Mexican Asylum Seekers into US Are to Be Returned Back for Asylum Proceedings

law enforcement, News, Politics, SEcurity

The U.S. has reached a deal with the Mexican government to force asylum seekers at its southern border to remain in Mexico while they wait to bring their case before an American immigration judge, a process that could take several months or even years, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced at a congressional hearing on Thursday.

The new policy, effective immediately, is the latest attempt by the Trump administration to curb what it insists are loopholes in the immigration system. Like many of its immigration policies, the plan was likely to face pushback in court.

Nielsen’s announcement before a House Judiciary Committee came as President Donald Trump remained locked in a bitter dispute with lawmakers over whether to shut down the government if he doesn’t get the money he wants to buy a border wall.

PHOTO: A mother migrating from Honduras holds her 1-year-old child after surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol agents for illegally crossing the border near McAllen, Texas, June 25, 2018.
A mother migrating from Honduras holds her 1-year-old child after surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol agents for illegally crossing the border near McAllen, Texas, June 25, 2018.more +

“We have a huge problem with asylum fraud,” Nielsen told the House panel. “We need to work together to combat that.”

Nielsen’s testimony encountered immediate pushback from congressional Democrats who called the plan a misguided attempt to demonize immigrants.

“Is it as (though) you can’t see the realities of modern immigration or the contributions of anyone who came from countries other than Norway or other parts of Europe,” said Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Illinois. “It’s as though you and others in the administration are blind.”

At issue is how the United States decides who should be granted asylum, a right granted to migrants by U.S. and international law. According to the Homeland Security Department, border officials have seen a surge in migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and that the vast majority are granted entrance into the United States after passing a “credible fear” interview.

DHS said in a statement Thursday that in nearly half of these cases in 2018, the person later failed to appear at a hearing or file an asylum claim, indicating that the person likely opted to remain illegally inside the U.S. As a result, DHS says, only 9 percent of people from those three countries are ultimately granted asylum.

John Cohen, a former acting under secretary at the Homeland Security Department and an ABC News contributor, noted that the law does allow for the federal government, through the attorney general, to deport someone to a “safe third country” pending an asylum claim, if there is bilateral agreement.

But, the law requires that the person’s “life or freedom” not be threatened, and that the person claiming asylum still have “full and fair” access to the U.S. immigration system. That means it’s likely the U.S. will have to devote resources to either bring people into the United States to see an immigration judge, or set up U.S. courts in Mexico — a highly unusual situation that presents legal complications, Cohen said.

“It’s highly probable this will be challenged in court,” Cohen said. “It’ll be up to the courts to determine whether processing someone in Mexico is consistent with the law or not.”

PHOTO: Central American migrants taking part in a caravan heading to the US, line up to borrow a sleeping pad, after arriving at a temporary shelter, set up in a stadium in Mexico City, Nov. 5, 2018.
Central American migrants taking part in a caravan heading to the US, line up to borrow a sleeping pad, after arriving at a temporary shelter, set up in a stadium in Mexico City, Nov. 5, 2018.more +

Administration officials said they expect a dramatic drop in asylum claims if people are not allowed to enter the U.S. and are instead forced to wait in Mexico. Several Republicans on the House committee said they supported the move.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the plan “historic” and said that the Mexican government has promised to give the migrants humanitarian visas to stay on Mexican soil, as well as the ability to apply for work.

“We think that they (migrants seeking asylum) will now see that they can’t disappear inside the United States, and so they will remain in their home countries,” Pompeo told Fox News host Laura Ingraham.

Mexico has previously refused to accept the return of migrants who aren’t Mexican citizens. But earlier this week, the U.S. signed a joint declaration with Mexico promising to invest $5.8 billion in southern Mexico and the three countries where most of the migrants were coming from — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The administration also promised a U.S.-Mexico business summit next year and a cabinet-level meeting in January.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department called the latest agreement to allow U.S. asylum seekers to remain in Mexico was a temporary, humanitarian measure)

Trump has been under political pressure from his supporters to take a hard line with immigration. While illegal crossings fell during his first year in office, they have returned to previous levels.

The president’s other executive actions aimed at curbing those crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border have faced setbacks in court. On Wednesday, a federal judge blocked a separate policy that restricts asylum claims of migrants fleeing domestic and gang-related violence. Another federal judge in California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against a Trump administration rule that made anyone who crosses the southern border outside a port of entry ineligible for asylum.

Trump has expressed frustration in recent days that he hasn’t been able to fulfill his promise to build a border wall.

“When I begrudgingly signed the Omnibus Bill, I was promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership,” Trump tweeted. “Would be done by end of year (NOW). It didn’t happen! We foolishly fight for Border Security for other countries – but not for our beloved U.S.A. Not good!”

ABC News reporters Conor Finnegan and Luke Barr contributed to this report.Sponsored Stories

Advertisements

Hunters said they were ready to help infighting terrorists provided they were incorporated in the salary scheme and provided with enough logistics to fight the terrorists. The National Adviser of Board of Trustees of the association, Chief Yusuf Alao, disclosed this while receiving a confirmation certificate as the new National Adviser of the association.

hunters said they were ready to help infighting terrorists provided they were incorporated in the salary scheme and provided with enough logistics to fight the terrorists.

The National Adviser of Board of Trustees of the association, Chief Yusuf Alao, disclosed this while receiving a confirmation certificate as the new National Adviser of the association.

