Nigeria: Two bombs explode near Christian churches

Again churches are the target of Islamists:

Two roadside bombs, both of low power, exploded near Christian places of worship in the city of Jos, Nigeria, home to several Islamist sects’ leaders. The first exploded on the night of Saturday near a Baptist church which was no longer used, after being previously damaged by the Islamists. A second bomb exploded Sunday morning near two Protestant churches: the Church of Christ of Nigeria (COCIN) and a place of worship of the Assemblies of God. The areas where these temples are located, are now mostly inhabited by Muslims. Christians have fleed the area because of the insecurity that the Islamists have brought to the area and have recently killed five Christians. These acts of Islamic terrorism seems to attempt to “cleanse” these areas of any Christian presence.

via Deux bombes explosent près de lieux de culte chrétiens à Jos au Nigéria | Observatoire de la christianophobie.

Nigeria : 2nd church bombing in Nigerian city

A bomb was thrown at a Protestant church in the central Nigerian city of Suleja on the evening of July 11 as a prayer service was being held. No one was injured in the attack, though the bomb damaged the church’s walls.

The attack follows a July 10 church bombing in the same city; three died in the first attack.

The militant Islamist group Boko Haram–which means “Western education is sin”–is suspected in the attacks.

via Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : 2nd church bombing in Nigerian city.

Nigeria: Protestant Church bombed, Boko Haram suspected

A bomb exploded outside a Protestant church in the central Nigerian city of Suleija on July 10, killing three. The militant Islamist group Boko Haram–which means “Western education is sin”–is suspected.

In the northeastern Nigerian city of Maidiguri, churches were closed on July 10 following a shootout between police and members of Boko Haram, which had reportedly threatened to target churches that day.

via Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Church bombing in Nigeria.

Nigerian Archbishop: “No Muslim can continue to assert that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam”

His name is His Excellency Mons. John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan Archbishop of Abuja and he has been interviewed by Catholic agency Fides after the first suicide terrorist attack in the country:

“The extremists are a challenge to all Nigerians and especially for the Nigerian Muslim community. No Muslim can continue to assert that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. I am a man of peace and dialogue, I always tell my Muslims that they should isolate the extremists that are present in their communities. It is not enough to say ‘they do not belong to us’, concrete steps to identify and isolate those who are not in line with their activities with the good of the country and the good of Islam itself are needed“, remarked Mgr.Onaiyekan.

The sect is particularly active in the north. A few days ago, the Cathedral of Maiduguri was seriously damaged in an attack claimed by Boko Haram (see Fides 14/6/2011). “Our churches are also affected because they are a very easy target: buildings are clearly visible and unprotected. We do not deploy armed soldiers around our churches, which are places of worship open to everyone”, says the Archbishop of Abuja.

Photo.

Nigeria: blast storms Abuja’s police headquarters

Two people, including a bomber, have died in an explosion at Nigeria’s police headquarters in the capital, Abuja, the police say.

Police spokesman Olusola Amore said Islamist group Boko Haram was suspected of being behind the attack.

The blast in the car park of the police base destroyed many vehicles and a large plume of smoke could be seen rising from the scene.

MapA Red Cross spokesman told the BBC that another four bodies had been recovered.

“Six to be precise. Six bodies from the explosion,” Nigerian Red Cross official Taiye Olaniyi told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme, adding that many of them had been “very badly mutilated”.

Seven other people were wounded in the explosion, five of whom were being treated in hospital, the Red Cross said.

The BBC’s Jonah Fisher in Lagos says that, for the Nigerian authorities, the attack is an embarrassing strike at the very heart of their security establishment.

More here.

Nigeria: 16 killed, Catholic Cathedral destroyed by Boko Haram’s followers

An extremist Islamic group is being held responsible for a series of recent attacks in Nigeria, which have left 16 dead and destroyed the Catholic Cathedral of St. Patrick in the northern capital city of Maiduguri.

“St. Patrick’s Cathedral was seriously damaged, windows and doors destroyed, the whole building was shaken to its foundations by the violence of the explosion,” said Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri.

Found here.

