How Boko Haram Got N11bn to Fund Its Deadly Operations
A retired American military personnel of Nigerian descent, Major Chris Moghalu, have stated that the members of the Jama’atu Ahliss-Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram, harnessed about $70million between 2006 and 2011.
At a conservative exchange rate of 1 to 160, that amount comes to N11.2billion.
Moghalu first made the disclosure on the African Independent Television, AIT, morning magazine programme, FOCUS NIGERIA, hosted by Gbenga Aruleba, but in a follow up investigation, Vanguard said it also discovered that many of the bank raids and armed robbery occurrences which became rampant in some parts of the North were orchestrated by members of the sect.
Sources said trans-national criminal activities including kidnap for ransom, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and armed robbery were also part of the sources of revenue for Boko Haram.
With a clever web of a series of trans-national organized criminal activities, Boko Haram, a mere assembly of rag-tag political thugs masquerading as Islamic evangelists, has been able to rake in so much money from its sponsors. In the process, the group is also demonstrating that it can inflict maximum catastrophe and destruction on the nation.
The trans-national crimes used to secure funds for the group include but are not limited to the following: drug trafficking, smuggling, weapons trafficking, money laundering, kidnap for ransom, opinion sale and outright armed robbery.
In collaboration with members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular, AQAP, and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, AQIM, members of Boko Haram have been receiving support.
It was gathered that the involvement of AQAP and AQIM, as well as Al Shabab from the East African flank, “has made the movement of funds very fluid and multi-optional”, the security source disclosed.
One of such movement was in the case of an arrest made on an ‘accountant’ with N4.5million in September 2012, money being couriered to the Boko Haram insurgents.
‘The accountant’ was said to be in transit between Kano and Zaria with the cash belonging to the Islamist group when men of the JTF intercepted and arrested him.
The Islamist group’s ‘accountant’, it was learnt, embarked on the journey which originated from Maiduguri, Borno State, to make cash transfers. The sources said his cover blew after he and another associate made some money transfers in Kano, an action that aroused the curiosity of bank officials who alerted security agents.
The associate was arrested but, by then, the ‘accountant’ was already on his way to Zaria. Subsequent manhunt yielded fruit as the ‘Boko Haram accountant’ was arrested in transit.
Beside the cash backings from AQAP and AQIM, the recent wave of attack which assumed a deadlier dimension compared to the previous attack by the sect, the latest of which is the Friday Nyanya, Abuja bombing is said to be the handwork of foreign insurgents who are in collaboration with Boko Haram.
The foot soldiers for AQAP and AQIM are now in Nigeria operating alongside Boko Haram, a report said.
As part of the network, it was discovered during investigation that the seeming exploits of the group in recent weeks is a direct function of the involvement and full participation of members of AQAP and AQIM.
As a grand design to score maximum publicity (notoriety) with their activities in Nigeria, it was gathered that the trio of AQAP, AQIM and Al-Shabab decided to deploy resources with a view to executing terror campaigns in Nigeria.
A security source pointed out that “whereas there are still pockets of Boko Haram members domiciled in the country and are being picked up, the terrorists involved in cross-border activities are largely made up of foreigners”.
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