Skip to comments.Al-Qaeda's Secret Plan for Africa: Terrorise, Divide, Seize
Posted on 02/04/2005 5:24:10 PM PST by Shermy
The world has heard the sound of the African oil boom. So has al-Qaeda. The continent has more than 75.4 billion barrels of proven reserves, edging toward 10 percent of the world's total. Five large producers - Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Angola -top the list of African oil exporting countries.
Lesser producers, such as Chad, are also in the mix. Sub-Sahara Africa supplies as much oil to the United States as Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaeda sees Africa as a prize well worth going after. It is a graveyard of failed states, of corrupt governments whose power seldom goes much beyond capital city shantytowns and of areas of Muslim radicalism. The problems of the region are opportunities for Al-Qaeda.
At the same time, al-Qaeda strategic moves in Africa serve its larger purpose of attacking Western economies. In 2002, Ubeid al-Qurashi, a pseudonym of an Osama bin Laden lieutenant, wrote an article saying that Western economies cannot stand high oil prices. One way to strike fear into the West, he wrote, is by repeated attacks on oil installations or on tankers. After the attack on the French tanker Limburg, in October 2002, the al-Qaeda political bureau described the attack as not merely an attack on a tanker. Rather, al-Qaeda said, it was an attack against international transport lines and an attack on the West' s commercial lifeline, petroleum.
Terror and attacks on Western economies are one part of al-Qaeda ' s grand plan. A second part counts on the vulnerabilities in the continent that will allow al-Qaeda to establish radical Islamism in one state after another. Nigeria is a case in point. The tenth largest producer in the world, 95 percent of Nigeria's foreign exchange comes from oil. It has close to 25 billion barrels of proven reserves, and major explorations are underway for more.
Nigeria is a tempting target for al-Qaeda. According to Transparency International, Nigeria is the most corrupt state in Africa. It is also a state that has received the attention of Osama bin laden. In a tape broadcast by Al-Jazeera television channel in February 2003, bin Laden urged Muslims to unite and mobilise the Islamic nation to "liberate themselves from unjust regimes". He named Nigeria as one of those nations where Muslims should unite.
Bin Laden's aim almost certainly was to foment civil war in Nigeria between the Muslim north and the largely Christian south. Shari' a, Islamic law, is the law in 12 of 36 states in Nigeria. Federal authorities largely have leaved these 12 states to themselves, almost a de facto division of the country already. Jihadist militants occasionally occupy towns in the north as press gangs, forcing others to join them.
The growth of al-Qaeda cells in Nigeria, particularly in the fertile breeding ground of the north, give evidence of the growing radical Islamic threat in the country. The increase in Islamic militancy and government corruption and weakness entice al-Qaeda to step up activity in the country.
Radical Muslims have already struck at the state in attacks on police stations. In September 40 armed insurgents assaulted a police station, killing its commander and two other officers. Several other police stations have also been assault targets. Al-Qaeda usage of Nigeria as a communications hub is also evidence of al-Qaeda aggression in Nigeria.
The capture of al-Qaeda information systems operative in Pakistan led investigators to Nigerian web sites and e-mail systems used by al-Qaeda to diseminate information and instructions. Again, the weakness of the central government with no regulatory policy over the telecommunications industry in the country is what drew al-Qaeda to Nigeria. The breakup of the Nigeria state is a real threat because of al-Qaeda.
Angola is another African country with vulnerabilities attractive to al-Qaeda. The country has been producing oil for decades, but the people have benefited little from oil income. A United Nations official has said that the Angolan people were becoming restless as the price of oil was increasing but with no effect on the lives of the people. Seventy percent of the people live in poverty and 80 percent have no access to medial care. Civil strife is becoming a frightening possibility.
An Angolan security service official has warned that al-Qaeda is trying to gain a foothold in Angola through Muslim NGOs. Al-Qaeda's presence in Angola, however, may be more than a foothold. The Pan-African News Agency (PANA) has reported almost 3 percent of Angola's population of 11 million are Muslim. Mosque construction, Islamic centers and Qur'anic schools are all signs of Muslim growth in Angolan cities. Can al-Qaeda be far behind or are al-Qaeda cells already up to something?
The eyes of al Qaeda on these two oil-producing countries, Nigeria and Angola, are looking beyond the replacement of existing governments with Islamic states. If al Qaeda can triumph in Nigeria and Angola, seizing the national patrimony of both states, it can continue its plan to wage economic warfare against the West. It also will have seized a major income-producing resource for its own ends. African security services and multilateral organisations must be on alert to thwart al-Qaeda plans to terrorise the continent, to divide its people and to seize its resources.
They can have it!
Look at the bright side,
At least we're not the only ones who get all our "secret" plans leaked daily to the newspapers.
It's good to see that Al Quaida has its own version of Foggy Bottom.
You beat me to it.
The only way to stop the genocide in Africa is to stop the spread of Islam in Africa.
The Muslims were, and are, the biggest slave traders in Africa. Guess some things never change...
"Al-Qaeda's Secret Plan for Africa: Terrorise, Divide, Seize"
Secret? Isn't that pretty much their plan for everywhere?
This writer is getting there, but takes AQ's words too straight. Saudi and Iran, who are basically calling the shots, want to disrupt other producers - it raises the price of their own oil. The Jihad is for the dupes to believe in.
Since Bin Laden has called for the disruption recently of all Gulf state oil facilities Iran must be managing the team.
For fourteen centuries a warlike androcentric cult gave the bedouin and his desert brethren the cultural hubris to traffic in humans with moral impunity which continues to this day.
China has their eyes on Africa. Al queda will serve the the larger purposes of the chicoms.
Bush has his eye on them for the same reason.
WHY do you think he made such a HUGE aids donation?
Al-Qaeda usage of Nigeria as ...
These grammatical mistakes indicate the author was educated in the U.S.
I am expecting India vs China on Africa, after the coming Islam wars.
Thanks for the ping. Africa would be a good hiding place for Al Qaeda leadership, wouldn't it?
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