Russian president’s envoy worried by Nigerian militants’ links with Al-Qa’idah

Text of report by corporate-owned Russian news agency Interfax

Moscow, 27 August: Mikhail Margelov, the Russian president’s special envoy for Africa, believes that Nigerian terrorists’ contacts with Al-Qa’idah and their participation in the events in the Middle East may lead to the establishment of a terrorist front in unstable Arab countries.

The series of bloody terrorist acts in Nigeria continues, Margelov told Interfax on Saturday [28 August]. "In effect, Islamists there have declared war on the state and society. The reason for unleashing it was the outcome of the election, which was won by a Christian, Jonathan Goodluck [as received]," he said.

"What causes particular concern is the Nigerian murderers’ ringleaders’ contacts with Al-Qa’idah in the Islamic Maghreb countries, and with Somali terrorists from the Al-Shabab group," Margelov said.

In his view, these contacts "may lead to the establishment of a terrorist front to the south of the Arab countries suffering from political instability".

Margelov pointed out that responsibility for terrorist attacks in Nigeria was claimed by the extremists striving to establish Shari’ah law in the country and ban Western education. Moreover, Margelov recalled, a few days ago these groups attacked the building of the UN mission in the Nigerian capital, as a result of which 18 people were killed and dozens injured.

Margelov believes that the situation is doubly dangerous because Nigerian militants and Islamists participate "one way or another" in the events of the "Arab spring". "So the actions of Nigerian terrorists affect not only the stability of oil markets but also developments in the Arab countries undergoing revolutions," Margelov said in conclusion.

Source: Interfax news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1520 gmt 27 Aug 11

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