Boko Haram Atrocities 2012 – August 2014

Boko Haram Atrocities 2012 – August 2014

by

Howard Adelman

As the 14 February elections approach in Nigeria, Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, a city with a population of at least two million, is once again under siege for the third time in four weeks. The last assault was on 24 January. As in the last two attacks, BH fighters first arrive in the night wearing full-face turbans showing only their eyes, each time from a different direction, but each time on motorcycles and pickup trucks as they shoot their way into the city and shout, “Allahu akbar.” They lock the girls and young women in several houses so they may later choose “wives” from among them instead of kidnapping them all as in April 2013. They also start their campaign of terror by beheading any they consider to be apostates and shoot young men who refuse to join their cause. As you will see from the documentation of the atrocities in 2012, as bad as the situation was then, the targeting of civilian populations has grown enormously since.

Even though BH makes some effort at proselytizing and redistributes some of the food BH fighters have looted, BH is not primarily out to win hearts and minds, just accomplices in its politics of fear and intimidation. Maiduguri is already packed with tens of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who fled the surrounding countryside overrun by BH primarily in 2014 and its version of terror in the name of justice and faith. The IDPs either live with relatives or are scattered among the 16 IDP camps which bear no resemblance to UNHCR relatively well-ordered camps and, at least, minimally fed refugees.

I expect that BH will be pushed back once again from Maiduguru by the Nigerian Army by soldiers who can only expect execution if they fall into the hands of BH. The armies of Chad and Cameroon have won decisive victories when BH tried to expand in those countries last week. If Chad and Cameroon can do it, why not Nigeria which has the third largest army in Africa and certainly the biggest in West Africa? In 2014, Nigeria ranked 21 among economies in the world and currently beats South Africa for first place in Africa with a GDP of $500 billion.

Whereas Nigerian peacekeeping forces were among the most effective in the world in 1990s, this is no longer true. The operations under ECOWAS authority in Sierra Leone and Liberia that began in 1990 could not be duplicated today. Nigerian forces were almost useless in fighting al-Qaeda-linked forces in Mali in 2013. Yet the army absorbed almost six billion n US dollarsof the 2014 Nigerian budget. The strategy of starving the army by tolerating and even enhancing corruption to prevent a military coup has backfired. The army suffers from a lack of and poorly maintained equipment, low operational readiness, inadequate training, and low military morale, all made worse by poor salaries and conditions for the regular grunts, quite aside from the ethnic divisions and regional loyalties that plague Nigeria’s constant efforts to maintain an army loyal to the federal government.

How does one explain the military deterioration in Nigeria? The simple answer is corruption. The ships of its navy and the aircraft of its air force are, for the most part, inoperative. Most of their ground troops have little capacity to launch offensive operations, though that has significantly improved in the last 20 months. This also explains the decline in American cooperation with the Nigerian armed forces. On the other hand, it is very difficult to deal with an enemy that can launch attacks from many locations across a very large country, for the attacks are not limited to the three northern states. One noticeable pattern after 2012 was the increasing capability of the police and the military to bring the war back to Boko Haram. There have been startling successes in one area – far fewer police stations and army barracks have been attacked – but more civilians have been targeted and territory has been captured and held.

It is not clear whether the reason lay in BH strategy or is to found in far greater intimidation and exclusive targeting of civilians with the clear intent of holding and capturing villages and towns in Borno State. Thus, although military attacks against the police initially escalated in 2012, by 2014 they had fallen off drastically. The police and security forces began aggressively to fight and take the war into BH enclaves and so-called safe houses. Select political leaders were assassinated by BH, but fewer of them and hardly any in 2013 and 2014. Increased numbers of churches continued to be attacked in 2012, but these attacks fell off as BH focused its militancy against whole villages and used suicide bombers and explosives to cause many more casualties.

Far fewer Muslim clerics are now being killed, and BH explicitly announced that it had not been responsible for the attack on the mosque in Kano in June of 2012. The attacks on churches had a double effect, not only killing parishioners of what BH regards as an apostate faith, but provoking mob retaliatory attacks in several cases against Muslim bystanders, thereby deepening the rift between Muslims and Christians even further. But these types of attacks decreased considerably by 2014. Police stations were always attacked in conjunction with an effort to rob a bank, but BH seems to have acquired more sophisticated military equipment and explosives from the spate of attacks on the police and the military in 2012 so that by mid-July they could concentrate on attacking and capturing villages in Borno State. Attacks on civilians continued, primarily against targets seen to be bringing western values into northern Nigeria – pubs, construction sites, schools and even the newspaper, The Day in April 2012. 2                                                                                                                                                                                  Though the military counter-attacks against BH have significantly improved, the prognosis remains depressing as the military failed to capture a few key bases that BH had captured. The advance of BH over the last three years began with the coordinated 2012 attack in Kano against 8 different security facilities (the regional police headquarters, 2 police stations, local headquarters of state security, home of a police official, state police command headquarters), even though the strength of BH is also its greatest weakness. For BH is very decentralized and lacks a forceful unified command structure. However, BH has demonstrated that it is very capable of coordinated assaults. In 2014, it has also shown that it can concentrate sufficient forces to capture towns and villages, especially in Borno State with a highly increased lethality of civilians. Since 2012, the Nigerian army, police and security forces made a concerted effort to take the battle into the warrens where BH murderers and bombers take refuge in the cities. However, the Nigerian security forces have been unable to launch a consistent assault to retake territory captured by BH.

There has been a countervailing interpretation that the primary issue is not military but political. The political issue is not the gain in popular support for BH – which has undoubtedly lost ground. The growing strength and horror of BH has become a prime election issue in this election year in 2015 for a number of very different reasons, quite aside from the likelihood that the recent increase in the number of attacks, their main targets and heightened lethality seem to indicate that disrupting the election and delegitimizing the results may be the main strategy in the recent pattern of BH attacks.

