The fact that the jihadists may be connected with al-Qaeda may translate into their being better equipped and having connections that reach farther than those of a more local group. But al-Qaeda or not, jihad is jihad, and al-Qaeda certainly didn’t invent it. Thus, whether or not there turns out to be an al-Qaeda affiliation does not ultimately make Nigeria more or less safe, if the charges against these men prove true.
“Nigeria makes ‘al-Qaeda’ arrests,’ by Alex Last for the BBC:
A group of militants with suspected links to al-Qaeda in northern Nigeria has been arrested according to Nigeria’s internal security service.
A State Security Service spokesman said men in three states were detained and explosive-making devices were found.
Nigeria has not suffered a terrorist attack and despite occasional arrests of suspected Islamic militants there is no evidence of al-Qaeda in Nigeria.
In September, the US embassy warned Nigeria is at risk of a terror attack.
A group of Islamic militants were found with fertiliser and explosive-making devices, following investigations in three states in northern Nigeria: Kano, Kaduna and Yobe.
The SSS said the men had suspected links to the al-Qaeda network and the Nigerian Taleban.
However, over the last few years the Nigerian authorities have detained many suspected militants yet have failed to produce any substantive evidence of an al-Qaeda presence or terrorist plot in the country and there’s never been a terrorist attack here.
Given that Nigeria is a major oil producer yet its population is poor and equally split between Muslims and Christians, British and American officials have long been obsessed that Nigeria was ripe for al-Qaeda-style groups.
Obsessed? Silly officials. Back to sleep.