He lamented the high rate of terrorism in the country, saying, the hunters are capable of fighting terrorism anywhere in the country.

He said: “The Federal Government ought to be paying us salaries as a way of encouraging us to fight the menace of terrorists in the country.

“The payment of salary to hunters is our rights, because we are working tirelessly for the Federal Government not only in the fight against terrorism, but, protecting lives and properties.”

He boasted that the hunters remained the most competent and powerful in fighting terrorism in Nigeria.

He said: “We, hunters, are capable to fight terrorists; we have the traditional power which makes us different from others in curbing terrorism in Nigeria.

“The police and the soldiers do not have the kind of power we have, and that is why some of them, while fighting the terrorists lose their lives in the process.

“The Federal Government should also consider us because we are doing great job for them, we are not relenting, most of the time we are always in the bush working diligently for government.”

via Hunters; pay us we’re ready to fight terrorism — NEWSSPLASHBLOG

Hunters; pay us we’re ready to fight terrorism — NEWSSPLASHBLOG

Boko Haram, Herdsmen, law enforcement, News, Politics, SEcurity

ORGANISING NGOS AND FAITH-BASED ORGANISATION FOR DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES

Boko Haram, Herdsmen, Islam, law enforcement, SEcurity, Terrorism, War

Counterterrorism has to be woven into the everyday workings of every department. It should be included on the agenda of every meeting, and this new role must be imparted to officers on the street so that terrorism prevention becomes part of their everyday thinking.” Kelling, G L. & William K. B, (2006) Policing Terrorism, Civic Bulletin 43, New York: Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, September 2006.

Terrorism has become a political tool in the 20th century and its spread has become so dynamic that it has now become on of the “new wars” that nations today fights. Emergency response and preventive measures have to become more flexible and adapt to the dynamism of attacks. Terrorist related incidence must be documented, researched and evaluated in line with local needs. The current randomness of terror attacks in Nigeria put all at risks and we must have a structure plans in place to restrict and mitigate these strikes.

Basic understanding of terrorism, its goals and operational method would have sufficed in allowing for designing proper response. It is a waste of resources fighting a reactive battle against terrorists. The Nigerian response to terrorism has been flawed by the lack of institutional understanding of what terrorism is all about. Proactive resources can only be deployed when we are all able to deduce the fact that terrorism is not fought using heavy machinery and standing armies but through employment of psychological warfare that is designed based on proper analysis of the terror groups operational methods, recruitment operations and goals.

Terrorism is a form of rebellion against the state. Modern terrorists have better equipment and global media as its mouthpiece. The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism, (START) Department of Homeland Security Think-Thank based in the University of Maryland, United State is one of the center set up by the US government to analyse and design engagement protocol for counter-terrorism in US. One of the conclusion of this center that changed the US counter-terrorism engagement was the fact that in over 1000 years of review of terrorism engagement by states globally, the use of military force eliminated the threat in only 4% of such engagements, while the use of proper local security, policing and development programmes was able to achieve end of these groups in more than 40%.

Development NGOs are committed to working towards economic, social or political development in developing countries. The Norwegian bilateral aid agency, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) defines development-oriented NGOs as organisations that “attempt to improve social, economic and productive conditions and are found both as small community-based organisations at village and district levels, and as large professional development agencies at state or national level”

Northern Nigeria economic environment has been described as backward and has continued to regress in the period after the 1970s. The average Disposable Income, access to education and basic infrastructure has equally fallen in the past decades. Lack of access to proper education has created a huge mass of unemployable youth in an environment experiencing a burgeoning youth population. Available data point at a growing youth population in an environment without corresponding growth in infrastructure and industry has led to high pressure on resources leading to perennial class conflict in the region.

Failure of government institutions to deliver on appropriate economic and infrastructural reforms has led to conflicts between state officials and citizens. Increased distrust of officials has led to several clashes and self-help actions. Uncoordinated rebellions in the past decades had eventually matured into current terror operations by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The war on terror have been severely stunted by the growing supply of radical youths from the stock of unemployable youth that littered the streets of northern Nigeria in need of sense of spiritual emancipation from years of poverty and lack. Many literatures had maintained the fact that poverty is not an impetus for rebellion acts yet it has been proven through direct observation that rebellion thrives where the state failure and poverty is evident. As a matter of fact, the basis for international humanitarian efforts in Africa has been based on prevention of high criminality that may result from unchecked growth in poverty and hunger in several failing states in the continent.

One major challenge to the provision of public infrastructure development has been in the slow bureaucratic processes and the attendant high corruption of government officials in most African countries. NGOs and Community Based Organisations has been a bridge between the people and the government in actualizing people oriented development projects.

As development actors, NGOs have become the main service providers in countries where the government is unable to fulfill its traditional role. In the education sector, many NGOs have moved beyond ‘gap- filling’ initiatives into capacity building activities. This paper seeks to address the role of NGOs in development through the lens of capacity building. Through academic articles and NGO working papers, we can determine the effect of NGOs on capacity development and their role in building capacity on all levels, using a framework based on positive hypotheses:

NGOs are increasingly involved in capacity development. As the development discourse leans towards developing skills and tools for strengthening society, NGOs have reacted accordingly. They wish first and foremost to remain important stakeholders in development and to impart their extensive knowledge in the education sector. This involvement changes the ways in which NGOs operate. Capacity-building activities complement traditional service provision, though this does not mean that all NGOs have good relations with government.