Note the following:

  • Of the 174 million population (Lagos alone has an estimated population of 25 million), and the estimated expected vote of over 40 million, of the 5.6 million population in the three northeastern states, 1.5 million eligible voters reside in Borno, Yobe and Adanowa
  • Of those,18% have been displaced, and Nigerian law requires that voters must cast their ballots in their home constituencies
  • Thus, even though the Independent National Election Commission insists that the vote will go ahead in the northeast as planned, and even assuming that they are true to their word in spite of the increasing rate of BH assaults, to get elected, a presidential candidate must win 25% of the votes in at least two-thirds (12) states to be declared a winner;
  • This suggests that the violence is intended to delegitimize the election, assuming Goodluck Jonathan can win more votes than his rival, Muhammadu Buhani;
  • Further, if the election is contested afterwards over a protracted period, BH will be the only winner.

Below, please find the tables of atrocities for 2012, 2013 and until the end of July 2014. I am grateful to Ioannis Mantzikos, a PhD candidate at the University of Free State in South Africa, who compiled the original uncategorized list and published the compilation in the December issue of Perspectives on Terrorism Volume 8, Issue 6. The categorization and interpretation of trends is solely my responsibility.

 

MUSLIM RELIGIOUS LEADERS

 

DATE LOCATION TARGET RESULT DEAD
2012
22 June Kano Mosque – aborted 4 arrested
2 July Maiduguri Mosque under construction Construction workers killed 9

POLITICAL TARGETS: attacks against politicians, traditional leaders and civil servants

DATE LOCATION PERSON STATUS KILLED
2012
7 Feb. Kaduna Hon. Auwalu Ali Tafoki, former Chairman of the Kaduna South Local Area Bomb discovered and dismantled
9 March Gombe State Traditional ruler Shot 1
12 April Abuja Threat by BH to overthrow government in 3 months U.S. State Department travel alert
21 June U.S. Abubakar Shekau, Abubakar

Adam Kambar, & Khalid al-Barnawi

Declared specially designated global terrorists
Habib Bama (Mamman) Shot when arrested 1
3 August Potiskum Muslim traditional leader Escapes suicide bomber 0

Military and Police Targets

DATE LOCATION TARGET METHOD NUMBER
2012 Dead
17 Jan. Maiduguri Military checkpoint Assault 2 soldiers + 2 BH
Army outpost 2
Borno State BH hideout 6 arrested
20 Jan. Kano 8 government security buildings 5 suicide bomber; 20 explosions ???
24 Jan Kano Response to above by JTF 158 arrests 10 cars of explosives 300 IEDs
28 Jan Maiduguri 11 BH
15 Feb Koton-Karle, Kogi State Prison attack by 20 gunmen 119 freed inmates 14
3 March In prison Tiemkenfa Francis Osvwo fumigation 1 BH
7 March Ashaka, Gombe State Police station 7
10 March Bulabilin Ngaura, Borno Police station Gunmen 1
Maidiguri Repelled assault 11 arrested 1 BH
12 March Military patrol Gunmen 5
21 March Tudun Wala 100 km from Abuja Divisional Police Office Explosives failed
31 March Kogi Raid of bomb factory shootout 10
25 April Kano State Raid on bomb factory
30 April Taraba State Senior Police official convoy – survived Suicide bomber 11
4 May Borno State Prison 2 guards
6 May Kano Shootout 4 BH
11 May Kano Suleiman Mohammed + wife + 5 kids Arrest of BH Kano head
12 May Borno State Police station Burned 2 police
13 May Kano Shootout 6 officers
19 May Jos BH enclave destroyed ???
22 May Abuja Security officials foil police station & radio
5 June Kano Abubakar Saleh Ningi, former department chief MC 3 incl. driver & bodyguard
5 -6 June Maiduguri JTF operation 16 BH
8 June Borno State JTF operation Car with explosives 4 + 7
23 June Kano BH hideout Shootout 4 BH
24 June Yobe Prison 40 inmates freed 2 BH
26 June Wukari, Taraba State Regional police headquarters Gunmen 3 police
26-27 June Kano Dalo police division 30 BH with guns 10 BH; I police
30 June Damaturu, Yobe Pre-emptive offensive by police 10 BH       1 police
30 July Sokoto Two police stations Suicide bomber 2
19 Aug. Damagun, Yobe Police station Blown up ???

BUSINESSES

2012 LOCATION TARGET Method KILLED
22 Jan. Tafawa Balewa Bank – foiled
2 March Trader and tailor Knife attack 2
8 March Birnin Kebbi

BH denies it attacked

Italian and British engineer kidnapped 2
21 March 100 km from Abuja Bank – foiled 2 arrested 9 BH
30 March Maiduguri Police station + bank 4
7 Nov. Benishek outside Maiduguri Chinese construction workers attack 2

CHRISTIANS

DATE LOCATION INSTITUTION PEOPLE METHOD NUMBERS
2012 Dead Inj.
Gombe State Church Parishioners Assault 3-6
6 Jan Yola Church Parishioners Assault 8
26 Feb Jos, Plateau State Church Parishioners Suicide bomber 6
11 March Jos Church Parishioners Suicide bomber 3
Reprisal attacks 10
8 April Kaduna Churh Easter parishioners Explosives 38
3 June Yelwa, Bauchi State Church Parishioners Suicide bomber 12
10 June Jos Church Suicide bomber 0 41
bystanders Retaliation Mob 2
Biu 5 gunmen 1 3
17 June Zaire & Kaduna

Kaduna State

3 churches Car bombs
19 Aug. Damagun, Yobe Church building Blown up ???
23 Sept. Bauchi Church Female worshipper Suicide bomber 1
28 Oct. Kaduna Church parishioners Suicide bomber 10 145

Note that in 2012, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) ran an ad campaign on 100 buses in New York publicizing the savagery of BH and the targeting of Christians specifically. “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support the Nigerian Christians. Defeat jihad.” Mostly because of the phrasing, the ads were criticized as “anti-Muslim” “hate” ads.