Islamic countries: Poll shows growing majority favor Sharia Law, more Islam in public life

A majority of Muslims around the world welcome a significant role for Islam in their countries’ political life, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, but have mixed feelings toward militant religious groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

According to the survey, majorities in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Nigeria would favor changing the current laws to allow stoning as a punishment for adultery, hand amputation for theft and death for those who convert from Islam to another religion. About 85% of Pakistani Muslims said they would support a law segregating men and women in the workplace.

Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria and Jordan were among the most enthusiastic, with more than three-quarters of Muslims polled in those countries reporting positive views of Islam’s influence in politics: either that Islam had a large role in politics, and that was a good thing, or that it played a small role, and that was bad.

Turkish Muslims were the most conflicted, with just more than half reporting positive views of Islam’s influence in politics. Turkey has struggled in recent years to balance a secular political system with an increasingly fervent Muslim population.

Many Muslims described an ongoing struggle in their country between fundamentalists and modernizers, especially those who may have felt threatened by the rising tides of conservatism. Among those respondents who identified a struggle, most tended to side with the modernizers. This was especially true in Lebanon and Turkey, where 84% and 74%, respectively, identified themselves as modernizers as opposed to fundamentalists.

In Egypt and Nigeria, however, most people were pulling in the other direction. According to the poll, 59% in Egypt and 58% in Nigeria who said there was a struggle identified with the fundamentalists.

via MUSLIM WORLD: Poll shows majority want Islam in politics; feelings mixed on Hamas, Hezbollah | Babylon & Beyond | Los Angeles Times.

Nigeria: alleged Iranian weapons reported to UNSC

This is an update of this story:

NIGERIA has reported the discovery of an illegal arms shipment from Iran to the UN Security Council, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, with the incident a possible violation of sanctions.

A formal notification was forwarded to the chairman of the Security Council … on the 12th of November conveying information that arms originating from Iran were seized,” said spokesman Ozo Nwobu.

The notification also informed the council that “investigations into the circumstances into the arms consignment were ongoing,” he added.

Iran is under four sets of UN sanctions over its nuclear programme.

The sanctions include a ban on arms sales.

Tehran said this week that the arms shipment discovered in Lagos, which included rockets and grenades, was being shipped to a West African country by a private company.

It said a “misunderstanding” over it had been cleared up with Nigerian authorities.

via Qatar Tribune – First with the news and whats behind it.

Nigeria: weapons’ cargo came from Iran

This is an update on this story:

French-based shipping group CMA CGM said it had been the victim of a false cargo declaration and that the weapons and ammunitions were in sealed containers which had been declared as “packages of glass wool and pallets of stone”.

….”The shipment in question was booked as a ‘shipper’s owned container’ and supplied loaded and sealed by the shipper, an Iranian trader who does not appear on any ‘forbidden persons’ listing,” CMA CGM said in a statement.

The containers were loaded in Bandar Abbas and discharged in Lagos in July,” it said, adding it was cooperating fully with local and international agencies investigating the shipment.

Israeli media reports, citing Israeli defence officials, have suggested the weapons may have been destined for Hamas Islamists in Gaza and that a new smuggling route was being tested. Israel’s foreign ministry has declined to comment.

…The weapons shown to journalists in Lagos this week included 107mm rockets, designed to attack static targets and used by armies to support infantry units. Security experts say they have also been used by groups including the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

…The French shipping firm said the shipper had requested that the containers be re-loaded and shipped to Gambia, further round the West African coast, and that it had obtained customs documents and clearance for the voyage.

via Weapons seized in Nigeria \’came from Iran\’ – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.

Nigeria’s secret police intercept weapons shipment

A large shipment of weapons has been seized by Nigeria’s State Security Service at the port in Lagos city.

The secret police say they intercepted 13 containers, some of which had rocket launchers and grenades and other explosives hidden under tiles.

The authorities have said they cannot say who owned the containers or their intended destination.

But correspondents say the discovery has increased fears of possible violence during next year’s elections.

…Only a small part of the arsenal was shown to the media, she says, but it was enough to worry security experts.

