Here'a a collection of posts and information I put up on Facebook, in a more reader friendly format.
So, has anyone got more info on Boko Haram's financial backers? I heard a VERY interesting rumour concerning Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, the former President of Mauritania and current resident (military instructor, in fact) of soft-power and Islamist arming enthusiast, Qatar.
Interesting not least because Taya was considered a stalwart American ally (as is Qatar) and Boko Haram have allegedly forged links with AQIM - a group which probably at least partially infiltrated and run by Algerian military intelligence to bilk counter-terrorism funds from the US.
And in commenting on this article
Adamawa as a territory does historically extend into Cameroon and Chad, with modern Nigeria being a colonial construct (much to the chagrin of Nigerian nationalists). And of course, Nigeria has an infamously corrupt and wealthy political elite (I taught more than a few of their children), which provides even more reasons for armed rebellion.
However, President Goodluck has been pretty against using military solutions to deal with Boko Haram, which is probably just as well given the state and discipline of the Nigerian military. So I think even if we give Nyako the benefit of the doubt for his thesis, then we shouldn't be looking at the federal government...or at least the parts of it Goodluck controls.
So, what does it all mean? Who knows, really. I mean, it's just speculation at this point, I've seen nothing which points at hard evidence.
The alliance between AQIM and Boko Haram is potentially disturbing. As I'm sure we all recall, AQIM joined with the Tuareg rebels in pillaging their way across Mali before international forces, led by the French military, coordinated a counter-attack. AQIM allegedly also got support from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, in addition to their links to Algerian military intelligence. Whether that relationship extended to US intelligence is...a question no-one has any clear answers on.
But consider. Qatar. Saudi Arabia. Algeria. An oil-rich Nigeria. An Islamist inspired rebellion in a region where one would expect a more...ethnic uprising to occur. The kidnappers of the girls also wore military uniforms, that much is certainly uncontested, only whether they were terrorists posing as military personnel or actually military. A President reluctant to use military power (and rightly so, given the ill-discipline of the Nigerian military - they'd probably be at greater risk of rape in military custody), having his hand forced by an international crisis.
And there is the issue of slavery. Although I mocked Nick Cohen, and rightly so, for his terrible article on this topic, he may have had a kernel of a point when it came to the distinction between kidnapping and slavery.
Slavery is a widespread practice in....Mauritania. It's also the basis of the political economy of the Tuareg regions of Africa.
All I'm saying is that there is a ugly picture emerging here.
Edit: And it is worth noting that Boko Haram was not considered a designated terrorist group by the US government until very recently. Could be mere oversight. Could be. But it also means materially supporting Boko Haram would not have been a crime under US law.