CIVILIAN TARGETS

DATE LOCATION TARGET METHOD DEAD & INJURED  
2012
4 Jan. Dalla, Maiduguri Teacher & son Home 2 + 2BH
10 Jan Damaturu, Yobe State Beergarden 8
13 Jan Yola, Adamawa State Pub 2 + 1
Gombe, Gombe State Pub 2 + 1
1 Feb. Maiduguri 30 so-called informers Targeted 7
2 March 4:mother son + 2
4 April Maiduguri Market Gunmen 7
26 April Abuja Off ices of newspaper The Day Suicide attack 4
Kaduna Housing complex with Damugun offices Car bomb
25 June Baluchi Cluster of bars IED Explosive 0 + 9
4 July Abuja Shopping mall explosion 0
19 Aug. Damagun, Yobe School Blown up
16 Sept. Bauchi Ludo game players Shot 6 + 9
18 Oct Potiskum Guns + bomb 23

2013 Charts of Boko Haram atrocities

Military and Police Targets

2013 LOCATION TARGET METHOD DEAD + Inj
15 March Gwoza Prison – 170 inmates freed assault 1 civilian
22 March Ganye, Adamawa State Jail, police stn. & bank 127 inmates freed assault 25
11 April Babban Gida, Yobe State Police station shootout 4 police       5 BH
12-16 Baga JTF operation vs BH firefight 187
7 May Bama Security forces –       105 inmates freed assault 55
13 May Borno & Yobe “massive” troop deployment State of emergency Phone signals shut
11 Sept. Ga’anda Village, Adamawa State Police stations Rocket grenades 2 police + 1
24 Oct. Damaturu, Yobe Military barracks and police facilities assault 21 in total 21-70 BH
23 Nov. Gwoza BH hideouts N. military 40 BH
2 Dec. Maiduguru Air force base, military barracks 200 gunmen ???

 

POLITICAL TARGETS

2013 LOCATION PERSON STATUS KILLED
15 March Kano Senior judicial figure
3 May Maiduguri Ali Monguno, former Nigerian oil minister kidnap

 

CHRISTIANS

2013 LOCATION INSTITUTION PEOPLE METHOD NUMBERS
13 Nov Nguetchéwé, Cameroon French Catholic priest kidnap Dead Inj.

 

CIVILIAN TARGETS

2013 LOCATION TARGET METHOD DEAD & INJURED  
22-24 Jan. Maiduguri Many ???
8 Feb. Kano 2 polio clinics gunmen 10 workers
10 Feb. Potiskum, Yobe doctors North Korean assassinys 3
16 Feb Jama’are Construction workers kidnap 7
19 Feb. Cameroon French family of 7 kidnap Video 25 February
5 March Video beheading Alleged informant beheading 1
18 March Kano Bus station Suicide bomber 41
17 June Damaturu Student dormitory attack 7 students 2 teachers
6 July Mamudo, Yobe Secondary school dormitories set on fire attack 41 students 1 teacher
31 Aug. Yaguwa Village, Damboa, Borno BH hideout by nomadic herders in revenge attack 12 nomads + original 2
17 Sept. Benisheik, Borno Town attack 142
29 Sept. Gujba, Yobe school dorm College of Agriculture attack 40 students
4 Nov. Bama, Borno 300 homes burned assault 27
23 Nov. Sandiya Village 85km from Maiduguru Some homes burned assault 12

BUSINESSES

2013 LOCATION TARGET Method KILLED
27 July Dawashe near Baga, Borno Fishers & traders Reprisal attack 20 +

2014 Boko Haram Atrocities

Military and Police Targets

2014 LOCATION TARGET METHOD DEAD & INJ.
14 March Maiduguru Giwa Military barracks & state security hdqt. 200 BH assault fails
8 July Damboa Military base N. army assault BH counterattack 15 soldiers
24 July Cameroon military Cross-border raid 2 soldiers

 

POLITICAL TARGETS

2013 LOCATION PERSON STATUS KILLED
23 April Blabili, Borno State politicians ambush 2
25 July Garabula, Borno Alhaji Ibrahim Dawi District leader 13
27 July Kolofata, Cameroon Wife of V-Pres. kidnap 3

 

CHRISTIANS

2013 LOCATION INSTITUTION PEOPLE METHOD NUMBERS
30 July Kwajaffa, Tashan Alade 5 churches

 

CIVILIAN TARGETS

2013 LOCATION TARGET METHOD DEAD & INJURED  
26 Jan. Borno & Adamawa 2 markets assaults 78
11 Feb. Kanduga Burn homes assault 23
15 Feb. Northeastern Nigeria dozens
26 Feb. Buni Yadi Federal college assault 29
14 April Abuja Bus station Suicide bomber 75 +
17 April BH mass weddings on 29 April School dorm kidnap 276 girls
20 April Yana Government school fire 5-year-old
5 May BH video Girls kidnapped To be sold
20 May Jos market Car bombs 118 + 56
1 June Mubi Football stadium bomb 40
14 June Borno 4 villages assault 500
17 June Damaturu Football viewing centre World Cup bomb 21
24 June Borno Systematic abductions Kidnap 60 women 30
3 July Konduga, Borno bomb 5
4 July Maiduguri-Mafa-Dikwa Road motorway ambush 15
6 July Krenuwa Village, border Cameroon Dressed in military uniforms assault 7
11 July Maidugurio Damboa Madafuma Biu Rd Main bridge destroyed
14 July Dille Village Torch houses & 3 churches assault 26
Madafuma Village, Biu, Borno capture assault 9
15 July Damboa, Borno Sambon Gari Village assault 27
17 July Gambou Ngala, Borno Bridge to Cameroon Blown up
18 July Damboa, Borno Burn homes 80
23 July Kaduna Suicide bombers 82
29 July Potiskum 2 bombs Suicide bombers 55

