The Obama administration and Nigerian terrorism

Boko Haram is to all intents and purposes a terrorist group, and its members drive cars filled with explosives into church congregations on Sunday mornings.

The US State Department has not declared Boko Haram an FTO, claiming it is “trying to address grievances“. Since then, the Nigerian government has asked Boko Haram to state their grievances:

“Boko Haram has no face and government will not have dialogue with faceless people,” Jonathan said in an interview late yesterday on state-owned NTA television. “They must come out and tell us why they are doing what they are doing.”

In case Jonathan missed it, here is a Boko Haram spokesman:

We launched these attacks to prove the Nigerian security wrong and to debunk their claim that we have been weakened by the military crackdown,” a Boko Haram spokesman, who called himself Abul Qaqa, told reporters in the northeastern city of Maiduguri via telephone.

“The Nigerian state and Christians are our enemies and we will be launching attacks on the Nigerian state and its security apparatus as well as churches until we achieve our goal of establishing an Islamic state in place of the secular state,” he said.

Mystery solved.

After the State Department’s claim about Boko Haram not meriting FTO status as yet, the head of the US Africa command stated that Boko Haram is allying itself with Al Qaeda in the Maghreb, al Shabeeb, and other terror groups:

Gen Carter Ham said in particular North African al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) was probably sharing explosives and funds with Nigeria’s Boko Haram.

Speaking in Washington, he said the separatist movement in northern Mali had provided AQIM with a “safe haven”.

So surely, if Al Qaeda is a terror group, Boko Haram is too. You can’t pick and choose.

The problems with the State Department and Nigerian terrorism really struck me, when a Nigerian father alerted the CIA to his son’s terror activities. His son was the failed Christmas bomber of 2010, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

The father of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old charged with attempting to bomb a US passenger plane en route to Detroit from Amsterdam, says he informed the US embassy in Nigeria as well as the Nigerian Intelligence Agency of his son’s extremist views.

Mutallab finally decided to tell authorities about his son when Abdulmutallab sent a text message informing his family that he was severing all contact. Upon hearing of his attempted attack, Abdulmutallab’s family said they were completely stunned.

The Secretary of State’s response?

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has blamed failings by Nigerian leaders for increasing “radicalisation” among young Nigerians.

She pointed to poor living standards and “unbelievable” corruption.

Mrs Clinton was speaking after a young Nigerian man from a wealthy family was accused of trying to blow up a plane over the US on Christmas Day.

She said she believed that bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was “disturbed by his father’s wealth”

That’s it, it was the dad’s fault all along. Some thanks!

How then, will Obama be able to justify his administration’s approach to Nigerian terror? Romney will surely press him on this.