…by Thomas J. Mattingly
In northern Nigeria on December 12 to 13, Nigerian Army soldiers killed dozens to hundreds of Shiite Muslims who blocked roads on Saturday and retreated for the night to the home of the leading Shiite cleric, Sheikh Zakzaky. Nigerian soldiers are primarily Sunni Muslims.
The Army says that the Shiites, supporters of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky’s Shiite Islamic Movement in Nigeria (“IMN”), attempted to assassinate the Nigerian Chief of Army Staff. So, the Sunni soldiers shot the Shiites, who were armed with machetes, clubs and petrol bombs (later with guns). A Shiite IMN spokesman claims that IMN members were engaged in peaceful acts of civil disobedience to protest their treatment by the primarily Sunni government and Army.
- 1. Islamic Movement in Nigeria Sheik Ibraheem Zakzaky in 2014
The truth is somewhere in between – and way beyond. Deeper truths involve foreign interests who support Daesh/ISIS and Boko Haram and now seek to divide and control Nigeria and its natural resources with sectarian violence – just as President Muhammadu Buhari and his Army are neutralizing Boko Haram. Brits, Yanks and others have used the Divide-And-Conquer and Divide-And-Control template for hundreds if not thousands of years – most infamously to create Daesh/ISIS during the Iraq War as a ploy to overthrow the Syrian government, then Iran.
My involvement is based on knowing many Nigerian Sunni Muslims, some connected with the Nigerian military (including President Buhari, a former Army General and Petroleum Minister). In addition, I also know many Iranian and Syrian Shiite Muslims (especially after a recent trip to Syria), advisers to former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and anti-Iran-government Shiite Muslims, including former intelligence and military professionals. Influential Iranian TV host Dr. Nader Talebzadeh of Ofogh TV recently asked to interview me for his Farsi language show.
Nigeria is a former British colony. Brits still have much oil, gas and other business in Nigeria. Along with Brit business comes MI6. Americans also have much oil, gas and other business in Nigeria – with a strong CIA presence. Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and his military-security officials hired many Israeli defense and security firms to train, equip and advise the Army on combatting Boko Haram. Thus, a Mossad presence. Similar stories are also true about Saudi Arabia, Iran, France and Germany, whose spies and covert agents are also present.
The most significant world conflict now is the geopolitical and economic conflict in Iraq and Syria involving Daesh, al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists, which many nations are either fighting or supporting – sometimes both. Daesh and other al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups are composed of Sunni Muslims – mostly of the Salafi sect of Islam (dominant in Saudi Arabia).
The only large Shiite group that the U.S. had classified as a terrorist group is Hezbollah. The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence recently removed Hezbollah from its terror watch list (as per the DNI Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community).
Iran supports Hezbollah and has shipped weapons to Zakzaky’s IMN for transshipment to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, as per a military-connected source, whose source is NSA of U.S. Hezbollah is part of the Russia-led coalition that is combatting Daesh, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups in Syria. Iranians also financially support IMN’s religious and humanitarian endeavors. Zakzaky and his IMN supported Goodluck Jonathan against Buhari in the recent presidential election. Military-connected sources say that Iranians also provided money to Zakzaky’s IMN to buy weapons from Israel. Their source for this information is also NSA.
- 2. U.S., Saudi Arabia & Israel throw Boko Haram & Sunni-Shiite Violence into Nigeria’s Crisis Cauldron
(Original Caption: U.S., Saudi Arabia & Israel throw ISIS & Sunni Ba’th Party into Iraqi Crisis Cauldron
)The same sources minimize the possibilities of Saudi involvement in increasing Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence in Nigeria – a conclusion implicitly supported by NSA. However, is that really true? Were Saudis and Saudi Arabia actually involved?
With his unparalleled and inimitable intelligence sources and style, VT Senior Editor Gordon Duff introduces a recent FARS new service article published at VT by saying:
“VT editors have had a longstanding relationship with Nigeria dating back to the 1970s. We have been able to confirm that the NSA, a branch of Google Corporation, is trying to blame Tehran.
“Our sources on the ground have confirmed that rogue elements in the Nigerian Army and politicians in Northern Nigeria on the Saudi payroll, working in combination with the French DGSE, MI6 and Mossad, planned the massacre. This is seen as a political move against the Buhari government that has failed to take a position against Iran as demanded by the Saudis.
“The backing and participation of the American agency known as the NSA, normally a massive industrial espionage agency and credit bureau staffed by hapless nerds and ne’er-do-wells, places this act of genocide squarely on the West.”
