard for some people to accept that the big brother attitude of an outside power will only eventually result in profound resentment? It’s been happening over and over again. You’d think people would stop calling for “benevolent” unsolicited intervention.

    Iran is a perfect example of a country that is learning its own lesson the hard way. Nigeria can take notice, if they choose to. Or not.

    • 32 RightPaddock
      July 28, 2009 at 23:46

      @Bert wrote – “An outside power cannot successfully “nation-build,” no matter how idealistic its purported intentions might be”

      When I go to India, Pakistan, Malaysia and Singapore I see institutions such as parliaments, courts, schools and the military which bear a remarkable resemblance to similar institutions in the UK. And they often use the same buildings as did their colonial equivalents.

      So I question your assertion that an outside power cannot successfully nation build. But it can’t be done in a couple of decades, and it’s most likely to succeed if it incorporates existing political entities that have historical & territorial coherence, e.g. the Mughal Empire, Indian Princely States and the Malaysian Sultanates.

      I’m not sure you need idealistic intentions either, au contraire perhaps their more likely to get in the way. I agree that re-colonisation is not an option, but that does not mean that there are not lessons to be re learned.

  17. 33 Nigel
    July 28, 2009 at 17:11

    If it was Christian on Muslim violence as we have seen before would the threat to Africa be classified as “Christian Extremism.” If it were Hutus on Tstutsis or reverse would the threat to Africa be headlined “Tribal Extremism.” I think not. Anything involving Muslims is attributed immediately to extremism which in many Western minds has global consequences and threatens each person who reads or watches the tele.

  18. 34 Julia in Portland
    July 28, 2009 at 17:16

    @John in Salem I agree with your statement “Poverty, ignorance and hopelessness are the ideal growing medium for a disease like fundamentalism”

    I don’t truly believe any country/continent is free of this problem. Here in the US, we have the same issues with Christian extremist groups like the Posse Comitatus, Army of God, Aryan Nations and other extremist groups who tend towards violence.

    I think big-picture we are going to have to address the same poverty, ignorance and hopelessness that feeds these types of organizations world-wide….if we don’t, we have no chance of making things better in Africa, Central America, Mid-East, North America or anywhere. It’s a self-perpetuating condition.

  19. July 28, 2009 at 17:16

    Islamist extremism in Africa might be the latest infotainment special; but I personally think that people in Africa have such struggles with everyday issues such as providing for their families, staying healthy, and achieving political and economic justice, that this might be a mere dot on their radars.

  20. July 28, 2009 at 17:18

    As an African, i think Deryck’s comments could spark a world war. This comment falls short of the ground rules and i think it should addressed.
    Nobody prays for war or violence, believe me when i say that Africa is developing without Islamic extemism

  21. 37 Crispo
    July 28, 2009 at 17:21

    In east Africa i believe the threat is real simply because we are a people too free, so extremism may take advantage of this. In West Africa the trouble seems to lie in northern Nigeria, where many are moslem. These insurgents manipulate the Koran and make people think its a Jihad. This seems to be the reason in north africa as well.

    All said and done, these areas aren’t priority areas for America or Uk, so i don’t think they will at all do anything about it.

  22. 38 Dan
    July 28, 2009 at 17:34

    Islamic extremism is the fear and danger for the entire world.
    Born out of a people that are kept ignorant and in poverty, the extremists have taken advantage of this to promote violence and 7th Century barbarism.
    Military action will hold them at bay but not for long.
    Ultimately feeding, educating, building an infrastructure, eliminating madrassas, decoupling from Islam and helping to raise the standard of living of the poor is the magic bullet to destroy Islamic extremism.

    • 39 Ramesh, India
      July 28, 2009 at 18:02

      Dan, I fully agree with you. What you said perfectly applies to the survivng terrorist(gunmen as per BBCm NY Times!!) attacks ia a perfect example. He participated in the ill-adventure not because he hates India or the west so much but because of the economic conditions at his place. It is a real shame that Pakistan has missed a very professional soldier. The politicians in countries like pakistan should lean how to govern, not how to rule.