They identified the artillery rockets as Norinco rockets – a type used by the Taliban in Afghanistan – suitable for high-intensity warfare.

via BBC News – Nigeria’s secret police intercept weapons shipment.

Nigerian police is worried: were these weapons for the Islamist sect Boko Haram (Western education is sin), about which T&P has also posted in the past?

Nigeria: Rioters burn police station, Boko Haram’s involvement suspected

Rioters burn police station in northern Nigeria | Top AP Stories | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle:

Rioters set a police station ablaze in northern Nigeria near where a radical Islamic sect operates, a police spokesman said Tuesday. The attack was similar to one that sparked a wave of violence last year that left more than 700 people dead

Nigeria federal police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu told The Associated Press the attack occurred sometime Monday night or Tuesday morning in the village of Gamboru, just northeast of Maiduguri in Nigeria’s Muslim north. Ojukwu said he had no immediate casualty figures. 

A similar attack on a police station heralded a violent uprising by the radical Boko Haram sect in July 2009. A subsequent security crackdown led to more than 700 deaths. However, Ojukwu said he didn’t know whether the sect was involved in the attack. 

An Associated Press reporter heading toward the police station Tuesday morning said he saw a strong police presence on roads heading out of Maiduguri, the city where the sect once had its main mosque. The reporter said he saw officers patting down every passer-by, checking for hidden weapons. 

Authorities fear Boko Haram, which means ‘Western education is sacrilege‘ in the local Hausa language, has regrouped and rearmed since the 2009 violence. The group wants a stricter version of Islam’s Shariah law in place across Nigeria.”

Background:
150 killed in clashes between Islamic sect and the police.
Hostages held by Boko Haram, freed.
HRW asks for an investigation into death of Boko Haram’s leader.
13-yr-old girl forced to watch her pastor’s murder by Boko Haram.
Islamist sect Boko Haram vows to continue Jihad.

France: AQ behind Niger attack; UPD: Another 3 French kidnapped in Nigeria

Some days ago, 7 people, 5 of them French nationals, were kidnapped in Niger. French Government said then they were sure AQ was involved. In fact, it is:
France authenticated an Al-Qaeda claim to have kidnapped five of its nationals together with a Togolese and a Madagascan in Niger last Thursday, as it awaited the kidnappers’ demands.
“We have not received proof of life, but we have good reasons to believe the hostages are alive,” French foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said after Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility.
…Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said France and its partners would continue to “be as careful as possible” and lend all their resources to the release of the hostages.
Speaking on the fringes of a UN summit in New York, he said he was “not really surprised that Al-Qaeda is behind this kidnapping.
“Now that this is a certainty, we will continue — the French, our allies, the countries of the Sahel and Europe I hope … to put all the means at our disposal for their liberation,” he added.

Sarkozy considers the kidnappings as “worrying and serious“. France24 asks if France is now the No. 1 target.

Today three French nationals have been kidnapped off the Nigerian coast:

Pirates boarded an oil industry supply vessel off Nigeria on Wednesday and seized three French seamen, in the second hostage drama for French energy workers in West Africa in less than a week.

The men’s employer, French maritime services firm Bourbon, and the French foreign ministry said they had contacted the kidnapped workers’ families and were working with Nigerian authorities to secure their release.

A spokesman for the Nigerian military taskforce deployed to protect the west African giants’s oil industry confirmed the attack, but said that in total four hostages were taken.

Wednesday’s drama came just six days after five French nationals working in neighbouring Niger’s uranium fields were kidnapped by Al-Qaeda militants, in an unrelated attack that has already stretched French assets in the region.

Niger: 7 foreigners kidnapped near a uranium mining zone

College News:

Seven foreign workers were kidnapped near a uranium mining zone in Niger. Five are French and the other two are from Togo and Madagascar, according to the New York Times.
Two of the hostages are an employee of Areva, the French nuclear engineering firm, and his wife, whereas the other five worked for Sogea-Satom, a subsidiary of Vinci that is contracted to Areva in Niger.
Areva and Vinci, as well as Bernard Valero, a French Foreign Ministry spokesperson, have confirmed that the workers were kidnapped kidnapped in Arlit, a town in the northern part of the country, during the night between Wednesday and Thursday. The two companies released a joint statement saying that security around the area has been increased.
“France will do everything to liberate them, as we do each time,” President Nicolas Sarkozy told reporters, as quoted by the Times, also noting that the Sahel region is “extremely dangerous.
…A local businessman and mining official told Reuters that the workers were taken during sleep. “They went to their houses and picked them. They knew exactly where they were—it is very worrying,” he said. However, there were no official details from the companies as to how the kidnapping took place.”

