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NATO Weapons Helped Make Boko Haram World’s Deadliest Terror Group

Published: December 15, 2015
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Source: New American

The Nigerian Boko Haram terrorist group was responsible for 6,644 deaths in 2014, compared to 6,073 attributed to ISIS, making it the deadliest terrorist group in the world last year. And, in what has become a disturbingly familiar pattern in the rise of terrorist organizations, Boko Haram’s growing strength is a direct consequence of NATO’s war on Libya.

This information about the relative deadliness of Boko Haram and ISIS was part of a report recently released by Global Terrorism Index, a project of the Sydney, Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). The results were cited in an article by freelance writer Dan Glazebrook originally published by RT on November 27 and reprinted with permission the next day by the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

In his article, Glazebrook observed that when Boko Haram began its terrorist operations in 2009 (the group was founded in 2002) it had very little in the way of sophisticated arms. Glazebrook quoted from a 2014 article by Peter Weber in The Week that traced the improvement in Boko Haram’s weaponry, which had “shifted from relatively cheap AK-47s in the early days of its post-2009 embrace of violence to desert-ready combat vehicles and anti-aircraft/ anti-tank guns.”

As for how Boko Haram’s weapons cache had increased so dramatically, Glazebrook wrote:

This dramatic turnaround in the group’s access to materiel was the direct result of NATO’s war on Libya. A UN report published in early 2012 warned that “large quantities of weapons and ammunition from Libyan stockpiles were smuggled into the Sahel region,” including “rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns with anti-aircraft visors, automatic rifles, ammunition, grenades, explosives (Semtex), and light anti-aircraft artillery (light caliber bi-tubes) mounted on vehicles,” and probably also more advanced weapons such as surface-to-air missiles and MANPADS (man-portable air-defense systems).

NATO had effectively turned over the entire armory of an advanced industrial state to the region’s most sectarian militias: groups such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and Boko Haram.

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