News

    Nigeria Launches Investigation into Airline Incident

    Human rights activist says radical Islam on the rise in northern Nigeria

    Gilbert da Costa

    The Nigerian government ordered a probe on Saturday after an attempted attack by a Nigerian man on a U.S. plane as it was preparing to land in Detroit. The suspect has been identified as 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab.  A White House official called the incident "an attempted act of terrorism."   Some researchers say Nigeria has become a hotbed for radical Islamic groups.

    A government statement said Abuja had learned with "dismay the news of an attempted terrorist attack on a U.S. airline."

    Nigeria is not known as a major outpost for al-Qaida but analysts say the rise of violent Islamic extremism represents a major threat. Over the past few years, a new breed of young Muslim activists, most of them educated and from the upper and middle class, have aggressively embraced a stricter version of Islam, rejecting anything Western and Christian.

    A Human Rights Activist in the northern city of Kaduna, Shehu Sani, has done extensive studies on the threat posed by Islamic fundamentalists in northern Nigeria. He told VOA that the attempt by a young Nigerian Muslim to blow up a U.S. plane did not come as a surprise to him. "It is not shocking and it is not surprising because there exists (a) socio-economic and political atmosphere in the northern part of the country that has created such kind of conditions for individuals and groups to engage in this kind of thing [terrorism]," he said.

    Nigeria's 150 million people are split almost evenly between Christians and Muslims. Sani says Nigerian authorities should take responsibility for "security lapses" that have created a fertile breeding ground for radical Islamic groups. "The fact has also been that there is a case of negligence and security lapses on the part of the authorities. And this has been the culture for a very long time. And if you have this kind of negligence, the result is usually things like this. You have numerous groups of extremist religious sects that have been receiving support and sponsorship from nations across the world. And no one has any tabs on who are these people, who is funding them and what is (are) the funds meant for," he said.

    The suspected would-be bomber is said to be the son of a former Nigerian bank chairman. A Nigerian newspaper, "ThisDay," said the father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, recently grew "uncomfortable" with his son's extremist religious views and had reported his activities to the U.S. embassy in Abuja and Nigerian security agencies.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora