LAGOS, Nigeria – A video posted on a militant Web site calls for Muslims in Nigeria to use “the sword and the spear” to rise up against Christians in Africa’s most populous nation, according to a translation released Tuesday by a U.S. group that monitors militant sites.
The video on the Ansar al-Mujahideen forum, a Web site sympathetic to al-Qaida, comes in the wake of a series of religious massacres and riots in central Nigeria.
The video shows television news footage and graphic images of those killed as a narrator tells viewers “the solution is jihad in the cause of Allah,” according to a translation provided by the SITE Intelligence Group.
“Negotiations, dialogues and protests will not stop the advancement of the enemies and their massacres,” the narrator says. “Nothing will stop them but the sword and the spear.”
The narrator also says the “crusader West” is interested in Nigeria for its abundant oil reserves. He refers to President Umaru Yar’Adua, a Muslim from northern Nigeria, as a “tyrant” who allowed the killing of a sect leader whose group’s attacks on police stations and rioting left more than 700 people dead in July.
Nigeria’s military ended fighting led by the group, known as Boko Haram, after seizing its leader. The group’s name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the local Hausa language. The group’s leader was later killed, and the army and police gave differing accounts of his capture that suggested that he may have died while in police custody.
The release of the 10-minute video comes after more than 200 people — mostly Christians — died last week in massacres in villages outside of the central Nigerian city of Jos. More than 300 people — mostly Muslims — died in January during rioting in the same region.
Nigeria, a country of 150 million people, is split almost evenly between Christians in its south and Muslim in its north. However, the nation has yet to see an al-Qaida-inspired terror group take hold inside its borders — despite others beginning to thrive in West Africa.
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi said nothing would stop Nigeria’s ethnic violence except splitting the nation into Muslim and Christian states, Libya’s official news agency reported Tuesday. Gadhafi told a group of African student leaders in Tripoli that the violence in Nigeria is a “deep-rooted conflict of a religious nature” that requires a radical solution.
In May 2003, Osama bin Laden purportedly urged Muslims in the country to rise up against one of the “regimes who are slaves of America.”
Security forces claimed to break up such a linked terror cell in November 2007. Last year, a 23-year-old Nigerian who later claimed ties to al-Qaida attempted to detonate an explosive abroad a Christmas Day flight headed via Amsterdam to Detroit.