The United Nations has reported that the Boko
Haram sect spends as high as N2 billion to carry
out terrorists attacks just as the Senegalese
authorities have arrested two suspected Boko
Haram female members with 500 million CFA
(about N164 million) cash.
Deputy Director of Assessment and Technical
Assistance for the UN Counter-terrorism
Committee, Hassan Baage, told a gathering of
West African Security experts in Dakar, Senegal,
that the extremist sect’s annual budget was
believed to be up to $10 million.
The Associated Press (AP) which covered the
Dakar event quoted the UN official as calling for
closer scrutiny of the financing of extremist
groups, including Boko Haram.
“We must detect the flow of money that finances
their activities and measures must be
implemented to freeze the funds. According to
reports that we’ve consulted, the budget of Boko
Haram is around $10 million per year,” Baage
Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, a special envoy for
the African Union, said at the event that a
stronger institution was needed to police and
block the financing of extremism.
“The transfer of money through informal circles
means huge amounts of money can circulate in
these regions uncontrolled,” he said.
Boko Haram’s financing could come from crime
cartels, false charity organisations and blackmail,
said other experts at the forum on fighting
extremism. Other analysts said the militants are
known to have been paid millions for hostages,
mainly French and Cameroonians taken in
Cameroon, though Cameroon’s government
denies paying ransoms.
Also, a number of suspects have been reportedly
arrested in and around Dakar, the Senegalese
capital, in the past two weeks with links to Boko
Two women, according to Premium Times, an
online newspaper, were arrested in Guidiawaye, a
suburb of Dakar, on suspicion of links to the
Officials say the women popped up on the radar
of security agencies and were afterwards placed
under surveillance after authorities intercepted
their communication with a suspected Boko
Haram fighter in Nigeria, who was confirmed to
be the husband of one suspect and brother to the
Security forces also reported uncovering a
consistent number of money transfers between
the suspects and their alleged Boko Haram
fighter-relative for months.
After their arrest, a search was conducted on
their home and a cash of 500 million CFA Francs
(about N164 million) was found in their
possession, authorities claimed.
“The fact that such an amount was in their
possession instead of being in the bank further
goes to confirm ties with the alleged Boko Haram
fighter,” a security source said.
Also this month, two Imams were arrested
One of them was arrested in Ziguinchor, the
regional headquarters of southern Senegal, an
area known for its over 30 years of secessionist
wars with the Senegalese government.
In Kaolack, another suburban city, hundreds of
kilometres outside Dakar, an Imam was arrested.
The town is popular for being a base of the
Tijanniya Brotherhood, and home of the
renowned Islamic scholar, Sheik Ablaye Niass.
Authorities say the Imam, Alioune Ndao, had
been under security radar for months as a result
of his suspected links with Boko Haram.
“His sermons have been strangely inclined
towards “instigating” his congregation towards
Boko Haram ideologies,” the security source said.
Following his arrest, two satellite phones were
found in his possession.
Security insiders said a scrutiny of the call
histories of the phones showed consistent
communications with suspected members of the
Boko Haram sect.
In the capital city of Dakar itself, a young man was
arrested for alleged links with the terrorist group.
Security operatives say their investigations
revealed he was a next of kin to a confirmed Boko
Haram fighter in Nigeria.
“He has also been receiving a lot of money
transfers from Nigeria after the death of his
brother who was fighting for the group,” one of
the security sources said.
The Senegalese President, Macky Sall, told the
security conference in Dakar that terrorists
should not be allowed to “impose another form of
religion” that does not “correspond to our
traditions or our conceptions of Islam”.
Mr. Sall told the conference that brought together
about 800 security officials and analysts from
across the region to the Senegalese capital to
develop a coordinated response to mounting
jihadist threats facing the country.
He said Senegal must develop “a philosophical
and theological discourse, training imams with a
sense of a tolerant Islam”.
Boko Haram Spends N2bn Yearly To Sponsor Attacks – UN