In any case, NGO activities are increasingly diverse. They have an impact on the interpretation of capacity development. NGOs are influenced by the ideology of capacity development as defined by the hegemonic development discourse, but they also influence its meaning from the outside. This modified interpretation of capacity development can weaken central government but strengthen it in the long term. NGOs have the capacity to innovate and adapt more quickly than national governments; therefore, their actions can undermine government initiatives. But if they scale up their activities and impart their knowledge and techniques at the government level, the country as a whole can benefit.

NGOs have a significant impact on the whole process but are also plagued by severe obstacles. NGOs continue to suffer from a lack of resources and from their general estrangement from the state. Unless they become partners with government, and not competitors, capacity-building initiatives will continue to be stunted.

The environment in Northeastern Nigeria remains inundated by high-level insecurity that makes development programme seem essentially impossible. While most stakeholders abstained from the area due to high risk factor and the ongoing sate of emergency has further negated the infrastructural capacity of these three states under the military onslaught on the insurgents. The apparent lack of trust for state institutions in these areas will make the use of conventional government MDA approach to development clearly unwelcome. Locally based NGOs, CBOs and FBOs can easily breach this gap and stand in as the only way to reach out and provide succor to non-combatants and civilians in these areas. Government should provide funds for locally established and managed Community Based and Faith Based Organisations to drive development agendas in the tri-violent states of Yobe, Bauchi and Borno to kick start development in these areas.

The advantage of using locally based organisations in handling the development programmes in these areas are two pronged:

1. Train employable locally Based service delivery experts: One of the problems with the region remains in the increasing number of unemployable youth, given low economic activities in the areas. Inflow of fresh funds may increase economic activities and create expansion of local industry to support the increase in demand for resources in the area. The use of locally based personnel should avail the growth of necessary local experts needed for the entrenchment and maintenance of programme. The failure of most INGOs has been traced to the lack of proper local supports for their programme.
2. Increase trust in the process: Most locals may become part of the process since it is being handled through local personnel known to them. Trust in the process may enhance collaboration and could boost the programme at all level.

Recommendations:

Civil societies or NGOs in Nigeria has had a cheered history, from a vibrant, uncompromising and result focus pre-independence era, through a government hampered and corrupt operation before mid-1990s to a strong indivisible front during the democratic struggles of the late eighties and this era of political activism, corrupt leadership and weaken structure.

Regrettably, there cannot be a sustainable reform without the supports and inputs of the civil societies. Civil societies are needed to act as middlemen between the policy makers and their communities. Hence the role of these groups in reforms may includes:

• Raising public awareness on issues and reasons for reforms: There is a need for proper information, direct and people oriented to educate the public. These should not be media driven but generated and managed by the people. The CS could be empowered through seminars and workshops to educate the public on the needs for direct engagement in programmes and their roles in reforms in Nigeria.
• Promoting debates and talks on issues, practices, challenges and reforms required:
Policies can only succeed when the public opinion form its bedrock. The NGO programme should be directed to organize formal public debates and hearings on important policy and inform the state of their reports.
• Spreading Reform Information:
Organizing and maintaining civil societies in areas where there is no awareness and education level is low. Thereby reaching out to lower cadres of the society with proper information on reforms.
• Monitoring and Evaluating the Reform Processes: Exposing and reporting to appropriate authorities’ misconducts, demanding transparency and accountability from all security organization through a nationwide monitoring system. Reporting and writing articles on reform issues to educate the public and the police officers alike.
Creating framework and opportunities for future reforms through the setting-up of bodies to monitor and collate data on PSC operatives and organizations and the police operations in all areas of the country.
• Partnering:
Organizing local and international workshops, talks and town hall meetings to share, discuss, teach and compare feedbacks on policing issues from different unit of the society and publishing their memorandum in national press.
• Act as links between the public and police:
Encouraging and involving community groups in policing, creating neighborhoods watch and vigilante groups -under proper legislations- to guard and secure their environment.

Don Michael Adeniji, MA, pnm
Director, Security Policy Analysis.
African Initiative for Peace and Human Development

Houston police chief: Vote out politicians only “offering prayers” after shootings – Tillet

Corruption, Crime, law enforcement, Politics, SEcurity

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo slammed elected officials for inaction on the state and federal level in response to repeated shootings at schools across the country. His comments come in the wake of the latest school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas which left 10 people dead.

Appearing on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Acevedo said that political leaders are failing to heed the will of the voters when it comes to gun regulations and reforms.

“Let me tell you, people at the state level and the federal level in too many places in our country are not doing anything other than offering prayers,” Acevedo said. “We need to start using the ballot box and ballot initiatives to take the matters out of the hands of people that are doing nothing that are elected into the hands of the people to see that the will of the people in this country is actually carried out.”

Acevedo added that “local governments are starting to make a difference” by enacting their own reforms.

“I think that the American people, gun owners — the vast majority of which are pragmatic and actually support gun sense and gun reform in terms of keeping guns in the right hands,” Acevedo said.

Acevedo posted on Facebook that he had “hit rock bottom” and “shed tears of sadness, pain and anger” over the Texas killings. The post went viral in the days after the shooting.

On Sunday, he said that one policy to consider would be stronger laws mandating proper security of guns in private homes. According to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the suspect used a shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver which his father owned legally. Abbott told reporters that he didn’t know whether the father was aware his son had obtained the weapons.

