There are very strong indications to suggest that al-Qaeda, the global terror organization founded by the late Osama Bin Laden, may have taken control of the notorious and deadly Jama’atu Ahliss-Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram, Sunday Vanguard can report authoritatively.
In addition, it was learnt that some of the camps used by Boko Haram members as safe haven in Cameroun have been detected by Nigeria’s security forces.
The problem, however, according to sources, is that “except Cameroun enters into concrete collaboration with Nigeria, nothing can be done”.
Aqim and Boko Haram
The alleged arrowhead of the take-over, which is the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, AQIM, has its headquarters in Algeria.
Intelligence sources disclosed to Sunday Vanguard that members of Boko Haram had had collaboration with AQIM since 2010.
As far back as 2010, intelligence sources said “the Algerian government had said available intelligence reports confirmed that extremist Nigerian Islamic group, Boko Haram, has linked up with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) which has its North African headquarters in Algeria.”
One of the sources added, “The revelation confirms Nigeria’s intelligence services assessment and worries that the previously unknown group has received training and support from al Qaeda.
“Even at that time, Algerian Deputy Foreign Minister, Abdelkader Messahel, told journalists that intelligence report showed both groups had been coordinating.
”We have no doubts that coordination exists between Boko Haram and al Qaeda.”
Reuters news agency quoted Messahel as saying “the way both groups operate and intelligence reports show that there is cooperation”.
AQIM was said to have grown out “of a conflict in Algeria between the government and Islamist militants”. An intelligence report said, “In the past few years, it has expanded its activities to include Mali, Niger and Mauritania but was not thought to have reached as far south as Nigeria”.
The report said Algeria’s assessment of ties between AQIM and Boko Haram carries authority because Algeria has the biggest intelligence-gathering operation on al Qaeda of any country in the region.
Sunday Vanguard was reliably informed that “the group sent out some six members to Algeria to learn how to make Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs.” A security source said, “Indeed, the students, in the light of Boko Haram’s bombing raids, appeared to have learnt well.
“It was discovered that after the ‘Arab Spring’- a peoples revolution across some North African countries – some of the militia and criminals hitherto nurtured by the fleeing leaders migrated southwards and were the ones largely responsible for and who inspired the civil strife in Mali.”
“The source went further: “It was these same people who moved easterly through Niger Republic and were causing problems in northern Nigeria.
“It was the emergency rule declared by President Goodluck Jonathan, the efficacy of which hemmed the terrorists to the north eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa and even across the Nigerian borders that has restricted their activities to attacking soft targets”.
The source disclosed that the funding the sect members enjoy is not only derived from their robbery activities but from their links with AQIM; the sophistication of their attacks is also as a result of the strong involvement of AQIM.