France suspects Al-Qaida is behind this kidnapping:

No one has claimed responsibility for the kidnappings, Kouchner told Europe-1 radio, but he added: “We imagine al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb is responsible.”
Kouchner said the army in Niger was on “a war footing” after the kidnappings, and that French intelligence and diplomatic services have been mobilized.

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Nigeria: Suspected Islamic sect frees more than 700 in prison break

France24 – Suspected Islamic sect frees more than 700 in prison break:

 “Suspected members of an Islamist sect have freed hundreds of inmates in an attack on a prison in northern Nigeria that led to a fierce gun battle with authorities, officials said Wednesday.

Authorities said more than 700 inmates escaped in the Tuesday night attack, including at least 150 alleged sect members. The sect blamed for the attack, known as Boko Haram, had launched an uprising in Nigeria’s north last year.

Bauchi state police commissioner Danlami Yar’Adua reported four people killed, including a soldier, a police officer and two residents.

The head of Nigeria’s prisons, Olusola Ogundipe, said during a visit to the scene on Wednesday that more than 120 inmates had since returned on their own and an unspecified number had been arrested.”

700 escaped but only 120 have returned and an unspecified number had been arrested. So nearly 500 are free. Very bad news indeed.

Before:

  1. Islamist sect Boko Haram vows to continue Jihad.
  2. 150 killed in clashes between Islamic sect and the police.
  3. Hostages held by Boko Haram, freed.
  4. HRW asks for an investigation into death of Boko Haram’s leader.
  5. 13-yr-old girl forced to watch her pastor’s murder by Boko Haram.

Nigeria: women protests Senator marriage to a 13-year old girl

Ahmad Sani Yerima. Image from Wikipedia.
The quiet marriage of former Zamfara State governor and Senate Minority Whip, Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima to a 13-year old Egyptian girl, has continued to attract condemnation by the womenfolk.
A coalition of women groups yesterday took its protest to the Senate, urging the Senate President, David Mark leadership of the Upper House to suspend him for marrying an underaged girl.  
The coalition, led by Dr. Mma Nkwocha, comprised the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Women Rights Advancement and Pro-tection Alternative (WRAPA) and the Global Association of Women Attorneys (GAFA).
In a swift reaction to the protest, Senators Chris Anyanwu, Emem Uffot Ekaette, Nkechi Nwaogu and Patricia Akwashiki pledged to provide support to the group in its advocacy against the act.
In addition to the call on the Senate leadership to suspend Yerima, the coalition urged his constituents in Zamafara Central Senatorial District to recall him from the Senate.
But Chair of the Senate Committee on Information and Media, Senator Ayogu Eze, said at a briefing session yesterday that those opposed to Yerima’s marriage should go to court.

According to him, “It is not the responsibility of the Senate to begin to investigate if he (Yerima) has broken the law. The Senate is not a law enforcement agency.”
Leader of the Coalition, Nkwocha had said, while briefing Senate Correspondents, that “The people who are supposed to be guarding the nation are the ones breaking the rules.
Hitherto, Nigeria had hidden under the guise of Islam or Christianity but the issue in question is the marriage of one minor.
Maybe because of poverty, he brought this little girl to Nigeria to complete the marital rites.
We are calling on senator Yerima to resign because this is not the first time. We learnt that another girl that he had taken before now is turning seventeen years.
He has kept that one aside and has come for this little one.  Are we disposable commodities?  It is unbecoming of a nation called Nigeria.
We should be the ones advocating the abolition of child marriage…It is not acceptable.”
GAFA representative, Mrs. Chinelo Iriele, said “Nigerian women are sad because the Child Right Acts, Section 21 prohibits Child marriage.