  23. 40 E Rb
    July 28, 2009 at 17:41

    War = prosperity for impoverished Afghannis. Why would you want that to stop?

  24. 41 Shannon
    July 28, 2009 at 17:54

    Corrupt Muslims in Africa, rich and poor alike, point blaming fingers at the west while they literally rape and pillage, and then burn down their Muslim and Christain neighbors’ homes with one hand, and extend the other for more western aid. Worse yet, the west forks it over.

    Africans must solve this problem of rising tribal tension. I want to hear what Africans have to say about this.

  25. 42 Tamatoa
    July 28, 2009 at 17:56

    Extremist islamic behaviour is not Africa’s fear, it’s the West’s biggest fear.

    The West should be afraid of Islam. Islam has a very strong message to sacrifice egotistical desires to for a greater good which would actually be desirable. There are Islamic states that survive on their own. No matter how much the West oppresses them.
    But the situation in Africa is very dire. Extreme situations lead to extreme measures. Extreme could be a violent suididal terrorist attack or a non-violent protest by nearly starving to death. Survival not peaceful co-existance is at stake. This will lead to eithe the most barbaric or saintly actions.
    Islam offers a solution to every oppressed human being. It gives them hope for a peaceful existence if everybody serves the greater good. Since belief in God cannot be touched by the West it empowers the oppressed people. And since Islam works as mentioned before it seems a reasonable solution.
    We are in extrodinairy times. A time where extreme has to be associated with the words survival, death or insanity. Else we will never be able to truly understand an Extremists. A prerequisite if we want peaceful co-existance.

  26. 43 VictorK
    July 28, 2009 at 17:59

    @Michel Norman July 28, 2009 at 16:19: a very good point.

    London is one of the world’s leading cities for nurturing Islamic terror. The British government refuses to deport foreign terrorists to their own countries for crimes committed in those places out of concern for the terrorists’ welfare (they might be tortured or face the death penalty). It protects known terrorists. Mullahs who preach Jihad and praise anyone fighting against British & US soldiers are untroubled for their treason by our highly politicised police force, who it was recently revealed have been instructed by the British government to turn a blind eye to provocative statements by Muslims. People who weren’t terrorists in their countries of origin have been ‘radicalised’ after a few years in Britain.

    If the US were consistent in its war on terror the UK would have been invaded and occupied a long time ago, its leaders detained without trial, a ‘friendly’ regime installed, and contracts signed for what little is left of North Sea oil.

    It’s pure Western hypocrisy to observe the mote in places like Nigeria and Somalia, while ignoring the terrorist beam in places like the UK.

  27. July 28, 2009 at 18:09

    It is a thing of shame to hear that Islam which is a religion of peace actually means religion of fighting fo God who does not need our defence strategies and killing for him. I wonder how somebody who has benefited from western education could rise against it by engaging those that are illiterate to fight.
    There are better things to think of and do to move Nigeria forward than this mess. This is not development nor is it a catalyst of development.
    Let us think with our head and not with our weapon.

  28. 45 Florence
    July 28, 2009 at 18:11

    All through my childhood and early adulthood, i perpetually lived in the fear of being attacked, because i was a christian that lived in the North.As Christians living in the North this is not a fear we are just having but a fear we have always lived with.

  29. July 28, 2009 at 18:12

    Islamic Extremism in Africa is the world’s newest fear. With the eyes of the U.S. turned towards Afghanistan, Islamic Extremism has focused on the poor and weak minded of Africa. If the people of Africa care about their way of life and the land they hold dear, they need to fight back with all of their might.


  30. 47 Bert
    July 28, 2009 at 18:17

    Going into a country to “feed, educate, and build infrastructure” is called either colonization or reconstruction. Reconstruction would apply after a major war. The US did did carry out this sort of activity in Japan and Germany, after flattening those two countries in WWII, and luckily there was no insurgency to be dealt with.

