Monday, December 24, 2012

Nigeria: Ansaru, an Off-Shoot of Boko Haram, Claims Responsibility for Kidnapping of French Engineer

According to Reuters, and as a follow-up to my posting of December 22, Ansaru, a splinter group of the Nigerian terrorist group, Boko Haram, has claimed responsibility for abducting French engineer Francis Colump, 63, who is employed by the French multinational firm of Vergnet.

The abduction occurred at the Frenchman's residence in the small town of Rimi.

Mr. Colump was kidnapped by Ansaru on December 19, with a massive kidnap team of roughly 30 gunmen.

Ansaru's full organizational name is Jama'atu Ansarul Musilimina Fi Biladis Sudan, which roughly translates as "Vanguards for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa".

COMMENT: Last month the UK designated Ansaru a terrorist organization, saying it was philosophically aligned with al-Qaeda and was behind the kidnapping of a British and a Italian killed earlier this year during a failed joint British-Nigerian rescue attempt.

With Colump's abduction, nine French citizens are now being held hostage in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Seven others are in the arid Sahel belt and one in Somalia.

It is unknown as to when a multinational force might be deployed in northern Mali. Hopefully, the timetable of such a deployment should be kept secret.