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No al-Qaeda on Nigerian soil

Nigerian Muslim leaders have vehemently dismissed the alleged reports on the al-Qaeda network’s terrorist activities inside Nigeria, media reports say.

In an interview with the Abuja-based Daily Trust, a number of Nigerian Muslim leaders argued that the failed attempts of a 23-year-old Nigerian youth to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day is not proof of al-Qaeda’s activities in Nigeria.

The announcement came after the al-Qaeda claimed that it was behind the bombing attempt of US airliner on approach to Detroit.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab purportedly was subdued when attempting to light up a “fairly sophisticated” combustible mixture aboard a Northwest Airlines flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Friday.

“There is no affiliation between this young Nigerian man and Islamic and religious groups in the country,” Muslim scholar Abdulfattah Adeyemi said.

“We can not accuse the Nigerian Muslim groups of cooperation with al-Qaeda in their terrorist acts,” he added.

Meanwhile, Friday prayers leader of Abuja University Taofik Abdulazeez warned against any hasty judgment on recent events and connecting the failed terrorist attempt to Nigeria’s internal and religious affairs.

The Muslim Supreme Council, the Muslims Federation and other Islamic organization of Nigeria condemned Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s actions vehemently.

US President Barack Obama blamed the US intelligence network and the Homeland Security for failing to identify the Nigerian man, who was already in the US and UK terrorist watch list.

Speculations suggest that Obama’s increasing pressure on security officials to pursue terrorist suspects and the media hype behind the event seem to be Washington’s effort to justify a move similar to the controversial measure taken by former US president George W. Bush, who led the invasions of Afghanistan and subsequently Iraq in the aftermath of the September 11 attack in 2001.

The current approach lumps Obama and his predecessor as well as the Neo-cons together in continuing their hegemonic policies in the Middle East.

The United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 in an attempt to capture the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Not only the US-led war did not remove the terrorist leader, it led to the killing of many civilians, including women and children.

It would appear that the ‘Nigerian’ case, as we have it, which is non-verifiable and without any shred of legally binding evidence pointing to the Nigerians being in cohorts with the actions of this ‘lone operative’ is another Afghanistan or Iraq in the making.

Nigeria, however, has plenty of oil and other resources which would provide excellent spoils of war, should the ‘war on terror’ decide to drop in on them!

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