    In the case of Nigeria, colonization ended in 1961. I don’t think they want or need to be recolonized. I think instead that the people need to get back to the sort of nation building they were involved in, back the late 1960s and early 1970s.

    Or are we really so elitist to think that only the Great White Hope from the West can save Africans from themselves?

    Is the answer to Islamist colonialism going to be Western colonialism?

  31. 48 Dan
    July 28, 2009 at 18:17

    @Pink Muslimah

    I do not think that the tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) that have been mercilessly slaughtered will agree with your misdirection.
    The dead are not a mere “dot” they are valuable lives lost for absolutely no good reason and certainly not to honor any God.

  32. July 28, 2009 at 18:18

    RE: “… The British government refuses to deport foreign terrorists to their own countries for crimes committed in those places out of concern for the terrorists’ welfare (they might be tortured or face the death penalty). It protects known terrorists. Mullahs who preach Jihad…”

    Most re CIA/MI5-6/Mossad operatives and/or patsies – The Global War Of Terror is a global psy-op, articulated by numerous black-ops and coopted through the MSM.

    2 things to never forget:

    1. “The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” – William Colby – Director of the CIA (1973-76)

    2. “Deception is a state of mind and the mind of the state.” – James Jesus Angelton – Director of CIA Counter Intelligence (1954-74)

    Angelton was trained by MI5-6

  33. 50 Lauren Sammon
    July 28, 2009 at 18:34

    As an American I feel that the true history of conflict is ignored. The cause of war in human society is always derived from a lack of appropriate distribution of resources. Religion, ethnicity, and other factors are used as scapegoats. I have been to Africa and am returning this fall. The biggest threat to safety that I have experienced is the lack of resources and the problems (including violence) that may erupt due to this fact.

    We [the United States] would not have a military occupation of Afghanistan right now if we would have spent a fraction of the money that we spend on aggressive military tactics on education and aid. We destroyed their infrastructure and left it to militants to rebuild because we did not see it as a priority. This is our pattern and where we fail.

    You opened the show asking if Americans that were listening felt that our military resources would be better used in Africa in other places rather than Iraq and Afghanistan. I feel that the best way to secure our nation as well as others is to not use the military as our only means (quite often when it is too late). By being proactive with aid programs we will change the way the world views us and build nations up to support and protect themselves against terrorism. I need to note that this needs to be done with only the expectation that we will be a more secure nation as a result rather than expecting a financial gain from moral actions.

  34. 51 Mshelia Joseph
    July 28, 2009 at 18:35

    I believe the nigerian security system is to be blamed for all these violence in nigeria not just in the north. i am suprised that your reporters didn’t tell you that Mohammed Yusuf was arrested sometimes ago and charged to court but was acquitted for lack of enough evidence, the security forces should have mounted a survaillance on him and his activities.

  35. 52 Victor Adakole
    July 28, 2009 at 18:39

    I can’t but weep and cry when i hear of people dying for a cause they’d imagined.
    But then,I’d like to say that Hunger and Idleness which is rampant in this areas of chaos is the cause of these ills going on in Nigeria.
    Also ignorance is a factor because unenlightened people are made to believe whatever so-called Clerics say.
    Nigerian students are currently at home on strike. I believe this wouldn’t be happening if they’re at school studying.
    Victor Adakole
    Abuja, Nigeria.

  36. 53 tipsylife
    July 28, 2009 at 18:40

    This is a clear warning to those countries which are under pressure to cave in to religious demands. Turkish citizens are right to demand that their country remain secular rather under a bunch of fanatics who continue to behave as if this is their planet alone. There is no justification for that. They may have had advantage of establishing religious states in some areas but this cannot be extended everywhere.
    It is high time for Nigeria to address the issues of factonal interests which clearly threaten its nationhood. They should be reminded that these group do not happen by accident. They are normally created during national polls in order to foster a political interests for self-seekers some of who run this countries and who turn a blind eye because these are their voting blocks. In the end they threaten the very existence of the state by demanding an ever increasing sphere of influence. Their greed for perpetuating false agendas is unsatiable. If this country was able to contain the Ibo uprising in the 60s and 70s, it can succeed if it takes a firm stand without backtracking.
    How come these groups do not rear their ugly heads during military juntas?

