Sunday, October 24, 2010

Boko Haram uses posters to confirm link with al-Qaeda of North Africa • Threatens fresh attacks


The two top corners of the posters bore a symbol of an opened Quran, flanked on each side by Kalashnikov assault rifles and a flag in the middle — mirroring the logo of al-Qaeda in the North Africa.

The message warned the public against assisting the police or going near soldiers guarding the town at night.

The message also acknowledged a recent reward offered for information leading to the arrest of suspected sect members.

“Any Muslim that goes against the establishment of Sharia (law) will be attacked and killed,” the message read.


The Muslim Fundamental group, Boko Haram, on Thursday evening threatened to carry out further attacks in some state in the North while also invoking the al-Qaeda’s North African branch.

Al-Qaeda is the group established by Osama bin Laden which claimed responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre in the United State.

According to an online news agency, the Boko Haram group invoked the North African branch of the al-Qaeda group and pasted posters in some areas of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, declaring loyalty to the group.

Posters by the sect appeared at key intersections in Maiduguri city, bearing the name of Imam Abubakar Shekau, the group’s de facto leader.

The two top corners of the posters bore a symbol of an opened Quran, flanked on each side by Kalashnikov assault rifles and a flag in the middle — mirroring the logo of al-Qaeda in the North Africa.

The message warned the public against assisting the police or going near soldiers guarding the town at night.

The message also acknowledged a recent reward offered for information leading to the arrest of suspected sect members.

“Any Muslim that goes against the establishment of Sharia (law) will be attacked and killed,” the message read.

Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sacrilege” in Hausa language, has campaigned for the implementation of strict Shariah law.

The poster said it was from Shekau on behalf of “The Group of the People of Sunnah, Call and Jihad.”

Police officers began removing the signs late Wednesday, according to the agency.

“These publications and messages on Boko Haram activities are seditious and could jeopardise our investigations into the four-month serial attacks and killings in the state,” Borno State Police Commissioner, Mohammed Abubakar, was quoted as saying on Thursday.

Saturday Tribune, which was in Maiduguri, learnt that such massages, which were seen around Shehuri, Jejeri, Bullumkuttu and other areas of the state, were also shown on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

Saturday Tribune also learnt that the new Commissioner of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, had made a statement on the position of security in that regard.

In a telephone chat, the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mai Mamman, told Saturday Tribune that he was not aware of such message contained in the posters or aware of any statement made by the commissioner, who had just arrived the state to that effect.

Saturday Tribune, however, gathered that about two weeks ago, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, reported an interview with an unidentified person claiming to be the sect’s spokesperson.

It would be recalled in that interview that the sect gave conditions, which according to an unidentified spokesman of the religious sect, must be met before members of the sect could sheath their swords.

Saturday Tribune recalled that while claiming responsibilities for the serial attacks and killings, including the recent bombing of Gamboru police station, the spokesperson said: “We deserve similar treatments accorded to the Niger-Delta militants by the late president, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, rather than being treated like second class citizens of Nigeria.”

He added that they were responsible for all that had raised tension in the Borno and neighbouring states of Bauchi, Yobe, Kano and Jigawa.

He said the serial attacks and killings since July were, however, caused by the state government which trampled on their rights and those of citizens of this country by killing their leader, Mohammed Yusuf, in August, 2009.

He said that besides the killing of their religious leader, the state government also destroyed their places of worship.

Tribune.ng

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