FOLLOW UAE'S BOKO HARAM'S MONEY TO NIGERIA TO REVEAL THE PRIMARY SPONSORS OF TERRORISM IN THE NORTH
Directly or indirectly, the majority of terrorist financing (if not all) ends up in the hands/pockets of local terrorist support networks resident in the geographical location in which the terrorist organisation operates.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) federal court in Abu Dhabi successfully convicted 6 key sponsors of Boko Haram ISWAP in Nigeria. Information from these prosecutions should lead to further clues as to the primary source of these funds and which individuals in Nigeria received some or all of the alleged sums of $782.000.00 between 2015-2016 – Primary Source v Primary destination through cross border financial intelligence methods.
The responsibility of state and federal law enforcement is to follow the paper trail of transaction of funds locally in Nigeria or regional Lake Chad Basin states where Boko Haram ISWAP has presence, support and operations – making effective use of local anti-money Laundering regulations.
All terrorist funding ends up locally directly or indirectly, however distant and remote the source
The most impactful battlefield against Boko Haram jihadist financing is a local focus. Any effective counter financing strategy requires local capacity and engagement by all financial institutions, state and federal security and law enforcement agencies.
Money is the bloodline of terrorist organisations — Al-Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram ISWAP etc. No terrorist group will survive without a regular source of local or and international funding.
From recruitment of fighters; weapons acquisition; planning; operational funds; assets; logistics; training; accommodation; feeding and communication, terrorist groups like Boko Haram ISWAP sustain their violent and non violent activities by establishing a reliable means of raising funds as a key operational plan.
Effective strategies to prevent and disrupt locally identified terrorist -related financial flows and transactions is one of the most impactful methods to fight terrorism.
Well implemented, these methods will prevent future attacks by disrupting any material support, trace the footprints of terrorist transactions, thus providing valuable information for ongoing counter terrorism investigations.
Following and countering the financial transactions of terrorist groups is no doubt an essential part of the global fight against terrorist threat.
The so called ISIS in West Africa key affiliate — the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) popular known as Boko Haram -- operating predominantly in the Lake Chad basin states is known to raise money using several mediums and methods –ranging from cash by local and international support networks; ransom from Kidnaping; forced taxation; fishing, looting farm products , cattle rustling; highway robbery and other market-socio-economic related activities.
The current case of Gubio:
In Gubio Local government area (LGA) an ISWAP unit under the leadership of one Amir Modu Kinnami an indigene of Gubio, have adopted tactics of accessing foodstuff, fuel and other products to enhance revenue generation mechanism by controlling some of the markets in the LGA. Local sources have identified the following targeted market days to include;
1. The GUBIO Market that operates on MONDAY'S and other market days.
2. GAZABURE Market that operates on FRIDAY's.
3. ZUMA LAWAN BUKARYI, Mobbar LGA Market that operates on FRIDAY's which also serves as the market where rustled cattle are sold.
4. GUDUMBALI, Guzamala LGA, Market that operates on Wednesday, the market serves as a meeting point for the exchange of rustle cattle.
5. Benishiekh market, Kaga LGA, the market operates on Mondays. This market enables the insurgents to exchange mobile phones, payment of informants, recharge cards purchase, food items, buying and repairs of mobiles phone etc.
6. Other food items and fuel are easily accessed via JAKANA, MINOK and Babangida and Gaidam in Yobe state, mostly through transporters and firewood sellers who collaborate with insurgents to give them safe passage to fetch firewood.
Sources also revealed that essential daily used items such as grain flour, Maggi, Maize, beans and other stuffs are purchased by third parties from Maiduguri. Some of the supportive items distributed by state, international and local INGOs are moved to the markets by businessmen linked with relief materials distributed to IDPs.
Preventing Boko Haram ISWAP terrorist financing in Nigeria and the Lake Chad basin states require a robust and comprehensive state and Federal strategic plan. One that involves local awareness of identified methodologies – from local dynamics to collaboration and coordination with regional and international states. Like every other organisation, terrorist groups have to survive and money is at the heart of their ability to sustain their activities.
An effective Trace – track, block and prosecute mechanism of terrorist sources of funding will inhibit these organisations from recruitment, logistics and the capacity to launch attacks on soft civilian and hard military targets.
If you see something say something!!
David Otto is the Director for Stepped In – Step Out UK Ltd and a Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Expert. He is a Certified Anti -Terrorism Specialist (CAS), a Certified Master Anti -Terrorism Specialist (CMAS) and a programme trainer with the Anti -Terrorism