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By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Jacob Zenn
Collusion between the shadowy northern Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is raising the specter that internationally linked Islamic terrorism may be reaching deeper into the heart of Africa than the Obama administration is willing to acknowledge.
The Islamist militant group Boko Haram has conducted terrorist attacks in Nigeria that bring it closer to al Qaeda in northern Mali, making linkages between the groups more likely and more dangerous, according to a paper published by the Combating Terrorism Center.
"The fact that AQIM became a leader in the coalition that ruled northern Mali for almost a year and had free rein to operate in northern Mali, and store very high-powered weapons that originated in Libya, and had the ability to move them south and west, into Nigeria through Niger — that's huge," said Jacob Zenn, who has written extensively on Boko Haram for the Jamestown Foundation.
"Once AQIM took power with a coalition in northern Mali, you saw more rocket-propelled grenade attacks in Nigeria," said Mr. Zenn, presently a legal adviser at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law. "So there was a link between the two chronologically."