“If you have firearms in your home and you do not secure them and you don’t secure them in a manner that can preclude someone from grabbing them and taking them and carrying out this carnage, [there] is a criminal liability that attaches,” Acevedo suggested.

He added, “I believe that anyone that owns a firearm that doesn’t secure it properly [and it] ends up in the wrong hands and used to kill innocent people, that that should carry some significant consequences. We need to think about that on the national level across this country.”

IGP plotting to set me up – Saraki

2019 Elections, APC, law enforcement, Nigeria, SEcurity, Uncategorized

Senate President Bukola Saraki says Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), is planning to implicate him.

Speaking while presiding over plenary on Wednesday, Saraki said Abdulfatah Ahmed, Kwara governor, called him him Tuesday night to give him the information.

The senate president said from what he learnt, the IGP ordered that some suspected cultists arrested in Illorin should be taken to Abuja where their statements will be altered to implicate him and the state government.

He said the action is a recipe for anarchy.

“Last night, my state governor, revealed to me an information at his disposal that a group of suspects who have been arrested in our state for cultism, whose investigation has been completed and were about to be under prosecution under the state law on the advise of the ministry of justice, all of a sudden were ordered to be transferred to Abuja this morning,” Saraki said.

“The information reaching him from the commissioner of police that they have been directed by IGP to bring them to Abuja. With the information that he has, they would find how to alter their statement already made in Ilorin and try and implicate the state government and particularly myself. I feel that as we speak now, these suspects are already here in Abuja.

“These acts I don’t know whether to call it desperation or intimidation, all actions to undermine our democracy, a recipe for anarchy because we are doing our work by asking officials to obey the law, due process and subject themselves to constituted authority.

“I think it is important to call your attention to this dangerous development. The impunity happeneing in this country is a danger to our democracy.”

The IGP refused to honour the invitation of the senate on three separate occasions. In anger, the upper legislative chamber branded him an enemy of democracy, saying he is unfit to hold any public office.

https://wp.me/p8kB6r-1QID

The homeland security chief told colleagues she was close to resigning after President Trump berated her in a cabinet meeting over border security

international News, law enforcement, News

homeland-bb86f416-da0d-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581.jpg

Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary, told colleagues she was close to resigning after President Trump berated her on Wednesday in front of the entire cabinet for what he said was her failure to adequately secure the nation’s borders, according to several current and former officials familiar with the incident.

Ms. Nielsen, who is a protégée of John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, has drafted a resignation letter but has not submitted it, according to two of the people.

Read More »

Two Obvious Gaffe in the Tuccano Purchase

APC, law enforcement, News, PMB, Politics, SEcurity, Tech, Terrorism

Buhari-Saraki-and-DogaraThe hue and cry on the propriety of the Federal Government payment for 12 unit of A-29 Tuccano Super Fighter Jets without due consent from the National Assembly still remain a mystery in public discussions. Clear facts revealed that several terror groups are challenging Nigerians’ security and killing innocent civilians on daily basis; the Nigerian Army need better air support to dislodge these terror groups especially the Boko Haram from their entrenched hideouts; it is a fact that the Tuccano is cheaper and retained all capabilities of more advanced fighter jets avionics; the Tuccano are also designed and has been used for guerrilla warfare and low level fast attack operations in areas similar to the Northeast Nigeria terrains, which make them ideal for the current security challenges in Nigeria; and to top these, the aircrafts have one of the lowest operation costs in the industry –at less than $1000USD per flight hour.

Incredible credentials for a turboprop trainer converted for low-intensity combat operations, so why the challenges on the purchase. We have tried to assuage two major facts behind the obstreperous challenges of this payment of $496 million for 12 A29 Tuccano Super Fighter Jets by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Unit Cost:

 Average costs of the Nigerian purchase for these jets remained the highest ever paid. The airframe cost of the Tuccano as paid by the Dominican Republic for training purposes was a mere $8m. Industrial facts put the costs of a Tuccano at about $12m for a fully equipped versions though recent American buys of Super Tuccano for Afghanistan have come out to between $20 and $30 million because of inflation, different equipment, the inclusion of long-lead spares, and other factors.

The Nigeria government paid a total of $496m for 12 aircrafts giving an average of $41.33m each. Discounting the fact that four of the order were filled for basic airframe suited for Pilot trainings, the average could go higher than $50m per aircraft. Experts reasoned that Nigeria could have purchased better equipment for the price we are currently expending on these Tuccanos.

Delivery Date:

Given the expediency of current security challenges in Nigeria and the attendant-growing spate of attacks in the country, the purchase of the Tuccano would have been a welcome idea if the jets will be available to join in the fray immediately. The delivery dates for these equipment by the American government is in 2020. The jets might not come into formal usage before the end of 2020 give need for training of pilots and tests of equipment before formal commissioning and deployment.

For a nation with a depressed economy fighting serious on-going battle with terrorists using current scarce resources to purchase equipment that might not come into service to aid current security onslaught could be “technically flawed”.

Okowa believes Enforcement of Antigrazing Laws could put an End to Killings in Nigeria

Crime, Herdsmen, law enforcement, Nigeria, Politics, SEcurity, Terrorism

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Sunday called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to encourage cattle ranching so as to stop incessant killings between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria.

Okowa, who spoke at the St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Ekpan, Uvwie Local Government Area of the state during the third session of the 12th Synod of the Diocese of Warri, Anglican Communion, noted that open grazing should be highly discouraged.

