ISIS Trains Boko Haram Fighters, Says Jonathan


President Goodluck says fighters from insurgent group have traveled to the Middle East for training with Islamic State militants.

declined to name the countries where the fighters were allegedly trained. But in an interview with VOA on Wednesday, he said he’s long suspected of having alliances with international extremist groups.

“So, we know the links are there. But even now, we may not know the degree of linkages as to how much funds are coming in from them, the kind of volume of weapons coming in from them, the nationalities coming from them,” said.

“But the training, because some of the members go to have their training in the camp and come back,” he added

In the interview, credited both the intervention of Nigeria’s neighbours as well as the acquisition of new weapons for turning the tide against the militants.

He hit back at criticisms that foreign troops aren’t being allowed to push into strongholds deep in Nigerian territory. He said Cameroon previously denied Nigeria permission to pursue into its territory, and added that restrictions on foreign troops were matters of coordination.

“I think the idea is that look, for any major aggression, we should know. Where possible, let some Nigerian soldiers also be with you,” the President said.

He also said that foreign technicians are present in the northeast to teach Nigerian troops on how to use their new weapons, since there wasn’t time to train the troops before they were deployed.

“So we now have this technical people who are trainers and technicians, who are to train our people on how to use them, and technicians that help the maintenance, at the same time training our people how to maintain this equipment,” said.

He said two unnamed companies were involved in the training but declined to offer nationalities or numbers of the trainers.

Jonathan dismissed the suggestion that ’s insurgency had come to define his time in office.

“Yes, it’s a major security issue, it’s the number one security issue we have as a nation. But definitely, you cannot define us by Boko Haram,” he said.

As the multinational offensive continues, Jonathan predicted that the northeastern states of Yobe and Adamawa would be cleared of Boko Haram territory before the middle of next week. He said he hopes neighbouring Borno State, where the group started, will be cleared in the next three weeks.

But Jonathan said he expects Boko Haram to continue bombing markets and bus stops. He says the government’s strategy is to improve intelligence gathering as well as job and educational prospects in the northeast as a long-term strategy to destroy the group.

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