  37. 54 Anthony
    July 28, 2009 at 18:41

    How can he say that suicide bombing is againt islamic teachings?

    “ Think not of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah. And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (martyr’s) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve. „
    —Qur’an, 3:169–170

    “ Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise): they fight in His Cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in Truth, through the Torah, the Gospel, and the Quran: and who is more faithful to his Covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme. „
    —Qur’an, 9:111

  38. 55 Grahame Shadbolt
    July 28, 2009 at 18:42

    There will always be good persons doing good things and evil persons doing evil things. But for a good person to do evil things, now that takes religions.

    Religion is a foolish belief in campfire stories, carefully crafted to exert control through fear and ignorance. Islam is the most extreme example, but all religions are bad, bad, bad!

  39. 56 Jeremy
    July 28, 2009 at 18:46

    Regarding the analysis that poverty causes Africans to be susceptible extremism:

    I hoped to hear more on the program concerning the complicity of of wealthier nations in maintaining global economic systems that impoverish African people. How might correcting this oppressive behavior contribute to eradicating the appeal for extremism?

    Jeremy Kirk
    PhD Student
    Union Theological Seminary
    New York, USA

  40. 57 P.R. Deltoid
    July 28, 2009 at 18:49

    The world needs to have the courage like Geert Wilders of Holland to acknowledge Islam is at war with the rest of the world.

    The West should institute a policy of technological and educational containment and leave Muslim countries to their religion and oil.

  41. 58 Keith
    July 28, 2009 at 19:12

    Also, @VictorK-

    No, it’s not really “Western hypocrisy”, just simple logic….because the sheer scale of terrorism in Africa and the Middle East per capita is much worse than in Britain…? Also there’s a big difference between a country run under a regime by a cruel dictator (Hussein, who by the way GOT a trial), and the UK, which has a stable government but a couple crazy extremists who occasionally surface for a short time before being captured. But no, you’re right, let’s complain about how bad our lives are living in Western countries.


  42. 59 David
    July 28, 2009 at 19:21

    Hi BBC, Im a Kenyan and like other nations we are concerned with the violence that seems to be connected with islam- my country was hit thru Us embassy in 1998, and now the threat of al shabab on our eastern border has raised our alert level. Kenya is 80% Christian nation and we tolerate other faiths but its no secret that extremist islamists is fanned by the so called moderates. My compatriots are now challenging muslims over the rot that is extremism. David. Nairobi.

  43. 60 Zahid
    July 28, 2009 at 19:30

    Shadbolt said ‘There will always be good persons doing good things and evil persons doing evil things. But for a good person to do evil things, now that takes religions.’

    Atheists are quick to point out that throughout history large numbers of people were killed in the name of Religion; but they fail to mention the countless millions who were killed by leaders who worshipped themselves or by atheists who were driven by a hatred for God and Religion.

    To Quote Dinesh D’Souza “Whatever the motives for atheist bloodthirstiness, the indisputable fact is that all the religions of the world put together have in 2,000 years not managed to kill as many people as have been killed in the name of atheism in the past few decades.

    It’s time to abandon the mindlessly repeated mantra that religious belief has been the greatest source of human conflict and violence. Atheism, not religion, is the real force behind the mass murders of history.”

  44. 61 allan epaja
    July 28, 2009 at 19:31

    with such serious attacks in nigeria and given the situation elsewhere like somalia, i think islamic extremism is becoming a real threat and if not delt with, it may become more serious than the current African problems of poverty and disease because it actually fuels the other problems

  45. 62 allan epaja
    July 28, 2009 at 19:38

    the best way to handle this is by identifying the real people behind such attacks. to deny that these people are muslems will not help because because they themselves are attaching themselves to the islamic faith and i think it plays a role in influencing such attacks.