The governor, who decried the killings by suspected herdsmen across the country, posited that it was time for those involved in cattle rearing to embrace ranching.

He said, “Herdsmen/farmers clash is a national problem and as a state, we are trying to bring the crisis to the barest minimum. As a nation, we must go into ranching for our cattle.

“It is our hope that necessary actions will be taken for us to go into ranching. We cannot continue to allow our cattle to be roaming around.”

Okowa, however, disclosed that he had sent a bill to the state House of Assembly seeking to criminalise youths harassing and extorting money from companies and property developers.

The governor, accompanied by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, the state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olorogun Kingsley Esiso and other top government functionaries, warned youths in the state to stop such practice as anyone caught would be dealt with.

“We have sent a bill to the Delta State House of Assembly which will criminalise ‘deve’ (extortion) by youths and anyone who is found guilty will go to jail.

“Anyone who is caught causing trouble, no matter how highly placed you are or who your sponsors are, will face the wrath of the law. We like the peace we are enjoying in the state,” Okowa added.

Source: DailyPost.ng

TechCrunch: Our “modern” Congress doesn’t understand 21st century technology

law enforcement, Legal, Politics, Power, SEcurity

TechCrunch: Our “modern” Congress doesn’t understand 21st century technology . “Facebook is a business that sells social connection, its algorithms are made for targeted advertising. The data that we users provide via friends, likes and shares makes their model lucrative. But connecting a person to a pair of shoes cannot be the same engagement algorithm that we use to build a cohesive democratic society. Watch any hearing on Capitol Hill. It’s a durable, if old fashioned bridge between leaders and citizens. Informed deliberation could be a lot more compelling, but it can never compete on the same turf with funny GIFs and targeted videos. Algorithms optimized for commercial engagement do not protect public goods like democratic discourse. They are built for shareholders, not citizens. To the contrary, they can exploit and damage democracy’s most precious resource– civic trust.”

https://wp.me/p6lZHy-9e1

ATF Agent Shot in the Face While Working Undercover in Chicago

Crime, law enforcement, News

A federal agent was shot in the face early Friday while working undercover in a joint mission with Chicago police officers on the South Side. BY MADELINE BUCKLEY AND JEREMY GORNER  CHICAGO TRIBUNE

USNEWSCHICAGOATFAGENT3TB
Chicago police mark evidence and gather at 44th Street and South Hermitage Avenue near where an ATF agent was shot and critically injured while working undercover in a joint mission with a Chicago police task force, Friday, May 4, 2018.
JOSE M. OSORIO/CHICAGO TRIBUNE/TNS

CHICAGO — A federal agent was shot in the face early Friday while working undercover in a joint mission with Chicago police officers on the South Side, authorities said.

The agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was wounded around 3:15 a.m. near 44th Street and Hermitage Avenue in the Back of the Yards, not far from Davis Square Park, police said. He was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, but officials said his injury was not considered life-threatening.

A second officer was taken by ambulance to a hospital for observation, but was not injured.

No one was in custody.

The agent was part of a strike force formed last June to cut the flow of illegal guns into Chicago and crack down on people repeatedly arrested on gun charges, officials said. Twenty ATF agents were assigned to the task force, along with 20 officers from the Chicago Police Department and the Illinois state police.

In Back of the Yards, the ATF agents have teamed with Chicago police to investigate gang-related rifle shootings that have become more common in that area over the last two years. The Tribune has reported that more than 140 people have been shot — 50 of them fatally — from the fall of 2016 to the end of 2017 by gang members wielding rifles as their use spread across the South and Southwest sides.

Officials said the agent was shot during an investigation of illegal guns, but no details were available.

Luz Campos, who lives several houses down from the shooting, was in her kitchen tending to a toddler when she heard someone say, “Open the door. Open the door.”

She then heard what she thought were fireworks. “Then the cops were coming,” Campos said.

She stepped outside with the young boy and saw a rush of police cars. The boy stood behind her and waved to an officer who was walking toward the shooting scene. The officer waved back.

Other neighbors said they heard a barrage of gunshots. One woman said they were too numerous to count.

Another woman, who was asleep on a couch in her front room, said she awoke to continued gunfire. “We just heard a lot of shots,” she said.

By sunrise, groups of ATF agents and Chicago police officers — at least two of them high-ranking department officials—walked up and down 44th Street near the shooting. Gusts of wind shook yellow crime tape as children with backpacks headed to school.

———

©2018 Chicago Tribune

Nigeria: Boko Haram Has Massacred over 2,000 Teachers, Destroyed 1,000 Schools

Africa, Boko Haram, Crime, Islam, law enforcement, News

booUtomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

by Edwin Mora3 May 20189
The Nigeria-based terrorist group Boko Haram, a name that translates to “Western education is a sin,” has killed 100,000 people since it began waging its insurgency in 2009, including 2,295 teachers and hundreds of students in the northeastern part of the country alone, officials from the African nation revealed this week.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari believes Boko Haram is fading in northeastern Nigeria and the quality of life in the region is “improving.”