Via.

Two points:

  1. where are the girl’s parents? I imagine that they have given her in marriage. So I assume they should be considered responsible for this. Of course, Egypt is soooo moderate and soooo modern that it seems impossible that this could happen.. and yet it has happened.
  2. This is not the first time he marries a minor. So I wonder, if she wasn’t either able to marry, why the marriage wasn’t declared void. A senator is not an ordinary man: his private affairs are not kept “private”. So, why they only learnt it now? And why did the marriage took place?

Anyway, if the civil Law contradicts the Shariah (which also supports polygamy), this guy doesn’t have to obey it…

UNICEF on Child marriag in Egypt: Abuse is common in child marriages:

Data from Egypt indicates that 29 per cent of married adolescents have been beaten by their husbands (or husband and others) and, of these adolescents, 41 per cent have been beaten during pregnancy.

Child marriage in Africa:

It is predicted by the UNFPA that worldwide 100 million girls are expected to marry in the next decade [4]. In Africa, UNICEF estimate that 42 per cent of girls are married before the age of 18 and in some African countries the figure is much higher, such as in Niger where there is a 76 per cent incidence of child marriage [5]. The age at which children are married also varies between countries but marriage before the age of 15 is not uncommon and in some areas of West Africa and in Ethiopia, girls are sometimes married as early as age 7 [6].

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South Africa: AQIM Threatens to Attack World Cup Games

Zakumi, the official mascot for the 2010 FIFA ...

Image via Wikipedia

The North African terror group al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has threatened to attack this summer’s World Cup games in South Africa.

“How amazing could the match United States vs. Britain be when broadcasted live on air at a stadium packed with spectators when the sound of an explosion rumbles through the stands, the whole stadium is turned upside down and the number of dead bodies are in their dozens and hundreds, Allah willing,” reads a statement the group published in a recent issue of the Jihadi online magazine Mushtaqun Lel Jannah (Longing to Paradise).

The statement also highlights recent actions by the terrorism group such as the December suicide bombing that killed seven CIA employees and a Jordanian agent at a base in Eastern Afghanistan last December and the Christmas Day bombing attempt that resulted in the arrest of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian who has been cooperating with the FBI and providing information about his contacts in Yemen and the al Qaeda affiliate that operates there.

In addition to the U.S. and U.K. teams, the teams representing France, Germany and Italy are also on the group’s list of targets.

“All those countries are part of the Zionist-Crusader campaign against Islam,” the statement says.

The group says they will use some undetectable explosive that will be able to circumvent security checkpoints at the games.

via Qaeda Group Threatens to Attack World Cup – World Watch – CBS News.

I really hope they are stopped. This is truly worrying… 😡

Also read: Salafi-Jihadis in Mauritania at the Center of the al-Qaeda’s strategy (jamestown.org).

The way that AQIM looks at Mauritania indicates an increasing centralization in coordination between different al-Qaeda or Salafi-Jihadi branches, designed to open more than a front fighting only against the West and its interests. The weakness of the Mauritanian government and the existence of more than a million square kilometers of ungoverned desert between Algeria and the other Sahel countries increase Mauritania’s importance to AQIM, especially at a time when military pressure is being increased within Algeria.

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War on Terror: U.S. 'major target,' boasts one leader of Nigerian 'Taliban'

* (en) Nigeria Location * (he) מיקום ניגריה

Image via Wikipedia

Nigeria’s “Taliban,” named for their heroes in a far-off land, could provide willing recruits for attacks on American targets, one of the group’s leaders boasted in a rare interview that had the trappings of a spy novel.

With equal parts bluster and chilling resolve, the slight 30-year-old explained why the militant Islamic group that set up its own “Afghanistan” base in northern Nigeria wants to shift its focus from domestic targets.

“The U.S. is the major target because it’s the major aggressor against Muslims throughout the world,” said the young man, who wore a bottle-green caftan and gave his name only as Musa.America is the main aggressor, and I believe all these attacks against America are divine worship.”

via Nation & World | U.S. ‘major target,’ boasts one leader of Nigerian ‘Taliban’ | Seattle Times Newspaper.

