Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Iraqi VP predicts return to sectarian violence

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Iraqi VP: Sectarian violence to returnvar cnnWindowParams=window.location.toString().toQueryParams();if(typeof cnnWindowParams.video!="undefined"){if(cnnWindowParams.video){cnnLoadStoryPlayer('world/2012/01/30/intv-pleitgen-iraq-hashemi-predicts-return-to-sectarian-violence.cnn','cnnCVP1', '640x384_start_art' ,playerOverRide,T1);}} else {$('cnnCVP2').onclick=function(){if ($$('.box-opened').length){$$('.box-opened').each(function(val){Element.fireEvent(val,'click');});}cnnLoadStoryPlayer('world/2012/01/30/intv-pleitgen-iraq-hashemi-predicts-return-to-sectarian-violence.cnn','cnnCVP1','640x384_start_art',playerOverRide,T1);};$('cnnCVP2').onmouseover=function(){$('cnnCVP2').className='cnn_mtt1plybttn cnn_mtt1plybttnon';};$('cnnCVP2').onmouseout=function(){$('cnnCVP2').className='cnn_mtt1plybttn';};}He accuses al-Maliki of "pushing my country to reach a turning point"The violence could require the return of U.S. forces, he says"The future of Iraq is grim," he adds

Irbil, Iraq (CNN) -- Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi has lashed out at Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, predicting that Iraq could soon return to widespread sectarian violence that could require the return of U.S. forces.

"Al-Maliki is pushing my country to reach a turning point with deeply sectarian dimension," the Sunni vice president told CNN on Sunday during an interview in the semiautonomous Kurdish region in the north, where he has fled so that government forces loyal to the Shiite prime minister cannot execute an arrest warrant for him on charges of running a death squad.

He expressed concern that Americans "will face the same problem as they faced in 2003," when a U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq, toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein and unleashing a wave of sectarian violence.

And he said he did not understand how U.S. President Barack Obama is able to characterize Iraq as a free, stable and democratic country.

"What sort of Iraq we are talking about?" he asked. "How the Americans will feel proud? How the American administration is going to justify to the taxpayer the billion of dollars that has been spent and at the end of the day the American saying, 'Sorry, we have no leverage even to put things in order in Iraq'?"

Though Iraq's instability may not affect this year's election campaign in the United States, "it is going to affect the American interest in the region, and they should be very much concern about that," al-Hashimi said. "The future of Iraq is grim."

The arrest warrant for al-Hashimi was issued last year, days after the Sunni majority bloc Iraqiya suspended its participation in Parliament amid that claims it was being cut out of the political process. The bloc ended that boycott on Sunday as a "gesture of goodwill." But a separate boycott of the Cabinet remains in place.

Al-Hashimi denied the charges against him as politically motivated. He accused al-Maliki of having "put my home and my office under siege" during the three months before he fled to the Dokan resort about 400 km (250 miles) north of Baghdad.

"I kept patient on that, hoping that al-Maliki is going to behave sensibly sometime, and things aggravated," al-Hashimi said.

Asked whether al-Maliki is becoming a dictator, al-Hashimi was blunt: "What sort of explanation could I give for a real and serious power consolidation?" he asked. "What could the average Iraqi people or the American citizen ... say for the prime minister to be chief in command, the minister of defense, the minister of interior and the chief of the national security?"

The charges appear to have been based on the confessions of three security guards for al-Hashimi. Iraqi state-run TV has aired video of the men's confessions. CNN cannot independently verify their identities.

An official in al-Hashimi's office, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of security concerns, has said the men may have confessed under duress.

In one confession, a man detailed roadside bombings and shootings that targeted government and security officials in 2009. He said orders at times came directly from al-Hashimi and at times through his son-in-law, Ahmed Qahtan, who is a senior member of his staff.

The man alleged that the vice president thanked him after a number of attacks.

The man in the video said al-Hashimi ordered him to map out security locations and checkpoints for the Baghdad Brigade, which protects the Green Zone. He said he was speaking out to "clear his conscience" and "expose this criminal."

