Tension: Boko Haram to attack Lagos, Kano – US diplomat issues warning

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– John Campbell warned that Boko Haram has not been defeated

– The former US ambassador to Nigeria said the division within the sect could trigger attacks in Lagos, Kano

– He said the groups could even attack beyond Nigeria

John Campbell has warned that a splinter group within the Boko Haram sect may lead to severe attack in Kano and Lagos.

The former United States ambassador to Nigeria noted that although the terrorists seem to have two factions with one led by the long-time leader, Abubakar Shekau and the other recognised by ISIS, Abu Musab, al-Barnawi, they may likely regroup and attack further than the north east.

READ ALSO: Boko Haram has been totally decimated – President Buhari

The Punch reports that the former diplomat insisted that the division within Boko Haram may not stop it from conducting violent attacks.

“It should be anticipated that attacks on government and Western facilities will continue but not necessarily centred in the North-East. Instead, the two factions are likely to carry out attacks further afield, in Kano, possibly Lagos, and almost certainly in Cameroon and Niger. There may well be greater cooperation with the various criminal networks that are active across the Sahel.

“The paradox is that a splintered Boko Haram with rival leaders may pose less of a threat to the Nigerian state in the short term but a greater one to the broader region and to Western individuals and interests. Up to now, (Abubakar) Shekau’s ties to the Islamic State do not appear to have been operationally significant, while al-Barnawi’s link with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb appears to have been limited to specific operations. That could change in the future.”

Campbell said that if a faction of Boko Haram falls under “operational control of Islamic State or AQIM,” there may be attacks beyond Nigeria “or even the Sahel.”

This would likely affect the US interest which he noted are centred around Lagos and the South-South.

“Kidnapping has been an Ansaru specialty in the past, often in cooperation with jihadist or criminal groups based elsewhere in the Sahel. Kidnapping of Westerners, highly lucrative, may also spike with Ansaru’s re-emergence.”

The former US ambassador to Nigeria said the leadership battle between Shekau and Al-Barnawi indicated that the terrorists were not defeated yet.

READ ALSO: Boko Haram: I will keep my promise to Nigerians – PMB

“The focus of the struggle against the secular state is moving away from the occupation of specific bits of territory concentrated in the isolated North-East towards a more general assault on non-Islamic institutions and practices. Even if the Nigerian security services are able to destroy Boko Haram in the short term and kill Shekau and al-Barnawi, an extremist Islamic movement would likely soon re-emerge. If the previous pattern persists that each ‘cycle’ is more radical, violent, and outward looking than its predecessor, there is also a good chance that it could have even stronger links with jihadist movements outside Nigeria, especially AQIM and Islamic State.”

Meanwhile, John Kerry who is the US secretary of state said that the country was willing to help Nigeria in the decimation of Boko Haram.

He said this during his recent visit to Nigeria where he met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock villa.

At the meeting, president Buhari applauded the US for its support in the fight against terrorism.

“The training and intelligence that we could not muster ourselves, we received. The training has made Boko Haram less of a threat to Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin region, while the military hardware has given our troops added confidence.”

The post Tension: Boko Haram to attack Lagos, Kano – US diplomat issues warning appeared first on Nigeria News today & Breaking news | Read Naij.com 24/7.

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