• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Islamist Threat Spreads from Mali into Nigeria, Threatening U.S. Energy Security

    Photo credit: IAN LANGSDON/EPA/Newscom

    French President Francois Hollande told reporters yesterday that Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group based in Nigeria, abducted a French family of seven, including four children, in northern Cameroon.

    Hollande noted the continuing role of France in the fight against Islamist radicals in Mali and said the French parents and their children, who work for a French company in Cameroon, were kidnapped near the northern Nigerian border. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius reminded reporters that eight French citizens are already being held in West Africa’s Sahel region by al-Qaeda-affiliated groups. “It shows that the fight against terrorist groups is a necessity as they threaten all of Africa,” he said.

    Over the weekend, seven foreigners were also abducted in northern Nigeria’s Bauchi state, and al-Qaeda-linked Ansaru took responsibility. Gunmen killed a guard and kidnapped seven foreign workers from Britain, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, and the Philippines. CBS News reports that “Boko Haram, whose name means ‘Western education is sacrilege’ in the Hausa language of Nigeria’s north, has demanded the release of all its captive members and called for strict Shariah law to be implemented across the entire country. The sect has killed both Christians and Muslims, as well as soldiers and security forces.”

    Radical Islamist groups in northern Nigeria have now become the biggest threat to the political stability of the largest oil producer in Africa. This rising risk can be seen in Nigeria’s steadily declining economic freedom scores in The Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal’s annual Index of Economic Freedom.

    Nigerian light sweet is one of the highest quality crudes in the world. Nigeria is the sixth-largest foreign supplier of oil to the United States.

    The fate of Nigeria needs to be a major concern to Washington. The Administration needs to take a stand against this growing Islamist threat. They have waited too long hoping this uncomfortable situation would resolve itself. At least calling Boko Haram the terrorist group they clearly are would be a huge step forward. The Nigerians have helped other African nations repeatedly, often stepping in where it was not appropriate for the U.S. to intervene in any sort of a direct way. Is it not time for America to at least give Nigeria rhetorical support?

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.