Since October, Iraqi security forces have rounded up hundreds of people accused of being members of Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath Party or terrorists. The Sunni-backed Iraqiya coalition says most of them belong to its political bloc and that the prime minister is simply taking out his opponents.

The political turmoil in Iraq has raised concerns in Washington, with officials saying they are monitoring the reports about the arrest warrant.

"We are talking to all of the parties. We've expressed our concern regarding these developments. We're urging all political sides in Iraq to work out their differences peaceably, politically, through dialogue, and certainly in a manner that is consistent with democratic political processes and international standards of rule of law," Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said in December.

CNN's Yousuf Basil contributed to this story

ADVERTISEMENT Daniel and Amanda DeGeneres were deployed shortly after their wedding in 2007. "That was our honeymoon -- Iraq," she says. Iraq has shaped the lives of Raquel and Nathan Dukellis. Married 11 years, they've been apart nearly half of it with training and deployments. He was an intelligence officer when the war started. Now he is seeking justice for his fellow soldiers with a new weapon -- the courts. December 5, 2011 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT) Troops go to court, rather than on the hunt, for insurgents who killed U.S. soldier. CNN's Martin Savidge reports. With the current Iraq war winding down, reporters, producers and executives share the stories that they'll remember from the wars.December 9, 2011 -- Updated 1517 GMT (2317 HKT) CNN was there as Sgt. 1st Class Tim Willingham spent his last day in Iraq after three tours of duty. December 7, 2011 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT) At Camp Warrior in Iraq, most U.S. troops have left, but a wall with the names of the fallen remains. December 6, 2011 -- Updated 1517 GMT (2317 HKT) Youssif shows off his "certificate of citizenship," an award given to the Iraqi boy by his school in Los Angeles for being exceptionally nice. Images from conflict photographer Ben Lowy's Iraq series show life in the war-torn country from a Humvee and through night-vision goggles.Today's five most popular storiesMoreADVERTISEMENT

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Afghan officials, Taliban may hold talks in Saudi Arabia

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U.N. nuclear team lands in Iran

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A six-member International Atomic Energy Agency arrives in Tehran, Iranian media saysThe agency head worries that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, he saysIran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposesThe IAEA chief has said he hopes to trip can "clarify" military dimensions of Iran's program

(CNN) -- Top International Atomic Energy Agency officials arrived in Iran Sunday, state media reported, after the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog expressed fresh concerns that the Islamic republic was trying to develop nuclear weapons.

The six-member delegation, including chief inspector Herman Nackaerts, arrived at Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport, Press TV reported.

"We are trying... to resolve all the outstanding issues with Iran," Nackaerts told reporters earlier, as he was about to leave Vienna, Austria, according to Press TV. "We are looking forward to the start of a dialogue, a dialogue that is overdue."

A mission to Iran by such a senior team -- which also includes the agency's second-in-command, Rafael Grossi -- is unusual, the agency said when it announced the visit on Monday. The team is due to be in Iran through Tuesday, the IAEA says.

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The announcement of the mission came shortly after the European Union imposed a tough round of new sanctions on Iran, aimed at cutting off funding to the country's nuclear program. The United States and Australia have also ramped up sanctions on Iran in the past week.

The United States and its allies think Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies it.

Speaking Friday at the Davos Forum in Switzerland, energy agency Director General Yukiya Amano told reporters the visit is intended "to clarify the issues with possible military dimensions.

"We are not very sure whether Iran has declared everything and, therefore, we are not very sure that everything stays in peaceful purpose," he said. "In addition, we have information that Iran has engaged in activities related to the development of nuclear weapons. Therefore, we need to clarify."

"The preparations have gone well, but we need to see what actually happens when the mission arrives," he said.

Inspectors are in and out of the country regularly, an agency spokeswoman said Monday, but a high-level visit of the kind taking place at the end of the month is more unusual.

Iran's envoy to the energy agency said Saturday he was hopeful the trip will "resolve any ambiguity and show (our) transparency and cooperation with the agency."

"This trip is aimed at neutralizing enemy plots ... and baseless allegations, and proving the peaceful nature of our nuclear activities," Ali Asghar Soltanieh told state-run Islamic Republican News Agency.