BUSINESSES

2013 LOCATION TARGET Method KILLED
27 July Dawashe near Baga, Borno Fishers & traders Reprisal attack 20 +
16 July Gombi, Adamawa German Kidnap

Boko Haram Terrorism: 2003-2011

Boko Haram Terrorism: 2003-2011

by

Howard Adelman

Look at the news from Nigeria yesterday. One person was killed and 18 injured by a female suicide bomber at a campaign rally for Goodluck Jonathan on Monday near a stadium in the northern city of Gombe. This analysis of Boko Haram violence covers the so-called early one year of violence (December 2003-October 2004), the second stage of non-violence between 2005-mid-2009, the turning point in the summer of 2009 when 800 were killed, the fourth stage in the development of the lethal character of Boko Haram from mid-2009 to mid-2010 when Boko Haram consolidated, trained and developed a more systematic strategy. The bulk of the material covers the fifth phase in the development of Boko Haram from mid-2010 to the end of 2011. Tomorrow I will provide an analysis of Boko Haram violence for 2012-2014.

Stage 1   2002- October 2004 Founding until death of Mohammed Yusuf

Priority violence for recruitment and action vs just teaching; violence incidental

Stage 2 November 2004 until mid-2009 period of non-violence

Stage 3   Turning point in the summer of 2009 when Yusuf killed in police custody and 800 killed in subsequent violence

Stage 4   Summer 2009-summer 2010: consolidation and strategizing

Stage 5   August 2010 to December 2011

  • Internationalization of conflict with attack on UN compound in Abuja & links with al-Qaeda
  • More sophisticated use of more powerful explosives
  • Increasingly more direct attacks on soldiers and not just police
  • Increasing number of attacks on military targets with more sophisticated coordination over this period
  • Attacks on banks to fund purchase of more sophisticated explosives & arms and on businessmen who do not pay into their protection racket; note that the attacks on banks were linked with simultaneous attacks on police stations to foil any attempt to prevent the robberies; I have included such attacks under Financial
  • Individual attacks on political figures average 1 per month
  • Individual attacks on moderate Muslim clerics who denounce BH; average 1 per 2 months
  • A primary method of assassinating individuals is drive-by shootings from a motorcycle which becomes a rite-of-passage for new recruits
  • Near the end of this period, the attacks on civilian targets increase in frequency
  • Though attacks on Christians begin in January 2011, they really only get up to speed in the latter part of the year, culminating in attacks on churches throughout Nigeria on Christmas Day in 2011

The most significant attack is probably the one on 26 August 2011 when the UN compound in Abuja was attacked by an explosive-laden Honda sport vehicle driven at high speed through the exit gates of the compound by 27-year-old Mohammed Abdul Barra in which an estimated 200 were killed (Nigeria government declared 23 died) and hundreds more injured (the Nigerian government declared 80 injured). The attack, masterminded by Mamman Nur (an alias used by Osama bin Laden’s bomb maker), an al-Qaeda-linked member of Boko Haram, was rationalized because the UN was labelled as the “forum of all global evil” and a partner “in the oppression of believers.” This attack also marked an escalation both in the sophistication of the explosives used, the planning of the attack and the internationalization of the conflict. Prior to that date, the only attack on a non-Nigerian target had been the 2 May 2011 bombing in Bwari of the Peace Corps offices in which 3 were killed.

There was one slim hope of a turning point. Babakura Alhaji Fugu, the son of late Alhaji Baba Fugu, the father-in-law to Mohammed Yussuf, founder of Boko Haram, had entered into discussions of a possible peace with former Nigerian President Oluṣẹgun Obasanjo. Two days later, and just before an appearance on Sahara TV, on 17 September 2011, Fugu was assassinated by Boko Haram.

Until the end of 2011, media had not been targeted, with the exception of the 16 October 2011 assassination of the reporter Zakariyya Isa in front of his house, but the evidence suggests that he was not murdered because he was a reporter but because he was believed to be passing information that he gathered on Boko Haram to the Nigerian security services. Finally, at the end of December 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe, Niger and the Plateau States. (I believed I made a typo the day before yesterday and put in 2013.) He also closed the borders to Chad and Niger. Finally, he authorized his security officials to create a special counter-terrorism unit to fight Boko Haram.

I am grateful to Perspectives on Terrorism 8:6 for compiling the collection of attacks, but I take full responsibility for the classification used below and the trend interpretation I have offered. In doing so, I use several short forms which I believe are obvious. For example, BH refers to Boko Haram members killed and not Boko Haram in general. MC refers to drive-by killings from a motorcycle. Most politicians and religious leaders were murdered in front of their own homes. One important caution: some killings blamed on Boko Haram may be by political opponents or other agents. At the same time, some assassinations could either be based on rumour or on learning, or believing one had learned, that one person was a double agent. For example, on 3 November 2011, Ali Sanda Umar Konduga (alias: Usman al-Zawahiri), a member of Boko Haram, was slain. Konduga claimed to have been working in Borno for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).a2

[I do not know how to copy the charts so if you want the information in proper chart form, write howarda72@gmail.com.