 

Nigeria’s Minister of Education Adamu Adamu released the grim data on the teacher fatalities on Wednesday.
On Monday, Buhari spoke to Voice of America (VOA), indicating that “life in the country’s northeast is improving, as the threat of Boko Haram militants recedes and people return to their homes and farms.”
In addition to the 2,295 teachers killed in attacks linked to Boko Haram in the northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa State, the terrorist group has displaced another 19,000 teachers since 2009, Adamu declared, the African nation’s Premium Times newspaper reports.
Adamu, “who expressed concern over the systematic destruction targeted at education, said 2,295 teachers have been killed and 19,000 others displaced in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States in the last nine years.”
advertisement
Premium Times notes that Adamu indicated that “without access to quality learning, the Nigerian child is not only being deprived of education but also robbed of future opportunities which will affect the entire society.”
Nigerian President Buhari has accused young people in his country of being “lazy.”
Minister Adamu also noted that the jihadists had destroyed about 1,500 schools resulting in more the 1,280 casualties “among teachers and students” since 2014 alone.
Borno state is considered Boko Haram’s birthplace.
Northeastern Nigeria’s vast Sambisa Forest – which covers parts of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Kano states – is identified as Boko Haram’s last stronghold in the country.
advertisement
The Nigerian figures echo data from the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) data released in April, which also revealed Boko Haram has indeed killed at least 2,295 teachers, adding that it has destroyed over 1,400 schools.
“Boko Haram has abducted more than 1,000 children in northeast Nigeria since 2013, the United Nations’ children’s agency announced Friday [April 13],” ABC News reported.
Citing UNICEF, ABC News added, “Most of these schools haven’t been able to reopen due to extensive damage or ongoing insecurity in the area.”
As of early April, Boko Haram jihadists had killed at least 120 civilians this year and injured 210 others, Breitbart News learned from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has falsely claimed on several occasions to have defeated Boko Haram, but the terrorist group is known to continue wreaking havoc.
advertisement
On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump hosted his counterpart Buhari at the White House.
Trump vowed to work with Nigeria to combat the Boko Haram threat and to deal with attacks on Christians who are targeted by the jihadist groups and Muslim Fulani herdsmen with whom the Nigerian leader shares his ethnicity.
Critics have accused Buhari of being lenient towards the Fulani militants.

Beyond Boko Haram – James H. Barnett

Africa, Boko Haram, Crime, Islam, law enforcement, News, PMB

Buhari-and-Trump-650x330.png

Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty
Muhammadu Buhari and Donald Trump (above) held a joint press conference at the White House on April 2018.

America’s biggest partner in Africa faces a host of internal crises—and its approach to security only makes matters worse.
I once asked a Nigerian taxi driver in a moment of cheap, Tom Friedman-esque curiosity what he wished Americans knew about his country. He responded, “Great culture. Horrible politics.”
It’s hard to imagine a pithier formulation of Nigerian society. Contemporary Nigerian literature is diverse and internationally acclaimed. The Nigerian brothers known as P-Square were Africa’s biggest rap act until they broke up last year, “Nollywood” cinema has spread across the continent thanks to ever-higher production values, and the Nigerian diaspora is one of the best educated in the world.

At the same time, if there are four words most Americans would associate with the country, they are not those of my sagacious cabbie but rather the ones on the signs held by Michelle Obama, Julia Roberts, and other luminaries in 2014: Bring Back Our Girls. The kidnapping of nearly 300 Chibok schoolgirls by the jihadist group Boko Haram was an international cause célèbre featuring a cast of familiar characters: a depraved millenarian warlord, a helpless group of children, and an outraged international community.
But if much of the public’s image of the country is that of an archetypal African tragedy, American investors and politicians are finding Nigeria increasingly difficult to ignore. It is one of the 30 largest economies in the world and among the 10 biggest exporters of oil. It is home to more Muslims than Egypt and more Christians than Italy. It is one of the barometers by which outsiders measure Africa’s progress or lack thereof. Nigeria is at the heart of the “Africa rising” narrative championed by optimists who contend that a young, entrepreneurial population is unleashing Africa’s economic potential. It is also exhibit A for skeptics on the right and the left who worry about the expansion of Islamist militancy across Africa, about the economic and political effects of climate change, or about the dangers posed by exploitative multinationals in the third world.
The country is inarguably America’s most important strategic partner in Africa, and on April 30, Donald Trump welcomed Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, to the White House. The 75-year-old former military leader, who recently announced that he will seek reelection in 2019 despite concerns about his health, is the first African leader the president has hosted since taking office. Discussions of counterterrorism and economic growth dominated the meeting. The issue of terrorism has driven U.S.-Nigerian relations in recent years as Boko Haram and then its splinter group, the Islamic State in West Africa, have made a name for themselves within the global jihadist network.
Trump, like his predecessor, is understandably reluctant to commit U.S. troops to fight Boko Haram, preferring to leave counterinsurgency efforts to the Nigerian security forces and their partners from Chad, Niger, Cameroon, and Benin, which together constitute the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF). A small contingent of U.S. special operations forces provides training and assistance. The presence of these advisers undoubtedly deters some of the task force’s more egregious behavior, but the incompetence and abusive practices of the Nigerian security forces nonetheless pose a massive impediment to an effective counterinsurgency. In late 2016, the Obama administration withheld the sale of a dozen A29 Super Tucano aircraft to Nigeria over human-rights concerns. The Nigerian Air Force’s accidental bombing of a refugee camp in January 2017 only validated the concerns further. In December, the Trump administration approved the deal on the grounds that the aircraft would give a much-needed boost to our partner’s fitful efforts against an Islamic State-affiliate.

