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Special Report: Hezbollah active in Nigeria

ICC Note

Christians living in Northern Nigeria are persecuted by Islamic extremist groups. One of extremist Islamic group actively working in Nigeria is Hezbollah.

By Claude Salhani

06/03/2008 Nigeria (Middle East Times)-Is the Islamic revolution, propelled by Lebanon ‘s Hezbollah and backed and financed by Iran ‘s mullah’s picking up in Africa where the Soviet Union and the Cubans left off decades ago? Substitute the communists with militant Shiism and you have history repeating itself. Well, almost.

But evidence is emerging that the Shiite organization could be connected with Islamist forces in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, which an issue that deserves close scrutiny by the international community.

Questions need to be asked: Who are those groups? What exactly is Hezbollah’s role in supporting them? And, to what extent is Hezbollah acting on orders from the mullahs in Tehran ?

What brought this new development to light is a set of photographs made available to the Middle East Times by a reliable source who asked not to be identified.

Sustaining the source’s allegation that these pictures were shot in Nigeria is the fact that first; there is indeed a large Shiite minority in Nigeria with whom Hezbollah would find a natural ally, and second; there is a large Lebanese Shiite immigrant community in that country who settled there in the 1960s and 1970s, coming mostly from south Lebanon.

So what is the connection between Hezbollah and militant groups in West Africa ? And why is there such a link in the first place? What does the Lebanese movement, said to represent the Lebanese “resistance” fighting to liberate a parcel of land in south Lebanon from Israeli occupation, have to do in West Africa ?

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“The link between the Islamist movements in the Middle East and Islamist networks in Africa is not to be underestimated,” said Walid Phares, director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington .

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