PRE-2009 VIOLENCE

DATE LOCATION METHOD KIILLED
24-31 Dec. 2003 Kanamma & Geldam, Yobo State 200 frontal ???
January 2004 Damboa Police Station
June 2004 Damaturu, capital of Yobe State Prison break 4 BH
23 Sept. 2004 Gwoza & Bama Police stations

Police patrols

4 police

2 civilians

24 attackers

10 October 2004 Kala Balge, Lake Chad Police convoy 15 officers

30 JUNE 2009 TO DECEMBER 2011

MILITARY TARGETS

DATE LOCATION TARGET METHOD NUMBERS
2009 Killed Injured
26 July Maiduguri BH Guns 17 BH
9 July Maiduguri

Bauchi

Police

Stations

22 BH

2 police

50 civilians

3 July 800 deaths incl.

28 police

5 wardens

2010
5 Sept. MC 1 police
7 Sept. Baluchi jail 100 BH

Freed +

600 others

23 Oct. aborted Police Station Fire 1 BH
13 Nov. Bashir Mohammed MC 1 soldier
24 Nov. Ramat Mohammat

Salisu Jibrin

MC

MC

1 police

1 soldier

4 Dec. Abuja BH-army clash 2 BH

3 civilians

29 Dec. Police patrol 7-8 police
2011
3 Jan Corporal James MC 1 police
9 Jan. Church guard Amos Tangurda MC 1 police
23 Jan. Borno MC 1 soldier
26 Jan. Bauchi MC 1 police
27 Jan. Gasua Zamfara Police MC
2 Feb. Police Dep. Super. gunfight 1 six-year-old
20 Feb. Financier gunfight 5 BH
24 Feb. Maiduguri Police inspector MC 1 police
28 Feb. Home invasion Mustapha Sandamu gun 1 police

1 civilian

26 March Soldier on patrol MC 1 soldier 16 civ.
15 April Maiduguri Soldiers MC 2 soldiers

2 civilians

5
16 April Elis Dawa, police insp. Gun duel 1 police
30 April Prison warder 1 warder
5 May Maiduguri Prison warders 2 warders
17 May Police mosque guard MC 1 police
18 May Maiduguri Police station Assault 10 police
27 May Damboa Borno Police station

Soldiers barracks

Assault

70 BH

4 police
30 May Bauchi Military beer garden 13 soldiers 33
1 Sept. Biu Operation Tsaro

Military rampage

2 BH

Military officer

3 civilians

13 Sept. Maiduguri Ambush following BH

Arrests of 15 BH

4 soldiers
16 Oct. Mopol Base 15 vehicles destroyed

Base burned

Assault 1 police

3 BH

25 Oct. Damaturu, Yobe 1 police
4 Nov. Maiduguri Military base many
15 Nov. JTF firefight with BH 2 soldiers

1 child

21 Nov. JTF firefight with BH 3 soldiers

3 BH

26-27 Nov. Bomb attacks 4 police
13 Dec. Soldiers crossfire 10 civilians
17 Dec. Maiduguri

Kano

Bomber’s bomb

Clash

3BH

4 BH 3 police

19 Dec. Kano,

Damaturu

Potiskum

Gunfire

Bombs

3 police

3 BH

21 Dec. Military convoy bomber 53 killed (BH,

Soldiers, police,

civilians

23 Dec. Maiduguri 6 simultaneous attacks 10,000 IDPs

Scores killed

24 Dec. Port Harcourt Military barracks

Bouganvillea Hotel

Shell oil facility

thwarted
26 Dec. Kano Air Force School Assault 4 air force

2 BH

30 Dec. Maiduguri Military check point Assault 4 passer-bys

POLITICAL TARGETS: attacks against politicians, traditional leaders and civil servants

DATE LOCATION PERSON STATUS          KILLED
2010 How No.
21 Sept. Maiduguri Local chief MC 1
6 Oct. Maiduguri Awana Ali Ngala VP All Nigerian Peoples Party 1
20 Oct. Kashim Bukar Police Inspector Shot 1
29 Dec. Maiduguri 8
2011
28 Jan. Modu Fannami Godio Gubernatorial opposition candidate All Nigeria Peoples Party MC 1
27 March Gwange Alhaji Fannami Gana Makanike Ward 2 chair ANPP MC 1
29 March Maiduguri ANPP election rally Foiled
12 May Abba Anas bin ‘Umar

Modu Fannami Godio

2
17 Sept. Babakura Alhaji Fugu Brother-in-law of Yusuf By BH
15 Oct. Maiduguri Ali Banga Leader Borno State Vigilante Assoc. MC 1
16 Oct. Zakariyya Isa Reporter (informer?) MC 1
16 Oct. Modu Bintube Borno State House rep. MC 1
3 Nov. Sanda Umar Konduga BH MC 1
15 Nov. Maiduguri State Gov. Shettima MC 1

MUSLIM RELIGIOUS LEADERS

DATE LOCATION NAME STATUS HOW NO.
2010
9 Oct. Outside home Sheik Bashir Mustapha

Bashir Kasara

Muslim scholar

Eminent Wahabi personage

MC

MC

1

1

19 Nov. Mosque during Juam‘at prayer MC 3
2011
12 March Outside home Ahmad Abdullahi Bolori Cleric vs violence MC 1

1

11 May Outside home Sheik Goni Tijjani

Mallam Alhaji Abur

Cleric critical of BH MC 1

1

6 June Outside home Ibrahim Birkuti Cleric critical of BH MC 1
4 Sept. Outside home Malam Dal Cleric critical of BH MC 1
29 Oct. Outside home Sheikh Ali Jana’a Cleric critical of BH MC 1

CHRISTIANS

DATE LOCATION INSTITUTION PEOPLE METHOD NUMBERS
2011
19 Jan. Deeper Life Christian Church Pastor & 3 neighbours MC 4
7 June Maduguri Church and 2 police posts bomb 14
4 Nov, churches bombs 63
25 Dec. Nigeria churches bombs Very many