  46. 63 Zahid
    July 28, 2009 at 19:38

    These idiots in Northern Nigeria are a very small miniscule minority among Nigeria’s Muslim population.

    The Nigerian Government should arrest or take out the leaders & anyone else threatening the life & property of people.

    Religious fanaticism is against the teachings of the great religion of Islam, it is wrong & counter-productive.

    It repels more than it attracts people.

    It may be attractive to some idealistic persons in the short term but in the medium to long term loses it’s appeal.

    Islamophobes & Non-Muslims in general shouldn’t judge over 1.2 billion Muslims or the great religion of Islam on the ignorant & wrong actions of a tiny miniscule minority of Muslims who have a radical perspective.

    This is unfair, wrong & a travesty of the truth.

    The overwhelming majority of Muslims are ordinary people who are just getting on with their lives in the best way they can.

  47. 64 Mohamed
    July 28, 2009 at 19:41

    Indeed if the islamism would spread widely in the future, this will worsen the already africa multi-headed problems. Some of these islamists see the world only through an islam-inspired middle age view; so they believe that they can solve Africa multifacted issues through this very skewed outdated view. This will worsen further the situation.

    Where as, in my opinion, the solution to Africa problems should be addressed through a broader view, which will rely on economy, good education, good and transparent governance, good justice, and responsible developmend aid from the rich contries (a not bribery disguised as aid). With better educations and better life conditions, African will move away from these internal wars/violences

    Peoples should stop from seeing Africa issues, or any other issue in general, one by one. The issues are always interrelated forming a complexe system with many feedback loops; So the solutions can only devised if this big picture is kept in mind.

  48. 65 Leju Modi
    July 28, 2009 at 19:48

    Hi BBC,

    Ialamist extremists are NATURAL TERRORISTS by the fact of their religious doctrines, which UNLESS they change, the world will continue to suffer from them, NOT ONLY Nigeria.

    These people are just a CURSE!! Juba, South Sudan.

  49. 66 David
    July 28, 2009 at 19:50

    To sam in london… Islam and Christianity are not the same at all becoz of the way islam integrates into culture and all aspects of society…and there only exists one ‘secular’ islamic state namely Turkey. Separation of religion and government in islam is apparently not feasible. To your expert on east africa ..i say social inequalities are not the fuel of terrorism at the horn …islam cannot be popular here especilly becoz of the way it curbs the creativity, talent and beauty of women. David. Nairobi

    • 67 RightPaddock
      July 28, 2009 at 22:07

      @David – I assume by the term “‘secular” Islamic state” you mean one where the majority of the people are Muslims and where religion plays little role in civil affairs.

      If you believe those that say the ruling AK Party has its roots (heart) in political Islam then perhaps Turkey is no such thing.

      But I think there’s another country that meets your criteria, which has more Muslims than any other nation state – its called Indonesia. And its neighbour, Malaysia, might also also meet that definition.

      Malaysia has Sharia courts, their jurisdiction is limited to Muslims and covers religious issues and family matters (marriage, divorce and inheritance), Civil courts handle other matters, e.g. criminal and equity, as well as family law for non-Muslims. Indonesia has Sharia courts in Aceh, and implements Sharia law within its banking laws with respect to Islamic banks

      These Sharia courts jurisdiction over family law is not unlike that of the Beth Din (Rabbinical courts) in Britain, America, France, USA, Australia, Russia, South Africa, Morocco and elsewhere, note Turkey’s absence in that list.

  50. July 28, 2009 at 19:54

    Hi, Islamic extremism is relatively new to Nigeria and most parts of Africa. To the Northern part of Africa it might not be as new. I think Africa will do better without Islamic extremism.