Boko Haram is far from defeated despite the Nigerian government’s frequent claims to the contrary. While the group’s territorial control has diminished significantly, it still moves freely throughout much of the countryside and can stage large-scale assaults and suicide bombings in northeastern Nigeria, as well as in neighboring Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. The kidnapping of 110 more schoolgirls this February in Dapchi, a northern Nigerian town previously untouched by the violence, should belie any claims that the insurgents are on the back foot. Further, the task of reconstruction in those areas that have been cleared is immense: Millions of Nigerians have been displaced during the nine-year insurgency.
Most Nigerians, though, have never viewed Boko Haram as the greatest threat to the country. More pressing is the growing violence between Fulani pastoralists and non-Fulani farmers in the Middle Belt, the region of states in central Nigeria that are the crossroads between the country’s Muslim north and Christian south. Religious questions have shaped the Middle Belt since the early 19th century, when the charismatic Islamic scholar Usman dan Fodio led the Fulani in a jihad against the Hausa kingdoms and established the Sokoto Caliphate. With British soldiers and traders in the late 19th century came Christian missionaries. Until 1914, the British governed Nigeria as two separate colonies: a southern Nigeria where they proselytized, invested, and built up infrastructure, and a northern one, ruled indirectly and neglected economically. The British promoted a distinct northern identity based on Islam and on Hausa and Fula culture, in opposition to a Christian south dominated by ethnic Igbo and Yoruba (though home to dozens of other ethnicities). Nigeria has never fully overcome the cultural divide resulting from the unification of these two colonies over a century ago.
If the Middle Belt has long seen cultural and religious disputes, the scale of the recent violence is nonetheless notable. A sectarian narrative that has begun to emerge around the various localized conflicts paints Muslim Fulani herders—pushed ever further south in search of pasture as a result of desertification—as an invading force linked to international jihadists. Ethnic militias have formed as the lines between reprisal and preemptive attack blur. Local politicians have rallied their constituencies around these militias as forms of collective defense in the absence of any effective security presence by the state.
The balance of power between north and south is the perennial question in Nigerian politics. Buhari is an ethnic Fula with close ties to a trade group of herders. Impartial as he considers himself, Buhari is attacked incessantly in the Nigerian media, especially by non-Fulanis, for the government’s poor response to the Middle Belt crisis. His recent comments blaming the violence on an influx of weapons through the Sahel following the fall of Qaddafi prompted a deluge of mockery on social media. President Trump may have been alluding to the Middle Belt during his joint press conference with Buhari when he expressed concern about the killing of Christians in Nigeria, saying that “we’re gonna be working on that problem . . . very, very hard.” If his administration is concerned about the plight of Christians in the Middle Belt and hopes to play a constructive role, it first needs to recognize that the sources of the conflict are complex, that the violence is not one-sided, and that sectarian narratives are liable to exacer­bate tensions.

Buhari’s government is also increasingly at odds with Nigeria’s Igbo population. For the past six years, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), an Igbo separatist movement, has combined a mythical pseudo-zionism that posits the Igbo as descendants of ancient Hebrews with very legitimate historical grievances to agitate for independence. The group takes its name from the Republic of Biafra, the self-proclaimed Igbo nation whose attempted secession led to the Nigerian Civil War of 1967-70. In its own words, IPOB seeks to free its peoples from the “shackles of caliphate domination and creeping Islamization” and to remedy the injustices of the civil war, during which more than a million people died in a famine that many scholars consider an act of genocide. IPOB supporters protested outside the White House on April 30, holding signs accusing Fulani of being Sudanese invaders. One explained to me that for Biafrans to accept Buhari’s government would be akin to America accepting rule by the Taliban.
Buhari’s government has officially labeled IPOB a terrorist organization. The Igbo number some 32 million within Nigeria’s population of 190 million, and while IPOB does not necessarily enjoy sympathy among a majority of them, a heavy crackdown on the movement could fuel widespread resentment against the government. The group’s founder, Nnamdi Kanu, disappeared last September after security forces raided his house. The Nigerian government claims to be ignorant of his whereabouts, but IPOB supporters believe he was murdered. Boko Haram’s founder, Muhammad Yusuf, was executed in 2009 while in the custody of security forces, who claimed he died in a failed escape attempt. Leaked footage of his killing turned him into a martyr and helped the insurgency gain traction among wider segments of the population in the northeast. If Kanu has been similarly killed, his death could push many Igbo into the arms of IPOB or even more radical movements.
If IPOB wishes to resurrect the cause of a decades-old conflict, the oil-rich Niger Delta is a region where conflict risks emerging as the result of much fresher wounds. Fighting in the delta began in the 1990s thanks to disputes between foreign oil companies and local minority communities such as the Ijaw and Ogoni. The pervasive corruption of the Nigerian state ensures that most of the profits from the oil industry go to political and business elites in Lagos and Abuja while the delta communities grapple with the environmental damage. The conflict accelerated after the execution of several peaceful Ogoni activists by state security forces in the mid-2000s. Militants frequently blew up or sabotaged pipelines and kidnapped foreign workers for ransom. In 2009, President Umaru Yar’Adua announced an amnesty that included monthly stipends for any militant who would disarm, as well as lucrative contracts to guard oil installations. This bribery tempered the insurgency, but it did not prevent the militants from continuing their other criminal activities (which include drugs and arms trading).
When Buhari took office, he diverted $1 billion from Nigeria’s excess crude account to ramp up the fight against Boko Haram. This cut into the slush fund for the delta militants and, inevitably, prompted a backlash. The fact that Buhari is Fulani led many in the delta to see his move as an attempt to reward a northern community at the expense of the delta populations. That the fight against Boko Haram has been accompanied by staggering corruption has only contributed to this image. In March 2016, a new group called the Niger Delta Avengers began attacking pipelines, causing Nigeria to temporarily fall behind Angola as Africa’s largest oil producer.

