14 February 2012

Nigeria: Boko Haram's Funding Sources Uncovered

This followed the recent arrest of key members of the sect and appointment of a new police chief in Nigeria.

Nigerian agents appear to have made a major discovery in their investigations into the sources of funding of the Boko Haram Islamic sect. According to the Nigerian Tribune newspaper, the State Security Service (SSS) and its local and international counterparts have now traced the group's sources of funding to some Al-Qaeda-linked organisations in the Middle East.

Recently arrested key figures of the group reportedly told security agents that while the organisation initially relied on donations from members, its links with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, AQIM, opened it up to more funding from groups in Saudi Arabia and the UK. Nigerian Tribune said sources in Boko Haram confirmed that Al-Muntada Trust Fund, with headquarters in the United Kingdom, had extended some financial assistance to the sect.

Other sources of Boko Haram funding reportedly uncovered in the investigations are the Islamic World Society with headquarters in Saudi Arabia and some prominent local businessmen, including one who donated a bus and loud speakers and an in-law to the sect's founder, Mohamed Yusuf. A businessman from Bauchi State is said to have developed links with Al-Qaeda in Somalia, having received training from Abu Umar Al-Wadud, its leader. The suspected financer later fled to Somalia in 2009 following the onslaught on members by security forces.

Meanwhile, the team investigating the January 15 escape of re-arrested Boko Haram kingpin, Kabir Sokoto, has concluded plans to bring him before detained Commissioner of Police, Zakari Biu, Punch newspaper said. The meeting between the two, a security source told Punch, would enable the investigators to verify Biu's claims on how Sokoto escaped from police custody. Sokoto was re-arrested on February 10, 2012 in Mitum-Biu, Taraba State in the northeastern part of the country. Punch learnt that the ongoing interrogation of Sokoto and the sect's spokesman, Abu Qaqa, was also aimed at unmasking other leaders of the sect and its accomplices in security circles.

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