May 13, 2014 | Quote

Boko Haram’s Bin Laden Connection

In 2002, Osama bin Laden dispatched an aide to Nigeria to hand out $3 million in local currency to a wide array of Salafist political organizations there that shared al Qaeda’s goal of imposing Islamic rule.

According to an overlooked report from a well-respected international watchdog, one of those organizations was Boko Haram, the terrorist outfit that’s become globally infamous for its threat to sell girls into slavery. In other words, bin Laden helped provide Boko Haram’s seed money, this report maintains.

Officially, the U.S. intelligence community assesses that the group has only tangential links to al Qaeda’s north African affiliate, and that reports of bin Laden backing the Nigerian outfit are off-base. But inside the secret state, many analysts believe that the ties between Boko Haram and al Qaeda global leadership go much deeper—and are about more than a little seed money.

Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the hawkish Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a senior editor of the Long War Journal, which tracks the U.S. war against al Qaeda, has reported before about the Boko Haram documents found in the bin Laden compound.

“Releasing the bin Laden files showing contacts between al Qaeda’s senior leaders and Boko Haram would help us better understand the precise relationship between the two,” he said. “Even absent those documents, however, there is abundant evidence tying Boko Haram to al Qaeda’s international network.”

Joscelyn pointed to the State Department’s announcement of a $7 million reward for Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in 2013 as one example that noted “reported links” between Boko Haram and al Qaeda’s affiliates based in Yemen, North Africa and Somalia.

Read the full article here.


Al Qaeda