Amano said that the energy agency proposed the mission, and Iranian authorities "agreed to accept" it. But the Islamic news agency reported Nackaerts is traveling at Tehran's invitation.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he was ready to discuss the program with a group of world powers that have been having on-and-off negotiations with the country over its nuclear ambitions -- including Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

The energy agency reported in November that it can no longer verify that the Iranian nuclear program remains peaceful, and Iran is under increasing international pressure to halt its nuclear fuel work.

Western sanctions have targeted its currency, the rial, driving up prices for goods within Iran, and the European Union announced Monday that it would stop importing Iranian oil as of July 1 in an effort to starve the country's nuclear program of funding.

In response, an Iranian official said Sunday that Tehran would stop oil exports to "certain countries," soon, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi made the statement after a cabinet meeting Sunday, as Iranian lawmakers are debating whether to halt oil exports to European countries, IRNA reported.


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No decision yet on charges against doctor in bin Laden raid

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Panetta: Doctor should be releasedvar cnnWindowParams=window.location.toString().toQueryParams();if(typeof cnnWindowParams.video!="undefined"){if(cnnWindowParams.video){cnnLoadStoryPlayer('politics/2012/01/28/nr-panetta-obl-doctor.cnn','cnnCVP1', '640x384_start_art' ,playerOverRide,T1);}} else {$('cnnCVP2').onclick=function(){if ($$('.box-opened').length){$$('.box-opened').each(function(val){Element.fireEvent(val,'click');});}cnnLoadStoryPlayer('politics/2012/01/28/nr-panetta-obl-doctor.cnn','cnnCVP1','640x384_start_art',playerOverRide,T1);};$('cnnCVP2').onmouseover=function(){$('cnnCVP2').className='cnn_mtt1plybttn cnn_mtt1plybttnon';};$('cnnCVP2').onmouseout=function(){$('cnnCVP2').className='cnn_mtt1plybttn';};}Panetta's remarks on Pakistani doctor likely to not help his case, analysts sayDefense chief Leon Panetta talked about Dr. Shakeel Afridi's role on "60 Minutes"The Pakistanis accuse Afridi of treason for helping the United States gather intelligenceThe commission's recommendation of charges is non-binding, the official says

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan has not yet decided whether to try a Pakistani doctor for high treason for assisting the United States in gathering intelligence ahead of the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, a senior Pakistani government official said Monday.

"It's the federal government who will decide whether to try the doctor for high treason or not," the official said. "At this stage, the decision hasn't been taken to try the doctor."

The official did not want to be named because of the matter's sensitivity.

Dr. Shakeel Afridi helped the CIA use a vaccination campaign in an attempt to collect DNA samples from residents of bin Laden's compound in the city of Abbottabad to verify the terror leader's presence there ahead of the May raid.

In October, a commission recommended treason charges be filed. The official said Monday that the recommendation was non-binding.

"A case of conspiracy against the state of Pakistan and high treason is made" against Afridi, Pakistan's Information Ministry said at the time, summarizing a commission's investigation into the death of the al Qaeda leader.

The senior official said Afridi is under the custody of law enforcement, but he denied he is being held by the nation's spy agency ISI, or Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate.

The role of the doctor was first reported by the British newspaper, The Guardian, in July.

The Guardian said that in the course of gathering intelligence for the raid, the CIA recruited the doctor to run a vaccination program in the area. The goal was to try to obtain DNA evidence from bin Laden family members, the newspaper said, citing unnamed Pakistani and U.S. officials.

Any DNA obtained from the people in the compound could then be compared with a sample from bin Laden's sister, who died in Boston in 2010, as evidence the family was in the compound, the newspaper said.

Neighborhood residents told CNN that two women who appeared to be nurses visited homes and offered free vaccinations.

Shazia Bibi said she was vaccinated for hepatitis B in April when two women came to her home near bin Laden's compound and identified themselves as health workers.

"Whoever gets this vaccination will never get hepatitis B," Bibi said one of the women told her.