CIVILIAN TARGETS

DATE LOCATION TARGET METHOD NUMBERS
2010 Dead Injured
10 Oct. Traditional Islamic school beheaded 10-yr.-old
24 Dec. Abuja

Jos

Bomb

9 bombs

11

80

30
29 Dec. Abuja Teaching Hospital 1 police

2 civilians

29 Dec. Abuja RelaxationCentre bomb 8
2011
30 Jan. Maiduguri Police guarding dam firefight 2 BH
7 March Dogo Nachawa Villages – Zot & Tatsat Frontal assault 200
4 April Babaji & Sadi Babaji prevented killing of police Revenge MC 2 7 children
8 April Yahaya Premature explosion bomb bomber
9 April Maiduguri Unguwar Doki polling station

Ind. Nat’l Electoral polling tn.

Bomb

bomb

6

10
21 April Kaduna 1 3 bombers
22 April Kaduna Bomb-making factory
2. May Bwari Peace corps offices bomb 3
1 June Kaduna Gonin Gora Market bomb foiled
26 Aug. Abuja UN compound Car bomb 200 (?) hundreds
6 Oct Mob 2 BH
10 Oct. bomb 1
3 Dec. Maiduguri 2
6 Dec Kaduna Block of shops & apartments bomb 8
28 Dec. Mubi beer parlour 15

BUSINESSES

DATE LOCATION TARGET Method KILLED
2011
13 Feb.
bank
botched 1 BH
30 April trader MC 1
12 Sept. Misau Bauchi State bank assault 4 police

3 civilians

2 Oct. 3 traders MC 3
10 Oct. Police guarding bank 1
4 Dec. Bauchi state 2 banks + 2 police stns, 3

Tomorrow 2012-2014

Putin and Iran: Israel’s $2.6 Billion for a Nuclear Strike

Iran and Israel’s $2.6 Billion for a Nuclear Strike

by

Howard Adelman

In the blog sent out by Dow Marmur today that I received an hour ago, he discussed the published rumor or deliberate leak by the government of Israel that it has set aside billions of shekels (10) to finance a possible strike on Iran, implying that Israel planned to go ahead with the strike without American involvement. Dow envisioned three scenarios:

1. The least likely: the leak was simply theatre, in which Yaalon’s second insult directed at the American Defence Minister was part of the act, to convince Iran that Israel carried the big stick if Iran started procrastinating in reducing its nuclear program. In that scenario, Dow wrote that the Iranians may be part of the theatre for they would be too knowledgeable to be taken in by such a ruse and “thus remain as smiling sweetly and as steely intransigent as they’ve been hitherto.”

2. The most ominous: Israel may indeed bomb Iran with catastrophic results for Israel, Iran and the whole Middle East.

3. Business as usual: Yaalon is a straight shooter and is telling it as it is..

I want to suggest another answer. First, it depends to some degree on knowing that Iran is cooperating fully according to the first interim agreement and is NOT “smiling sweetly” while they remain as “steely intransigent as they’ve been hitherto”.  According to the Institute for Science and International Security 20 March Report from Washington written by the Director General updating everyone on the “voluntary measures” that Iran obligated itself to undertake as part of the Joint Plan of Action that took effect on 20 January of this year, Iran was to take no further steps to improve its nuclear production facilities or enrich any uranium further and was to begin a process of reducing it nuclear capability in return for an easing of the boycott.

[url=“http://isis-online.org/uploads/isis-reports/documents/JPA_update_IAEA_20Mar2014.pdf”] 
IAEA Report: Status of Iran’s Nuclear Programme in relation to the Joint Plan of Action[/url]

The Report unequivocally states that Iran has NOT enriched any more uranium above 5%, has NOT carried out any reprocessing and enrichment in any of its other nuclear facilities, has NOT operated its cascades in an interconnected configuration, and has NOT carried out further improvements in its Fuel Enrichment Plant, Fordow or Arak. Iran has diluted almost 75 kg of enriched uranium from 20% to no more than 5% and fed a further almost 32 kg for conversion to uranium oxide. Iran has also fully conformed to the continuing plans for further decommissioning of much of its 20% enriched uranium by providing updated detailed design information re the IR-40 Reactor. Iran began the preliminary steps needed to draft a Safeguards Agreement while it continues utilizing the safeguard practices in place, has, as agreed, continued the construction of the plant for converting 5% U-235 to uranium oxide, has provided access to international inspectors of its uranium mine and mill at Gechine, daily access to Natanz and Fordow, and managed access to centrifuge assembly and rotor production workshops as well as storage facilities.

So what is the meaning of this nonsense about Iran remaining steely intransigent! Iran has been cooperating fully under the terms of the interim agreement? So why is Israel NOW leaking plans to devote $2.9 billion dollars for the cost of bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities?

As Barak Ravid reported in Haaretz, “Netanyahu tells IDF: Get ready to strike Iran during course of 2014” and has earmarked $2.6 billion (sic!) in preparation for a possible attack. I suggest the following. It is not theatre – easily tested. It has to do with the follow-up after 20 July when a full agreement is to be in place. With the events in Crimea, the West has lost Putin as an active partner in pushing the best agreement possible. Further, as indicated by Yaalon’s insults directed at America, the USA has taken the military option almost totally off the table in dealing with Russia (and presumably with Iran), not simply in dealing with the fait accompli of Crimea, but to de-escalate the rhetoric and not provide Russia with an excuse to invade eastern Ukraine under the pretext of stirred up ferment by Russian bully boys in the eastern regions or provinces (oblasts) of Ukraine east of the Dnieper River or the Donbas, namely Donetsk and Kharkiv and possibly Luhansk.

