On Thursday September 6th 2007, the United States Mission in
Militant attacks on multi-billion dollar Western oil facilities in the Niger Delta are common, but there has never been any large scale terrorist attack on Western targets outside the Niger Delta. Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe berated foreign diplomats on Wednesday following the warning over what he said were excessive concerns voiced by their countries about insecurity in the delta. The
As soon as the report broke, the Acting Inspector General of Police quickly met with the consular of the Embassy in
It should be noted that the September 11th attack hit hard at the United States in spite of country’s being security conscious with billions of dollars voted for Homeland Security and the alertness of their security agencies. Should the terrorist threat be taken with a pinch of salt despite its being played down? With the porous nature of our borders and numerous illegal immigrants in the country without an ongoing database, the threat, though played down is real. There are many questions begging for answers. How prepared are our security agencies? How conscious are we as a people to report suspicious and strange people in our midst given the relationship between the citizens and the security agencies? And also given that the threat of terror is borderless and can happen anywhere, we should take the threat seriously.
How will it be detected if a terrorist decides to place a high caliber bomb under the
I still cannot fathom how a terrorist with the promise of martyrdom and who decides to bring down any of the high rise buildings on
How safe are our airports? In
But sadly this is not the case in our dear country where ordinary burglars, pickpockets and armed robbers have a field day plying their trade unmolested. How about the different high profile crime cases in the country? The truth is that we should pray that such calamity should not befall us for we are simply not ready to prevent it or manage the aftermath, the reassurances of the authorities not withstanding. But it should also be noted that majority of our people are not security conscious and are not in the habit of reporting suspicious movement, strange faces and are not about to change despite security warnings.
One should indeed be surprised that our authorities are not viewing the threat of a terrorist attack with the red alert it requires. My point is that the threat of a terror attack is real, warning or no warning. Nigerians should be conscious of this. In the wake of the terror attack on US in 2001, the incidences of attack increased worldwide. The following indices that it can happen would suffice. In 2003, there was massive slayings in the Al-Qaeda bombing of the
Again, after Bin Laden’s comment, a little-known group called the Nigerian Taliban launched a series of armed attacks on police stations and government buildings in the remote Northeast states of Yobe and Borno in late 2003 and early 2004.This prompted a military crackdown in which at least 20 people were killed. The Taliban, who said they wanted an Islamic state in
The counter terrorism department of our various security agencies should follow up on any known and perceived threat and nip it in the bud. Preemptive strikes are a major tool of counter terrorism. Though because of the sophistication of recent attacks and because terrorist organizations violate rules of modern warfare established in
The event also gave us our contemporary sense of terrorism as highly theatrical, symbolic acts of violence by organized groups with specific political grievances. Black September’s political goal was negotiating the release of Palestinian prisoners. They used spectacular tactics to bring international attention to their national cause.
What is most distressing about this turn, as religion scholars’ points out, is terrorists’ departure from any real religious precepts. Muhammad Atta, the architect of the 9/11 attacks, and the Egyptian hijacker who was driving the first plane, was a near alcoholic and was drinking vodka before he boarded the aircraft. Alcohol would be strictly off limits for a highly observant Muslim. Atta, and perhaps many others, are not simply orthodox believers turned violent, but rather violent extremists who manipulate religious concepts for their own purposes.
According to the United States Counter Terrorism Unit and the Department of Homeland Security, international terrorism has shown no sign of abating in the next fifteen years due to lagging economies, ethnic affiliations, intense religious convictions, creating conditions likely to spawn internal conflict. The governing capacity of states, however, will determine whether and to what extent conflicts actually occur. Those states unable both to satisfy the expectations of their peoples and to resolve or quell conflicting demands among them are likely to encounter the most severe and most frequent outbreaks of violence. We must move away from these conditions and strengthened our internal security to avert any major disaster on our nation.