Bibi said the health workers spoke in a local dialect and asked for detailed personal information and said a vaccination would not be possible without the information. She said the women were accompanied by a man who stood outside their house.

Bibi received one injection. The rest of her family was not at home at that point. She said the women left behind two vaccines but that her relatives refused them. The vaccines are still sitting in her refrigerator, she said.

The Guardian said it isn't known whether the CIA "managed to obtain any bin Laden DNA, although one source suggested the operation did not succeed."

CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood declined comment at the time.

After the raid, Pakistani officials took into custody several people who were suspected of helping the CIA. The doctor was one of them.

Since then, the United States has asked for the doctor's release and did so again Sunday.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta acknowledged publicly the key role Afridi played in an interview on CBS's "60 Minutes."

"I'm very concerned about what the Pakistanis did with this individual," Panetta told CBS. "This was an individual who in fact helped provide intelligence that was very helpful with regards to this operation. And he was not in any way treasonous towards Pakistan."

"Pakistan and the United States have a common cause here against terrorism, have a common cause against al Qaeda," Panetta said. "And for them to take this kind of action against somebody who was helping to go after terrorism, I just think is a real mistake on their part."

Panetta said Pakistan can discipline Afridi in whatever manner it deems appropriate, but the doctor should be released.

Panetta also told CBS that he remains convinced that someone in authority in Pakistan knew that bin Laden was hiding in Abbottabad, a largely military community outside the capital, Islamabad.

He said there were intelligence reports of Pakistani helicopters passing over the bin Laden compound. He also questioned why the Pakistanis would not notice the vast complex with 18-foot walls.

"So you would have thought that somebody would have asked the question, 'What the hell's going on there?'" Panetta said. "I personally have always felt that somebody must have had some sense of what was happening at this compound."

Panetta said the United States chose not to inform Pakistan of the raid due to security concerns.

"We had seen some military helicopters actually going over this compound. And for that reason, it concerned us that, if we, in fact, brought (Pakistan) into it, that they might ... give bin Laden a heads up."

But after the interview aired Sunday, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said Panetta "has seen no evidence that bin Laden was supported by the Pakistani government or that senior Pakistani officials knew he was hiding in the Abbotabad compound."

Many analysts felt U.S. officials had kept quiet about Afridi so as to not implicate him. On Monday, CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen said speaking publicly about the doctor could lead to more problems for him.

"By making it a public matter, he may have increased pressure on the Pakistanis to release this guy," Bergen said in an appearance on CNN. "That said, the United States prosecutes spies from even friendly powers."

Peter Brookes, a Heritage Foundation fellow and former deputy assistant secretary of state under President George W. Bush, said he was also puzzled by Panetta's remarks.

He said it could put pressure on Pakistan's government. "But I think things are so bad with the U.S. and Pakistan right now that it's not going to help at all," he said.

CNN's Nasir Habib contributed to this report.

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Israeli drone crashes in ball of fire

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The Israeli drone aircraft, the Eitan, is pictured in February 2010.The Israeli drone aircraft, the Eitan, is pictured in February 2010.The plane spins in the air and loses a wing before the crash, a witness saysThe drone is capable of reaching parts of Iran -- and carrying missilesNo injuries are reported and the cause is being investigated, the IDF saysIsrael uses at least three models of drones, the military says

Jerusalem (CNN) -- An unmanned Israeli airplane capable of reaching parts of Iran crashed during an experimental flight Sunday, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The Eitan-type drone spun in the air, lost a wing and crashed in a ball of fire, an unnamed witness told IDF Radio.

There were no injuries reported, and the cause of the crash is being investigated, the IDF said.

Israel unveiled the Eitan drone nearly two years ago, announcing in an unusual public demonstration of the plane's capabilities that it could fly 1,000 km (620 miles) -- putting western Iran within range.

The plane was initially designed to gather intelligence, but can be modified to carry missiles, the company that makes it said at the unveiling in February 2010.

IDF Lt. Col. Shlomo Nissim declined to go into details about the plane's abilities, but said: "The future capabilities of this vehicle will allow us to carry whatever is needed in this vehicle."

