Saturday, November 16, 2019

Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute: "Turkey: Arming Genocide of Christians in Nigeria?"

Turkey: Arming Genocide of Christians in Nigeria?

Concerning Turkey’s increasingly suspect role in supporting jihadis — most recently, ISIS’s slain leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was found hiding in Syria’s “last refuge” for jihadi rebels, just three miles from Turkey’s border — one of the least mentioned is Turkey’s apparent alliance with the “other” ISIS, that in Nigeria, Boko Haram.
During a recent episode of bi’l waraqa wa’l qalam (“With Paper and Pen”), an Egyptian news program that airs on TenTV, its host, Nasha’t al-Deyhi, said:
Leaked information confirms that Turkey is a terrorist state; it supports terrorists — including with weapons. It supports terrorists with weapons. This time, however, not in Syria … Today’s leak confirms without doubt that Erdogan, his state, his government, and his party are transferring weapons from Turkey to — this is a shock, to where you may ask — to Nigeria; and to whom? — to the Boko Haram organization.
He then played an intercepted audio of what he said were Mustafa Varank (currently Turkey’s Minister of Industry and Technology) and Mehmet Karatas (a manager at the partly state-owned Turkish Airlines).
The gist of their brief conversation in Turkish, according to the Arabic transcript, is that weapons were being transferred from Turkey to Nigeria — and that there was a concern that the weapons might kill not just Christians but Muslims.
(This audio clip would seem to be the same leaked recording that was first reported by international media outlets in 2014. Varank served as Senior Advisor to Recep Tayyip Erdogan between 2011 and 2018.)
According to al-Deyhi, the recording is proof positive that Turkey is the one supplying Boko Haram with its weapons — including sophisticated weapons — the source of which has long puzzled international observers. He also offered to send the audio with translations to the Nigerian government, and apparently anyone else interested.
Boko Haram is an Islamist terrorist organization centered in Nigeria and spreading throughout west Africa. It has long engaged in the sorts of atrocities that ISIS is known for — mass slaughterchurch bombingskidnapping, rape, forced conversion —  years before ISIS was even founded. As Nigeria is roughly half Christian and half Muslim, Boko Haram’s primary target has been Christians. Boko Haram and other Muslims — particularly the Fulani tribesmen, whose sophisticated armaments have also puzzled Western observers — have been slaughtering Christians to the point of genocide.
As for the issue of distinguishing between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, Islamic law makes clear that Muslims, when prosecuting the jihad, should be careful not to kill fellow Muslims. For instance, according to a 2012 report, after Boko Haram stormed a college in Nigeria, they “separated the Christian students from the Muslim students, addressed each victim by name, questioned them, and then proceeded to shoot them or slit their throat,” killing up to 30 Christians.
Some Nigerian activists have already acted on this information by bringing it to the attention of U.S. lawmakers. According to an October 11, 2019 Nigerian news report by Steve Oko:
A US-based lawyer and rights activist, Emmanuel Ogebe, has filed a petition to the United States of America over alleged arms supply to Boko Haram terrorist organisation by Turkey.
According to Ogebe, President Edorgan [sic] of Turkey is one of those supplying Boko Haram with arms.
In a petition to the US Congress wired via a US Congress man [sic], Chris Smith, the lawyer alleged that a Turkish aircraft was directed to airlift arms to Nigeria for Boko Haram.
According to the petition made available to Wawa News Global, discussions between the airline manager and government officials were intercepted by Egyptian Intelligence.
In his letter to Congressman Smith, Ogebe writes:
An Egyptian TV program has again drawn attention to a concern I raised in testifying before your committee of evidence that Turkish Airlines surreptitiously flies armament into Nigeria. As a business operating in the US, I once again urge for proper scrutiny, investigation and sanctions as necessary. As we approach the sixth anniversary of the FTO [foreign terrorist organization] designation of Boko Haram, it is important that those sanctions be enforced especially as Turkey’s current onslaught on the Kurds could potentially recalibrate ISIS which already has a West African phalanx in Nigeria.
Erdogan has turned “Turkey into a safe haven for Hamas terrorists and a financial center for funneling money to subsidize terror attacks,” Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, recently said; “While he [Erdogan] was busy murdering those who have helped keep the world safe from the threat of ISIS, he allowed ISIS members to break out of prison and subject the world to future attacks.”
Worse, it appears that Erdogan’s sponsorship of terrorism may not be limited to neighboring Middle Eastern nations; it appears to have reached deep into Africa. A serious investigation with possible sanctions is in order.
Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Sword and Scimitar, Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.


RAYMOND IBRAHIM is a widely published author, public speaker, and Middle East and Islam specialist.  His books include Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West (Da Capo, 2018), Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (Regnery, 2013), and The Al Qaeda Reader (Doubleday, 2007).
Ibrahim’s writings, translations, and observations have appeared in a variety of publications, including the New York Times Syndicate, CNN, LA Times, Fox News, Financial Times, Jerusalem Post, United Press International, USA Today, Washington Post, Washington Times, and Weekly Standard; scholarly journals, including the Almanac of Islamism, Chronicle of Higher Education, Hoover Institution’s Strategika, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, and Middle East Review of International Affairs; and popular websites, including American Thinker, Bloomberg, Breitbart, Christian Post, Daily Caller, FrontPage Magazine, NewsMax, National Review Online, PJ Media, and World Magazine. He has contributed chapters to several anthologies and has been translated into dozens of languages.
Among other media, he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, and NPR; he has done hundreds of radio interviews and some of his YouTube videos (here and here for example) have received over a million views each.
Ibrahim guest lectures at universities, including the National Defense Intelligence College, has briefed governmental agencies, such as U.S. Strategic Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and has testified before Congress regarding the conceptual failures that dominate American discourse concerning Islam and the worsening plight of Egypt’s Christian Copts.
Ibrahim’s dual-background—born and raised in the U.S. by Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East—has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former. His interest in Islamic civilization was first piqued when he began visiting the Middle East as a child in the 1970s. Interacting and conversing with the locals throughout the decades has provided him with an intimate appreciation for that part of the world, complementing his academic training.
After a brief athletic career—including winning the 1993 NPC Los Angeles Bodybuilding Championship as a teenager—Raymond went on to receive his B.A. and M.A. (both in History, focusing on the ancient and medieval Near East, with dual-minors in Philosophy and Literature) from California State University, Fresno. There he studied closely with noted military-historian Victor Davis Hanson. He also took graduate courses at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies—including classes on the history, politics, and economics of the Arab world—and studied Medieval Islam and Semitic languages at Catholic University of America. His M.A. thesis examined an early military encounter between Islam and Byzantium based on arcane Arabic and Greek texts.
Ibrahim’s resume includes serving as an Arabic language and regional specialist at the Near East Section of the Library of Congress, where he was often contacted by and provided information to defense and intelligence personnel involved in the fields of counterterrorism and area studies, as well as the Congressional Research Service; and serving as associate director of the Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia think tank.
He also often functions as a journalist and has been a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution and news analyst for a variety of media.  His knowledge of Arabic and familiarity with Middle Eastern sources have enabled him to offer breaking news.  Days before the Obama administration blamed an anti-Islamic movie for Muslim uprisings against a U.S. consul and an embassy in Libya and Egypt respectively, Ibrahim showed that the demonstrations were pre-planned and unrelated to the movie.  Similarly, he was first to expose an Arabic-language Saudi fatwa that called for the destruction of any Christian church found on the Arabian Peninsula.
Raymond Ibrahim is currently Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center; Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute; and Judith Friedman Rosen Fellow at the Middle East Forum.