- 3. An Alphabet Soup of Spies & Covert Agents Make Their Mark on Nigeria
At FARS, the article is “Eyewitness Discloses Saudi Embassy’s Role in Masterminding Massacre in Nigeria.” At VT, the article is “Nigerian Shiite Massacre, Pure Saudi-NATO Mischief.”
The FARS article itself quotes a named source close to IMN’s Zakzaky: “Informed sources from inside the Nigerian regime have stated that the incident happened in coordination with the Saudi embassy. The Nigerian army directly took the order for attack from the Saudi mission in Abuja.”
“We also saw that the commandoes driving on an army vehicle who attacked the Hussainiya [a Shiite religious center] were not Nigerians and were white people who were spraying bullets directly on the people,” with a FARS/al-Waqt source also asserting that the Nigerian government has received significant financial aid from Saudi Arabia since Buhari’s inauguration.
The Daesh-ISIS/Boko-Haram Connection
Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to Daesh/ISIS in order to form a regional caliphate. Saudi Arabia is a primary supporter and funder for Daesh. Similar individuals, groups and nations provide funding, weapons, intelligence, military advice, recruits, and public relations for Boko Haram – including Saudis, Brits, Yanks, Israelis, and Turks (especially Erdogan). Saudi Arabia is doing no favors for Buhari and Nigeria by funding Daesh and Boko Haram.
When the Nigerian Army first began to crack down on Boko Haram, Boko Haram’s founder fled to Saudi Arabia to meet with al-Qaeda leaders. Boko Haram’s founder bragged that much of Boko Haram’s funding comes from al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia.
“Al Qaeda are our elder brothers. Our leader traveled to Saudi Arabia and met al-Qaida there. We enjoy financial and technical support from them. Anything we want, we ask them,” a Boko Haram spokesman said.
- 4. Imaging and Imagining Saudi Arabia
Nigerian sources say that Goodluck Jonathan, his People’s Democratic Party (“PDP”), Israelis and others covertly supported the rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Boko Haram also supported Jonathan and his PDP. For example, Jonathan used the threat of Boko Haram violence to delay the vote when Jonathan thought that he would lose elections. Boko Haram was happy to oblige and take credit. Israelis supported Jonathan, and Jonathan returned the favor by promising to support Israel at the United Nations and elsewhere. Jonathan frequently traveled to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. Nigerian connections to Saudi Arabia are deep and longstanding.
France has used similar Divide-And-Control strategies and tactics in the French colonies of Africa. French oil & gas conglomerate Total S.A. has significant Nigerian oil & gas holdings. France’s DGSE spy agency certainly plays a role. VT editors have more available information.
Local and National Response to the Army-Shiite Killings
Kaduna State Governor Nasir al-Rufai, a Buhari supporter, just announced that Zakzaky “will be prosecuted for any crimes that he may have committed” and that he will transfer prosecution of Zakzaky to Abuja, the national capital. Al-Rufai also said that he will convene a state judicial panel to investigate the immediate and root causes of the Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence.
Nineteen northern state governors support al-Rufai’s positions on these issues. The governors issued a communique stressing that “all Nigerians should respect and obey the law and authorities” and should unite into a single unit to combat Nigeria’s “shared tragedies of poverty, destitution and illiteracy.” The governors then adjourned to enjoy a sumptuous meal.
However, if Sunni-Shiite violence is connected to Boko Haram, to Daesh, and to foreign funding and perpetrators, one expert on legal and international issues said that “a local judicial panel would be completely inadequate to investigate and resolve issues that have both local and foreign roots. Buhari should convene a panel composed of both Nigerian and international experts on such matters to find and eliminate the root causes of both Boko Haram and Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence. Nigeria can play a world leadership role on these related issues.”
- 5. President Muhammadu Buhari at Chatham House of the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London (before Election)
Connections and Conclusions
In Syria and Iraq, Russia and its coalition are not only combatting Daesh, al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda-affiliated groups but also Saudi Arabia and others that fund and support terrorism. In Nigeria, Buhari and his coalition are not only combatting Boko Haram and sectarian violence but also all (foreign) individuals, groups and nations that fund and support terrorism of any kind.
For exports, Nigeria is a one-trick pony: Oil. “While being a blessing for Nigeria, oil has also been Nigeria’s biggest curse.” President Buhari said this privately to me. As Buhari deals with and tames “Nigeria’s biggest curse,” Buhari will also need to eliminate both Boko Haram and Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence. Not easy.
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