Iran drone unveiled in 2010

Israel Aerospace Industries general manager Tommy Silbering said the drone could stay aloft 24 to 36 hours.

"It will be a major weapons system of future war," he said.

The name Eitan is a Hebrew word meaning strong.

The drone has a 26m (85-foot) wingspan and 1200-horsepower engine, the manufacturer said at the launch.

Israel has at least three different types of unmanned aircraft, the IDF said in December.

CNN Jerusalem bureau chief Kevin Flower contributed to this report.

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Campaign of terror in Nigeria

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Nigerian police battle new attacksvar cnnWindowParams=window.location.toString().toQueryParams();if(typeof cnnWindowParams.video!="undefined"){if(cnnWindowParams.video){cnnLoadStoryPlayer('world/2012/01/26/lkl-elbagir-nigeria-boko-haram.cnn','cnnCVP1', '640x384_start_art' ,playerOverRide,T1);}} else {$('cnnCVP2').onclick=function(){if ($$('.box-opened').length){$$('.box-opened').each(function(val){Element.fireEvent(val,'click');});}cnnLoadStoryPlayer('world/2012/01/26/lkl-elbagir-nigeria-boko-haram.cnn','cnnCVP1','640x384_start_art',playerOverRide,T1);};$('cnnCVP2').onmouseover=function(){$('cnnCVP2').className='cnn_mtt1plybttn cnn_mtt1plybttnon';};$('cnnCVP2').onmouseout=function(){$('cnnCVP2').className='cnn_mtt1plybttn';};}Islamist extremist group Boko Haram has been blamed for multiple attacks in NigeriaAnalysts say the attacks are getting bolder and better coordinatedSome believe the group has developed ties with al Qaeda affiliates

(CNN) -- Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has suddenly shifted his attitude toward the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, as violence spreads across northern Nigeria.

A week ago, Jonathan warned the group had infiltrated the government and security forces and vowed (again) to stamp it out. But in an interview with Reuters news agency Thursday he said that if Boko Haram identified itself and stated clear demands the government was ready for dialogue. He also acknowledged that military action alone would not stop Boko Haram; and northern Nigeria needed economic development.

But Nigeria-watchers think this apparent carrot may have come too late. Boko Haram's purported leader, Abu Bakar Shekau, responded in an audio message: "We're killing police officers, we're killing soldiers and other government people who are fighting Allah; and Christians who are killing Muslims and talking badly about our Islamic religion."

Over the last month, Boko Haram has carried out multiple bombings and shootings across the north; hundreds of people have been killed. Its targets are frequently police and government officials, but most of the casualties are civilians. On one day last week, at least 200 people were killed in Nigeria's second city, Kano. (On Monday, militants launched new attacks.)

Who are the Boko Haram?

One Nigeria analyst describes the Kano attacks as a "breathtaking show of force" by Boko Haram -- one that fits a pattern of bolder and better coordinated attacks over the past year.

Joe Bavier, a writer who is a frequent visitor to the region, told CNN that the "federal government has completely lost control of the north-east, despite deploying thousands of troops and establishing a Joint Task Force." Now, he says, "it looks like this insurgency has broken out of the north-east." And what's worrying, he says, is that there's "not a whole lot of visible effort from the federal government to calm things down."

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Nigerian iReporters on uncertain present, and future

Philippe de Pontet, Africa analyst at the Eurasia Group, says that Boko Haram's main aim appears to be humiliate Jonathan's government, tapping into an existing sense of grievance among Muslims in the north. He and other analysts say the government's heavy-handed response has played into Boko Haram's hands.

"The impulse is to hit back hard and there are political pressures for a crackdown," de Pontet argues, "but Jonathan is so weak in the north that he needs to be careful not to alienate people there further."

Long the poorer part of Nigeria, the north lacks infrastructure such as reliable power. Since the end of military rule much of the region has felt excluded from the system of patronage that fuels Nigerian politics. When he acceded to the presidency in April last year, Jonathan broke the unofficial rotation of Christian and Muslim as head of state.