The Avengers’ attacks have not yet reached the scale of the conflict prior to the amnesty, but they have exposed a crippling weakness in Nigeria’s approach to security. The smash-and-forget model of brutally suppressing dissent to the point that it morphs into insurgency and then buying off the militants leaves the state in perpetual fear of old foes taking up arms again. In the Niger Delta, any time erstwhile militants are dissatisfied with the state patronage, they can put a stranglehold on the country’s economic lifeblood by attacking the oil infrastructure. What does this foretell for the conflicts in the Middle Belt or for Nigeria’s small Shia population, hundreds of whom were killed by security forces during 2015 protests?
Nigeria’s shortcomings in governance and conflict resolution are intertwined with the generational challenges arising from an ever-more populous and diverse society. If Boko Haram is defeated, the Nigerian government will still face a northeastern population that largely supports political Islam in one form or another. And regardless of if and how the Middle Belt conflicts are resolved, Fulani herdsmen must grapple with an ecological reality that means many will have to seek other forms of livelihood than the pastoralism which has defined their communities for centuries. The Nigerian government can presumably prevent a Biafran state from ever taking form, but Igbo nationalism will not die quietly. The list goes on.
These challenges are as old as the country’s independence from Britain in 1960, and proposals for greater decentralization have gained influential backers in recent years. “Efforts at wishing away the problem associated with the Nigerian federation have only resulted in several tribal, ethnic, and religious movements that have even metamorphosed into terrorist syndicates,” Yakubu Dogara, a stalwart in Buhari’s All Progressives Congress party and the speaker of Nigeria’s house of representatives, said in March. “One can, therefore, no longer fold his arms but engage some of the issues that have confronted us as a nation and threatened the federation.”
Any plan faces strong opposition from many in the country’s political elite, but the rise of such discussions reflects a recognition of the need for new thinking. U.S. policy towards Nigeria, on the other hand, continues to be driven by the same short-term security concerns. The U.S. approach clearly recognizes the gravity of the threat posed by jihadist groups in West Africa. But if the United States ignores Nigeria’s counterproductive approach towards managing both violent insurgency and peaceful dissent, the partnership will be marred by perpetual concern that Nigeria’s conflicts never die, but simply lie dormant.

James H. Barnett is a Public Interest fellow in Washington, D.C.

 

 

Melaye Arraigned, Released on Bail by Court, Rearrested by Police

2019 Elections, APC, Crime, Entertainment, law enforcement, Nigeria, Politics

Many erupted in laughter at a high court in Abuja on Thursday when Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, displayed a bottle of coke, tissue paper, toothbrush and toothpaste to journalists after he was arraigned.

The federal government arraigned Melaye on a two-count charge.

The senator was accused of deliberately giving false information to the police to frame Edward David, chief of staff of Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, for an attempted murder on his life.

Melaye was also accused of making a false statement of facts in a phone conversation with Mohammed Abubakar, son of the late Abubakar Audu, former governor of Kogi, with the intention of harming the reputation of Bello’s chief of staff.

Melaye was granted bail in the sum of N100,000 by Olasumbo Goodluck, the judge handling the matter.

But speaking with journalists after the bail, Melaye said he came prepared in case he was not granted bail.

“I came prepared… just in case the judge didn’t grant me bail, I am ready to go to prison,” Melaye said.

His trial will commence on May 16.

In a comical twist, Melaye got his dream fulfilled as the Police later arrested him and put him in custody immediately he left the court halls.

The police say they arrested Dino Melaye, after he was granted bail in court as a result of pending charges against him. Melaye was arrested on Wednesday after he was granted bail in a magistrate court in Abuja where he was charged with attempted suicide, and criminal conspiracy.

Nigeria Airforce Take Delivery Of Two Brand New Mi-35M Russian Gunship Helicopters in Benue State

law enforcement, Military, News, Tech

Nigeria Air heliNigeria Air Fheli1orce recently took delivery of some Mi-35M Antonov Russian designed helicopter gunships. The 2 additional brand new Mi-35M helicopter gunships were offloaded at the Nigerian Air Force NAF Base in Makurdi, Benue state by Cargo aircraft.

Top military personnel were on ground to take delivery of the brand new helicopter gunships.

Receiving the aircraft at the flight line of the Tactical Air Command (TAC) of the NAF Base, in Makurdi, on Monday, Chief of Aircraft Engineering, NAF Headquarters, Abuja, AVM Abdulganiyu Olabisi, disclosed that the newly-acquired aircraft would, in a few days time, be assembled and taken to Kaduna where they would be officially inducted as part of the 54th NAF Day celebration.

heli3

“The helicopters in a few days from now will be assembled. We are happy that we have a team of Russian engineers who are going to assist in the reassembling of these helicopters. Thereafter, they would be taken to Kaduna where they will be officially inducted as part of the 54th NAF Day celebration. Thereafter, the helicopters will be deployed to conflict zones,”

Also speaking, Director, Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters Abuja, AVM Olatokunbo Adesanya said that the MI-35M helicopter is one of the most sophisticated aircrafts in the category of the MI-35 gunships which has a unique feature of night fighting capacity.