So, what would Obama say to these guys? How would he call this extremism? No Jihad and no Islamic extremism, Obama says.

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Nigeria: Islamist sect Boko Haram vows to continue Jihad

“Holy war” continues. This is the statement that vows that more blood will be spilled from the Islamic sect Boko Haram, a famous name for those with knowledge of international terrorism. The sect is active in Nigeria and claims being part of the Afghan Taliban “movement”. Not only with words. In 2008, the sect supported riots which killed 800 people. A tragedy that some thought will be only an exception. But it seems that it will be repeated: “Islam doesn’t know frontiers”, has said to AFP Boko Haram’s speaker Musa Tanko. He proclaims that “we will lauch the most important attack of the Iraqi and Afghani Mujahideens against our enemies in the world, particularly against US, but our attention is now focused on Nigeria which is our starting point. The sect is formed in its most important part by students who have abandoned their studies. On July 2009, Boko Haram confronted security forces of several NIgerian north mostly-Muslim states. In those fights, with nearly 800 killed, the leader of the sect Mohammed Yusuf, was also killed.

via Nigeria: la setta islamica Boko Haram proseguirà la guerra santa – Cultura – ilGiornale.it del 29-03-2010.

Before:

  1. 150 killed in clashes between Islamic sect and the police.
  2. Hostages held by Boko Haram, freed.
  3. HRW asks for an investigation into death of Boko Haram’s leader.
  4. 13-yr-old girl forced to watch her pastor’s murder by Boko Haram.
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Nigeria: 500 Christians killed while killers were singing “Allah Akbar”

Yahoo News:

UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Washington led calls for restraint on Monday after the slaughter of more than 500 Christians in Nigeria, as survivors told how the killers chopped down their victims.
Funerals took place for victims of the three-hour orgy of violence on Sunday in three Christian villages close to the northern city of Jos, blamed on members of the mainly Muslim Fulani ethnic group.
While troops were deployed to the villages to prevent new attacks, security forces detained 95 suspects but faced bitter criticism over how the killers were able to go on the rampage at a time when a curfew was meant to be in force.
Media reported that Muslim residents of the villages in Plateau statehad been warned by phone text message, two days prior to the attack, so they could make good their escape before the exit points were sealed off.
Survivors said the attackers were able to separate the Fulanis from members of the rival Berom group by chanting ‘nagge’, the Fulani word for cattle. Those who failed to respond in the same language were hacked to death.

There are two things that every of these reports have failed to point out: Compass Direct News has reported that first, the attackers were singing “Allah Akbar” while they killed the Christians and, secondly, that the Christians called the military for help, but they arrived when the attackers have already left the place, two hours after the call.

Related: Photos of the place after the  attack (Caution: very hard photos).

US: Clinton’s Big Donor Included in No-Fly List

The businessman, Gilbert Chagoury, 64, was prevented from boarding the jet at Teterboro airport in New Jersey on Jan. 15, according to the report. Law enforcement authorities reported they ultimately obtained a "waiver" from Washington to permit Chagoury to fly out of the country to France.

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the no-fly list is designed to "keep known terrorists off planes." The TSA website says it works with intelligence and law enforcement partners to compile the list and has a "dedicated staff to review and scrub the existing No-Fly list and ensure all nominees meet the standing criteria."

…Chagoury is a controversial figure in Africa and Europe but it is the first time there has been any suggestion of alleged ties to terrorism.

Described as a billionaire, Chagoury runs an industrial conglomerate in Nigeria, the Chagoury Group, and had ties to a former corrupt president there.

In 2009 Chagoury pledged one billion dollars to the Clinton Global Initiative through the Chagoury Group, according to the Global Initiative website.

We’ll have to wait to know on what charges Mr Chagoury was put on a no-fly list. In any case, Mr Chagoury had to return a large sum, estimated to be $300 million, which had been taken out of the country during the dictatorship of Sani Abacha, in exchange for indemnity and to unfreeze his accounts, which had been freezed during the investigation. He also has investments in Lebanon, his country of origin.