  51. 69 Tom K in Mpls
    July 28, 2009 at 20:05

    Ok, here is a good one. I do understand that currently most violent groups are professing to be Islamic. But I would like to caution everyone on one thing. Be careful in taking action against Islamists. In this case there is far too much focus on the professed faith. This focus has and will rightfully scare some Islamic people and cost us valuable support. We do not need an Islamic Inquisition. We need to take strong action against violent groups no matter what they profess.

  52. 70 RightPaddock
    July 28, 2009 at 20:48

    Despite recent events Indonesia has a very good record of combating terrorism on its territory.

    The police have the primary responsibility for combating terrorism, and they have excellent relationships with their counterparts in neighbouring countries – Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Australia. The Indonesian military (TNI) have been conspicuous by there absence in this issue, even though they have specific counter terrorism units, notably Kopassas; as a result foreign military have played no significant role either.

    Indonesia has also been successful at tackling the issue within its society. As a result there’s diminished support & sympathy for extremists within the wider population.

    Nigeria could good worse that to look at what Indonesia has been doing to see if it can adopt some of its approaches to its problem.

  53. 71 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 28, 2009 at 22:23

    @Mary from Nigeria @ David @Pink Muslimah @Ramesh, India

    Mary my comments are based on souud economic facts. With the onset of the boom poor countries still as a whole have more poverty now than before and development rarely enriches the life of the poor and disenfranchised.

    The genesis of many of these internal conflicts and unrests stems from the Bretton Woods institutions in the form of the IMF and World Bank who lend to poor countries including yours with austere measures regarding repayment.

    Measures include caps on educational spending, public service and health care, privatization of companies including those providing water and electricity, freeing the markets for trade, increasing water and electricity rates, increased taxes, devaluation of the currency, and creating plantation style economies that provide commodities and raw material for the rich countries.

    The result is social unrest that seethes for years in poor countries until it spills over.


    Since Africa imports most of its refined and processed products it spends more for these than it gains through commodity sales so the wealth is always leaving that is ONE of the reasons why despite previous booms the wealth slips through their fingers. I stress one reason!


    • 72 Tom K in Mpls
      July 29, 2009 at 17:14

      Poverty will always exist in any area without a broad, stable economy. To end poverty you simply need to develop multiple business types and build social stability. It might not be easy, but it is simple.

  54. 73 Alassan Jallow
    July 28, 2009 at 22:33

    July 28, 2009 at 22:11
    It’s pity to see Nigeria in this situation, because it does not diserve it at all. But what struck me is to see Black African Men behaving in this way? Don’t they read the history of Islam in Africa? Don’t they know that if the Islamic world returns to extremism, they will not have a place there, because everybody will look down on them for their skin? I am not afraid of Islamic extremism in Africa,, because the Africans cannot change their nature which is multiculturalism and multifaith. But we should be very careful so that not to fall in al Qaeda’s trap, let’s help those fellow Africans in Somalia, Ethiopia and Nigeria. Finally they should always remeber that mother Africa is fertile, generous but first and foremost tolerant!

  55. 74 Bert
    July 29, 2009 at 01:16

    Someone said:

    “The West should be afraid of Islam. Islam has a very strong message to sacrifice egotistical desires to for a greater good which would actually be desirable. There are Islamic states that survive on their own. No matter how much the West oppresses them.”

    It bears saying again, then. Who was the “oppressor” in Nigeria, that got at least 150 Nigerians slaughtered? Who is the “oppressor” who gets scores of Iraqi people slaughtered in Iraqi mosques and marketplaces seemingly every day? Or in the Sudan? Let’s not pretend this is all about Israel vs Palestinians, please. That’s so disingenuous.

    The scourge affects FAR more than just the West. Several Africans on this blog have also come to this conclusion. The “greater good” is never achieved through vile acts of terrorism against innocent bystanders.