Whether leaving the stick on the floor rather than waving it in the air through NATO may or may not be the best policy to deter Russia and, alternatively, invite Russia’s continuing engagement in de-escalation, Israel believes it needs to wave the big stick to keep Iran on course without continuing Russian pressure. The danger of forming a Russian-Iranian axis is real and the Israeli government sees its action as a threat so that Iran continues its path in throwing off the bad habits of the previous regime. Iran’s practices in cooperation and in shutting down an extremist media outlet critical of Iran’s nuclear cooperation with the international community seems to provide a signal that Iran is continuing on the cooperation course even though Russia will likely be out of the pressure game.

As America sees it, the real rewards and the least risk of a conflagration comes through the economic big stick and not through military big sticks. Israel, from its own perspective, disagrees that this is sufficient. Hence the threat and the $2.9 billion.

The Holiness of Numbers: Parashat Bamidar – Numbers 1:1-4:20.11.05.13

The Holiness of Numbers: Parashat Bamidar – Numbers 1:1-4:20               11.05.13

 

by

 

Howard Adelman

 

The Book of Numbers begins with numbers, the census of the numbers of Israelites before they enter Canaan. The first four chapters also name all the leaders of the tribes and clans and define the duties of those tribes in military terms and the role of an elite group, the Levites, in servicing the Tabernacle. The census as recorded is as follows:

 

All heads of households over 20 able to bear arms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEVITES

 

 

 

 

 

Divisions

 

 

Sons of

Aaron

Clans

 

 

Reuben

46,500

Judah

Judah

74,600

 

Gershon

Libni

 

 

Simeon

59,300

 east

Issachar

54,400

 

 West

Shimei

7,500

 

Gad

45,650

 

Zebulum

57,400

186,400

Kohath

Amram

 

 

Judah

74,600

Reuben

Reuben

46,500

 

 South

Ishar

 

 

Issachar

54,400

 south

Simeon

59,300

 

 

Hebron

 

 

Zebulun

57,400

 

Gad

45,650

151,450

 

Uzziel

8,600

 

Ephraim

40,500

Ephraim

Ephraim

40,500

 

Merari

Mahli

 

 

Manasseh

32,200

 west

Mannaseh

32,200

 

 North

Mushi

6,200

 

Benjamin

35,400

 

Benjamin

35,400

108,100

Non-Levites

 

 

Dan

62,700

Dan

Dan

62,700

 

Sons of

Moses

 

 

Asher

41,500

 north

Asher

41,500

 

 

Aaron

 

 

Naphtali

53,400

 

Naphtali

53,400

157,600

East

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Age 30-50

 

 

 

 

603,550

 

 

 

603,550

one month +

22,300

625,850

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22,000

 

Levites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22,273

 

 

Note the following about the census:

1. This is, by and large, a military census, a count of men of fighting age over 20 years of age and able to bear arms. Women, children under 20 years of age, and old men unable to report for active military duty are all excluded.

2. The tribes are arranged into four military divisions, with the most numerous and most powerful division located to the east, the most dangerous side; the weakest division, that of Ephraim, is located on the west facing the Mediterranean indicating naval warfare was not part of this entourage.

3. God commands that the Levites, chosen from the first born of all the tribes, who are charged with maintaining the various aspects of the tabernacle, are not included in the census with the Israelites, not with the rest of the Israelites but with the Israelites period. 1:49 reads: “Do not on any account enrol the tribe of Levi or take a census of them with the Israelites.” These are God’s chosen, the first-born of all tribes and families and taken to serve the holy of holies.

4. The Levites are counted differently, for all first-born males over the age of one month are included.

5. Further, three different numbers are given for the number of Levites, a typical rounding off to the nearest one hundred (22,300) plus two outlier numbers, a rounding off to the nearest one thousand (22,000) and then a precise number – 22,273. No precise number akin to this is provided for the tribes and divisions assigned to military duties.

 

My thesis is simple; numbers are holy. Accurate counts and allocations of those counts are critical to political, economic and particularly military purposes. Numbers in service of God, estimated at about 2.5% of the male population in the age range of 20 to 60, may be dedicated to the holy of holies, but the numbers dedicated to the secular in life may not be the holy of holies, but they are holy. The census is holy, something Stephen Harper with his ostensible reverence for traditional religion seems to have ignored when he eliminated the compulsory long form census in Canada so that we only get a two-thirds voluntary return instead of the almost complete results heretofore obtained, a result with much crucial data missing.

 

Let me offer four examples in which I was involved with the holiness of numbers. The first occasion took place just after we set up the Refugee Documentation Project at YorkUniversity, the precursor of the Centre for Refugee Studies. The Begin government of Israel in Operation Peace for the Galilee had invaded Lebanon on 6 June 1982. Recall that in addition to all the raids and terrorist attacks into northern Israel from Lebanon, the trigger for the invasion had been the assassination attempt by the Abu Nidal Organization on the life of Shlomo Argov, the Israeli Ambassador to the UK.

 

I myself had experienced the effects of these terrorist attacks when I spent a sabbatical year in Israel at the time of President Sadat’s visit. Not only were buses carrying school children, including the No. 5 bus which one of my children normally took, blown up, but the Coastal Road Massacre took place planned by Abu Jihad and perpetrated by a terrorist group landing just north of Tel Aviv by sea from Lebanon. The raid was an attempt to undermine and destroy the Egyptian-Israeli efforts to forge peace. The terrorists shot up a car and took over two buses in which eventually 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children, were killed, and 71 were wounded. In that car that the terrorists shot up from the bus was the brilliant floutist of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Hanoch Tel-Oren, who was my eldest daughter’s music teacher. He was an American, originally from Arkansas. My daughter was then headed towards a career as a classical flute player. Tel-Oren’s arm was shot and he lost neural control over his fingers so that it was believed at the time that he would never again play the flute.

