Nigeria Muslim Cleric Hate

Nigeria sect leader lauds al-Qaida, threatens US

(AP) Jul 13, 2010

LAGOS, Nigeria A leader of a radical Nigerian Muslim sect that sparked violence that killed 700 people last year has issued a statement mourning the deaths of al-Qaida in Iraq commanders and threatening the U.S.

Imam Abubakar Shekau, a deputy for the Boko Haram sect whom police claimed to have killed during the July 2009 violence, issued the statement on a jihadist Internet forum. The message, translated Tuesday by the SITE Intelligence Group, shows Shekau also praises Osama bin Laden and says: "Do not think jihad is over. Rather jihad has just begun. O America, die with your fury."

The message comes as the one-year anniversary of the violence approaches. Shekau made a videotaped statement in April claiming the group would launch new attacks.

Muslim cleric sentenced to death
11/10/2006 - (SA)  

Kano - A high court in northern Nigeria's Adamawa state on Tuesday sentenced a leader of an unorthodox and militant Islamic sect on the run for 22 years to death by hanging, said reports.

Musa Ali Suleiman, 51, was found guilty of three charges of murder, conspiracy and incitement of public disturbance, said reports.

The presiding judge Bamari Bansi, who was also the state's chief judge, ordered that Suleiman be hanged on the first charge of murder and sentenced him to 21 years in prison and 12 strokes of the cane as well fining him $770 for incitement.

According to reports, he also received a six months jail term for criminal conspiracy.

2,000 people killed

Suleiman led followers of his heretic Maitatsine Islamic sect in bloody intra-religious violence in 1984 in the state capital, Yola, which led to the deaths of 2 000 people and large-scale destruction of property.

The group believed only in the Qur'an, rejected all aspects of Islamic theology and was opposed to modernity. They branded other Muslims as infidels who must be converted through violence.

As well as in Yola, there were similar outbreaks of strife in Kano and Maiduguri, but the leaders of the sect in these two cities were killed in a military crackdown.

Suleiman managed to escape and was on the run until March 2004 when he was arrested in Abuja before being transferred to Yola.

He rejected the judgment through his lawyer, Innocent Daagba, and declared his intention to appeal the sentence.


Nigerian Muslim cleric detained over al Qaeda case

Thu 8 Feb 2007

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, Feb 8 (Reuters) - A Muslim cleric has been detained in northeastern Nigeria in connection with a man accused of taking $300,000 from al Qaeda to assist a group called the Nigerian Taliban, officials said on Thursday.

The cleric, Mohammed Yusuf, is a well-known preacher in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state in the country's Muslim-dominated north. Police fanned out in the area around the mosque where he usually preaches as news of his detention filtered out.

"Yusuf is with us and we are taking him to Abuja for a chat. He's already cooperating," said Ruben Amawo, director of the State Security Services, the secret police, in Borno state.

He said Yusuf was a close associate of Muhammed Damagun, a media company director whom prosecutors last month accused of taking money from al Qaeda in 2002 to arrange combat training in Mauritania for 17 members of the Nigerian Taliban.

The case relates to a short-lived spate of attacks in 2003 and 2004 by the self-styled Taliban, a group of reclusive Islamists in the far north of Nigeria with no known connection to the Afghan Taliban.

Yusuf, who often includes anti-Western sentiment in his sermons, was known at the time as a sympathiser of the mysterious group.

The Taliban launched a series of armed attacks on police stations and government offices in Borno and neighbouring Yobe, prompting a fierce military crackdown in which at least 20 people were killed and several others captured.

The group, who said they were fighting for an Islamic state in Africa's top oil producing country, have hardly been heard of since then.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is split about evenly between Muslims and Christians. The northern half of the country is predominantly Muslim although significant Christian minorities live there.

The two major religions coexist peacefully most of the time although inter-religious violence sometimes breaks out. These conflicts are often intertwined with land, ethnic and political disputes.

Muslim mobs killed about 50 Christians in Maiduguri a year ago in riots sparked by a controversial public hearing over a plan to extend the president's tenure. About 100 Muslims died in reprisal killings in the southern city of Onitsha.