  56. 75 scmehta
    July 29, 2009 at 06:33

    To my mind, it is more of opportunistic than Islamic terrorism. It proves how exploitative, intolerant and heartless we can be towards each other. So many atrocities are being committed in the name of religion; Don’t we feel that the dogmas of fundamentalism, radicalism and extremism are the most evil dangers to any civilized societies, giving rise to terrorism besides being antithesis to the very meaning and purpose of any religion? Enough is enough, we’ve already had too much of bloody terrorism in our world; Whatever it takes, let’s fight it out with all our might and make space for the true spirit of all the good religions to prevail.

  57. 76 Methusalem
    July 29, 2009 at 14:41

    I was amazed, and saddened at the same time, to hear the invited guests on WHYS (most were Muslims) say that this particular incident is not serious, and the problem is local. How blind, how hypocrite can one be to make such a cold and ignorant statement when almost 150 people have been murdered, many Churches had been set ablaze in the name of Allah? We are learning now that there are foreign Jihadists collaborating with the aforementioned Islamic group.

  58. 77 Ismael
    July 29, 2009 at 14:43

    BBC is becoming another 700 club “extension for White Christian right”.
    Where is you coverage on the Nigerians corrupt government and military? When the Muslim poor and hopeless rise due to any deep injustices, they are automatically brushed as radicals, looking to apply Sharia law, terrorits..etc.
    Shame on you BBC!!!

  59. July 29, 2009 at 15:11

    I leave in northern Nigeria, precisely Kaduna.
    Nigeria is gradually becoming a failed state.
    We are still battling with the lingering Niger Delta paradox, a government that could be best described as working at a snail’s pace, an educational sector that is sinking in the mud, unemployment rate that is at all time high and now some irresponsible lazy illiterates who tag them selves ‘Taliban’ are trying to further disrupt the relative peace in this country.
    They should be fished out and jailed.

  60. 79 Muhammad Rashdan
    July 29, 2009 at 16:10

    As a committed Muslim, i not willing myself to agree to anything related with terrorism. A good Muslim will not killing someone because of provocation, the biggest problem with Muslim around world right now is education. Western christian countries have achieve a good level in education instead of muslim countries. Regards of religion and race, education is the key to change someone into better understanding of life and spirituality.

    By the way, Muslim always in “defensive” situation, we are attacked by all angles, it is the truth, but there are a lot of “stupid” muslim out there try to make their own as saviour or some sort of hero.

    I support the syariah law, BUT BEFORE execute the syariah law, we must educate the people what it is about deeply, until the comprehension and understanding going into hand, it should be execute brilliantly.

  61. 80 John LaGrua/New York
    July 29, 2009 at 19:46

    When will the West learn some humilityThe colonial period is long over and Africa like Asia must stand on its own.Corruption and brutality are the hall marks of Africa and there is nothing that the West can do.Aids is a self inflicted wound and all the good doers with fists full of condoms won’t change the cultural behavior.Britain with white man’s burden, bible and trade, came to nought The medlers in the US are all too wlling to create chaos in other countries under the mistaken role of social reformers and then wash their hands of the ensuing disaster.US politicians, for domestic cynical purposes, are agents provocator with the intelligence of microbes and the arrogance of tyrants.The slave trade was African rooted ,blacks on blacks, and the same pattern of tribal criminality continues..South Africa now has descended into corruption and criminality as has Zimbabwe turning prosperious and productive countries into racist horrors.These countries are not our respnsibility !

  62. 81 T
    July 30, 2009 at 02:05

    I don’t think so. Actually, their biggest fear should be the States and China battling it out for control of Africa’s resources.

  63. 82 Steven About Sharia
    July 30, 2009 at 03:02

    Before Sharia…
    There was Inquisition – bad laws – idiotic judges – miscarriage of justice
    There was Beth Zedek-Eda Haredi – bad laws – idiotic judges – miscarriage of justice
    Now the Saudi, Iranian, Sudanese juntas preach Sharia – same bad laws – same idiotic uneducated judges – worst miscarriage of justice.
    Bad dreams, Wake up to Spinoza, Kant, John Rawls.
    Shed the veil of ignorance.