 

His fourteen year old son, Omri, who was already a clarinettist in the Jerusalem Youth Orchestra, was asleep in the back seat of the family station wagon; he was shot in the head and died instantly. My daughter, Shonagh, had grown close to both Hanoch and his wife, Sharon, also a floutist, and all the children. (They had seven in total but, if my memory is correct, they had five at that time.) In reaction to the trauma, my daughter, who was then two years older than Omri, never picked up the flute to play again. Recently, I tried to talk to her about the incident and she had only the scarcest memory of it. Shonagh became a painter in Israel and remains a painter now living in New York and well known for her pop-surrealist art.

Israel published a figure in late June 1982 that 19,000 had been displaced or been made homeless by the invasion. OXFAM UK published a figure in full page ads in the British newspapers appealing for funds and stating that 600,000 had been made homeless. In my research work I had become convinced that accurate figures of numbers of refugees could be obtained if proper scientific methods are applied. We went first to Israel and then got into Lebanon to test our hypothesis. We did not actually have to undertake a count as we thought. There were already twelve different counts – one by the Palestinian Teachers Association that was the most detailed, another by the Municipal Association of Lebanese Teachers. The Israeli count had been undertaken by a highly reputable scholar from TelAviUniversity who studied Bedouin. Unfortunately, his count contained an arithmetic error by 10,000; discovering that error won our way into Lebanon. As we also learned, in the effort to complete the study quickly, he had missed some pockets of refugees. The numbers of homeless in south Lebanon before the bombardment of the Palestinian camps in Beirut was really 40,000 but still far from the figure of 600,000 that OXFAM UK had published.

 

All of the twelve counts had been well done but each contained some errors and a few methodological problems, but the counts were easily reconciled to yield a correct figure that was subsequently used by all sides as well as by international agencies. The OXFAM figure of 600,000 had come from a distorted version of a report the Red Cross had published that 600,000 had been affected by the war. The Red Cross had, in fact, the most accurate figure of 40,000 homeless, though they were slightly embarrassed by their methodology – they counted the kitchen kits they distributed and multiplied by three.    

 

In another occasion to indicate the holiness of accurate figures, at the time of the multilateral peace talks, the Centre for Refugee Studies was asked by the Canadian government that was gavelling those talks to provide an accurate figure of the number of Palestinian refugees. The problem was that everyone knew that the original numbers of registered refugees with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency of 920,000 was inflated because of double counting and other problems. No one seemed to know the degree of inflation. A very ideologically-based count had been attempted in Joan Peters’ 1984 book, From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine. She had argued that the number of Palestinian Aabs who left Palestine in the 1948 war totalled only 540,000. Her figures were proven to be as fallacious as the original UNRWA figures and her methodological errors more heinous. We came up with a figure of 705,000 but subsequently came to the conclusion that the figure of 720,000 by the demographer, Janet Abu-Lughhod, was probably the more accurate one. That figure was the base line used by the states involved in the multilateral talks.

 

A third case involved the Rwandan genocide. An international consortium of 19 international agencies and 18 states had contracted with Astri Suhrke, the Norwegian scholar, and myself to write a report on the role of the international community in the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. As part of that process, we tried to get some sense of an accurate figure of those moderate Hutus and Tutsis who had been slaughtered in just over ten weeks. We proceeded by largely auditing various counts that had been undertaken, though we did participate in one actual count of the numbers buried in a mass grave at Butare and counted 18,463 corpses. Our total came out to almost one million but in an international meeting in Geneva, in examining all the counts, it was agreed to use a figure of 800,000 slaughtered until a fuller, more comprehensive and more accurate count was obtained.

 

The fourth case was an offshoot of the Rwanda genocide. In 1996, the war had spread to Zaire, subsequently the Democratic Government of the Congo. When the Kabila forces backed by Rwanda and Uganda overran the refugee camps in Zaire, claims were made that a second genocide had been perpetrated and that 600,000 had died. These figures were based on the grossly inflated figures of those in the refugee camps, camps that were under the control of the ex-FAR and the militias who had participated in the Rwandan genocide. The figures were grossly inflated to obtain much greater humanitarian aid that could be sold on the black market and used to buy more arms.  As we tried to document (though 20,000-40,000 may have died – an enormous sum in itself), the figure of 600,000 was preposterous and a complete chimera as was the claim of a second genocide.

 

What about the numbers in Numbers? Are they fabrications intended to instil fear in the enemies of the Israelites or are they accurate figures? I am not a demographer. Nor am I a biblical scholar. Without a lot more research, I will not attempt to assess whether the numbers are or are not accurate. What I will claim is that numbers are holy and the foundation of the whole scientific realm of empirical accuracy. Holiness belongs to the secular as well as the sacred realm even if at the centre of the sacred realm is the holy of holies.  

 

As the mathematician Blaise Pascal who invented probability theory has written, numbers, however, holy have their limits. Numbers produce their own paradoxes. If an even number is defined as all numbers divided by two and an odd number is defined as every even number, plus one, is infinity an even or an odd number. There are similar paradoxes about zero. “We know the existence and nature of the finite, because we also are finite and have extension. We know the existence of the infinite, and are ignorant of its nature, because it has extension like us, but not limits like us. But we know neither the existence nor the nature of God, because He has neither extension nor limits.” At the extremes of the secular realm we find paradoxes, whether about those extremes or God who belongs beyond the extremes. When you get to the extremes or beyond them, reason is impotent. However, in the enormous secular realm between, there is a holy commandment – “Get your numbers straight.”