Goodluck Jonathan: Nigeria's embattled president

Bavier, who is with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, says poverty has fed Boko Haram's ranks. It is no longer a sect of Islamic fanatics but has the support of disgruntled politicians and their paid thugs.

One source says young men are being paid as little as $2 a day to take part in the group's attacks.

Compounding the situation, the government has so far treated Boko Haram as a security problem rather than a political problem. Because of a lack of trust, security forces find it hard to gather actionable intelligence and different security branches often compete with each other rather than share information.

A former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, says the response of the security forces so far has been "abysmal" -- which is probably why the inspector-general of police was fired this week. The State Security Service is probably the most competent branch, he says, but doesn't share intelligence.

Bavier agrees: "The security and intelligence apparatus is entirely stove-piped."

The scale of the attacks, and the subsequent discovery by police of new pick-up trucks in Kano wired to explode, suggests Boko Haram is not short of money. That in turn sparks another debate. Some analysts believe it is financing its activities through extortion and bank robberies. But the Nigerian government, the United Nations and U.S. officials say there is evidence Boko Haram is part of a wider west African jihadist movement, and has developed links with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

A U.N. report issued last week says arms smuggling throughout the region in the wake of the Libyan revolution is rampant. "Large quantities of weapons and ammunition from Libyan stockpiles were smuggled into the Sahel region," the report said. The weapons included rocket-propelled grenades, explosives and even anti-aircraft artillery.

"Some of the weapons may be hidden in the desert and could be sold to terrorist groups like al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Boko Haram or other criminal organizations," the U.N. report said.

Philippe de Pontet of Eurasia says the increasing use of suicide bombings "speak to the real possibility that this movement is getting support, training and possibly finance from outside." But, he says, Boko Haram did not grow out of al Qaeda; nor is there any evidence of foreign fighters among its ranks.

Campbell agrees, noting that its recent statements have not included jihadist slogans or anti-western rhetoric. While contacts with other groups are possible, there is no indication of close co-ordination.

The U.N. report notes that "although Boko Haram has concentrated its terrorist acts inside Nigeria, seven of its members were arrested while transiting through Niger to Mali." They were allegedly carrying contact details for known al Qaeda members.

Just as the jury is out on Boko Haram's relationship with global jihad, so there is great uncertainty about its aims and structure. Different spokesmen focus on different demands, and government officials have said there is no leadership or manifesto they can address.

Last month, one Boko Haram spokesman demanded all Christians leave the north within three days, and a subsequent video made by Abu Bakr Shekau, railed against Christians. "They killed us, destroyed our mosques and displaced us," he said. "The Christian religion that you are practicing is not the religion of Allah; rather -- it is unbelief."

But John Campbell, now with the Council on Foreign Relations and author of "Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink," says it would be simplistic to regard Boko Haram as a cohesive group motivated mainly by animosity for Christians. There is a strand that follows the strict version of Islam preached by its founder, Mohammed Yousuf; there are opportunists who rob banks and traffic arms; and there are northern politicians drawing on the discontent that Boko Haram represents.

Campbell and Bavier also point out that Boko Haram has frequently attacked figures in the wealthy Muslim establishment too -- accusing them of selling out to the federal government and not adhering to Sharia law. Bavier says many of the poor regard the traditional Muslim hierarchy as complicit in their misery. After the 2011 elections, crowds attacked and burned down the home of the Sultan of Sokoto, a pillar of the Muslim hierarchy who had supported Jonathan.

Even if Boko Haram's aim is not to split Nigeria into religious camps, the effect of its violent attacks could be hugely divisive, according to de Pontet. "If they continue to escalate," he says, "they could tear apart the ethnic and sectarian tapestry of Nigeria in slow motion."

Despite its many problems, Nigeria has natural wealth and a growth rate of 7%. Boko Haram is unlikely to have much impact on the broader economy, but Nigeria's boom is concentrated in the south and may lead to even greater inequality, and a still greater sense of grievance among the marginalized Muslim communities in the north.

Jonathan's olive branch may be intended to avoid that risk. But there is considerable political pressure on him not to make concessions to terrorists. And there is every sign that some elements of Boko Haram prefer a future of extortion -- and explosions.

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