    July 30, 2009 at 03:23

    These people are like spirit, you can never predict correctly when and where they will sThese people are like spirit, you can never predict correctly when and where they will surface. As a matter of fact they are impedement to Africa’s development, in the sense that their attack leaves everything on their path crushed. Now, tell me an investor be it local or foreign that would want to put his money in an uncertain environment. It does not boarder on bad governance alone, but also on mindset and religious belief of this people. God have mercy on mine continent, Africa.

  65. 84 Okechukwu Ibe
    July 30, 2009 at 08:36

    The former president of Nigeria (Olusegun Obasanjo)sign into the country’s constitution the sharia law.
    The past and present crisis in the northern parts of Nigeria raises a number of issues concerning the actitude of our so-called leaders at what level is their foresights (if any), in a nation as huge as NIGERIA with a sky rocking population split into more than 36 states with multiple religious sects and diversity of language and cultures and also among the world’s leading unemployed youths.
    Signing into effect the sharia law in a complex society such as Nigeria is the same as a man putting a lump of cheese into his trauser-pocket and going to sleep in a rat infected room or pulling a sleeping lion by it’s whiskers.
    With proper analysis of certain issues especially as it affects the future, situations such as equal distribution of the nations wealth and the country’s judicial system are delicate. The catastrophy at the niger delta of Nigeria and the recent instance being experienced in the northern Nigeria could be avoided, what do we benefit in washing our streets with boold.
    The Afgan talibans are presently being invited to the negotiation table to be part of the government since they have strongly refused being whipped out by the world’s strongest military forces, as for their counterparts (The taliban of Nigeria, is time right to crush them? should we wait to negotiate with them in the future? or what if the government now struggling to terminate them did’nt give them authonomy in the first place.
    For both instances, the federal government of Nigeria may not have been confronted by rebels in the niger delta and terrorist in the north as claimed, where is the source of the misunderstanding of why people take up arms as a alternative means of bending a reluctant government down to listen.

  66. 85 AHMED ADAMU
    July 31, 2009 at 08:50

    When the state institutions are weak,corrupt,poorly trained and equiped,and where there is only freedom of speech but there wont be any possitive response such speeches by government to its citizens complains, i mean citizens does not get redress,also where illetracy,un employment and poverty are endemic this is a recipe for spreading all sor of ideology with ease as is the case with the Boko Haram in Nigeria.
    Where are all the country’s intelligent agencies when this notorious group were arming themselves and planning these attacks,because from all that we read in the News papers and saw on television, the group dont seem to be that sophisticated that their activities will pass un noticed.
    In as much as the attacks lunched by the Boko Haram is un acceptable and condemnable, there can never be justification for the number of casulties as a result of this crisis in Northern Nigeria.
    While i salute the courage,swiftness and efficiency of the Nigerian security forces with which they dealt with the situation, iam equally astonished that the same security forces are always not there with same response when armed robbers blocked our high ways or attack our towns and cites attacking law abiding citizens killing and dispossessing them of their properties.


  67. 86 Dennis Junior
    August 12, 2009 at 19:47

    I think that Islamic extremism is Africa’s fear, totally…And, they don’t have the resources to fight it, without international assistance….

    =Dennis Junior=

  68. February 26, 2010 at 20:39

    Islamic terrorism is creating serious embarassment for moderate muslims in the world.Islam is a peaceful religion but radical islamists are demonifying the religion by engaging in acts of terror.Let them learn from our Christian brothers who are using their religious resources to help humanity.They built schools,hospitals and help in natural disasters like flooding,earthquakes such as the one recently in Haiti etc.Why are radical muslims not emulating this good examples? but instead continue to fight a loosing battle? This situation is tormenting some of us and we are thinking of changing our muslim faith.I particularly would love to be a Christian because of the good values Christianity upholds, such as tolerance, peace,generosity,and above all, I love what Jesus Christ said in the Bible that”love your God with all your heart and mind and love your neighbour as yourself”. I think if these radical muslims could learn from this quotation and change their ways,then the world will be a better place for all of us.

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