Nigeria, U.S. and Mutallab terrorism issues: Voice of America’s interview of USAfrica’s Chido Nwangwu.


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(Audio+Text): Nigeria, U.S. and Mutallab terrorism issues: Voice of America’s interview of USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu

http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Nigerian-Bombing-Suspect-Visited-US-City-in-2008-01-05-10-80679237.html

Audio/mp3 file:

http://www.voanews.com/MediaAssets2/english/dalet/lesser-abdulmutallab-houston-visit-5jan10.mp3

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Nigeria, U.S. and Mutallab terrorism issues: Voice of America’s interview of USAfrica’s Chido Nwangwu.

By Howard Lesser in Washington DC
January 5, 2010

Limited details have emerged in recent days about a visit to Houston, Texas by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in August, 2008. It’s not clear if U.S. investigators were tracking the suspect at the time or whether or not they failed to detect any radical ties that should have enabled them to elevate Abdulmutallab’s status on a U.S. terror watch list to strip him of his visa or place him on the critical no-fly list.

Nigerian-born journalist Chido Nwangwu publishes USAfrica’s CLASSmagazine and runs the USAfricaonline.com website from Houston, which is home to more than 100-thousand Nigerian expatriates living in the United States.  He says that the man who attempted to blow up Northwest Airlines flight 253 near Detroit on Christmas Day spent his time in Houston pursuing religious studies at an islamic institute there.

“He attended an Islamic education program at the Al Maghrib Institute in Houston.  That is the only knowledge of public information that we all have of his reasons for visiting here,” he said.

U.S. officials have confirmed they are looking into Abdulmutallab’s travels since the June 2008 visa he was issued, but the FBI has refused comment. Publisher Nwangwu says he was unable to confirm whether investigators were on the suspect’s trail almost one and a half years ago. He claims no insight into whether those who may have been tracking the Nigerian had cause to tie him to radical influences that could have raised his profile to refuse entry into the United States the following year.

In addition, Nwangwu says there were no signs if a recent police tip by Abdulmutallab’s Nigerian father, former First Bank of Nigeria chairman Umaru Abdul Mutallab, had been heeded by security officials in Houston.  The senior Abdul Mutallab has been widely praised for his courage in coming forward to sound an alert to U.S. officials.  He is expected to travel to the United States this week to attend his son’s arraignment, likely on January 8 in Detroit, Michigan

Body scanner at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport demonstrates stepped up security check since the December 25, 2009 attempted bombing

“Of course there were the ties with Al Maghrib Institute, which has offices in London and Canada.  My office, USAfrica, also attempted to speak with the other branches of Al Maghrib in order to understand why the young man did not do his studies in London.  I (would have) asked about Houston, who paid or who registered him for the courses.  There are so many questions.  Who facilitated his movements? Who picked him up from his hotel?  Who dropped him off? Where did he have his lunch during the training?” asked Nwangwu.

On Monday, U.S. officials placed tighter new security measures on air travelers from 14 countries considered to be added security risks.  Nwangwu admits the guidelines are adding concern among Nigerians in his community who frequently travel back and forth to Africa.  He says they are disappointed that the acts of one reckless individual can slur the international image of an entire nation.  But he understands the need for U.S. officials to do all they can to protect the security of Americans.

“It will not be unrealistic, but it would be unfair to group the whole community.  The community abhors such violence.  The community abhors what I call mechanized bigotry.  And it’s understandable to look for those who make trouble or seek to inflict terror, to kill people of all faiths, of all communities.  The point also is that if he had unleashed a plot that was concluded successfully, Nigerians on that flight would have also been killed,” noted Nwangwu.

One official trying to get to the bottom of the investigation is one of two Houston African-American members of the U.S. Congress.  Nwangwu says that Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who chairs the Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection, shares concerns for the safety of all Americans, including the thousands of foreign-born people living and working in the Houston area.  Nwangwu also plans to meet Tuesday with Houston’s other African-American U.S. congressman, Rep. Al Green.

“On an intellectual level, it is very wrong to engage in group profiling or to band everybody in one basket,” he says.

“In terms of the operational reality of saying that if a flight or certain travelers are coming from any place where there is potential danger, they should take a second look for the safety of everyone — that is not too much to ask.  It is an entirely different matter. I vehemently oppose anyone saying that Nigerians are terrorists.  No, Nigerians are not,” he observed.

Although Umar Abdulmutallab’s mission originated in Ghana, Ghana was not among the countries cited Monday as U.S. security risks.  Journalist Nwangwu acknowledges that flying from Ghana to Nigeria reduced Abdulmutallab’s holdover at Lagos’ Murtalla Muhammed Airport from two hours to a 30-minute holdover and suggests that other countries outside this week’s U.S. restrictions also pose threats of international terrorism to American cities.

“Egypt holds a significant number of radical Islamic zealots.  (Ayman) Al-Zawahiri, one of the twin leaders of al-Qaida, is an Egyptian.  There are radical elements in Egypt.  They were not listed.  So the Obama administration needs to look a little further.  I know they are being sensitive to the fact that the young man was in a transition movement,” he explained.

To counter tighter restrictions, Nwangwu points out that what he calls “evil geniuses” will continue to devise creative, innovative ways to get around the regulations.  The Houston journalist says he supports international efforts to plug the loopholes. But also recalling that the September, 2001 attacks all originated within the United States, he contends that there is no substitute for stepped-up vigilance on all possible front.

See USAfricaonline.com news feature: The Mutallabs: terror-bound son Farouk and business mogul father Umar. http://www.usafricaonline.com/mutallabs-chido-usafrica/

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USAfrica: The News & Opinion Leader for Africans and Americans
wireless: 832-45-CHIDO (24436). Chido@USAfricaonline.com
http://www.USAfricaonline.com

Chido.Nwangwu.usafricaonline.com.publisher

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Chido Nwangwu, former member of the editorial board of the Daily Times of Nigeria (1989-1990), is the Founder & Publisher of first African-owned, U.S-based professional newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; The Black Business Journal, CLASSmagazine, PhotoWorks.TV, AchebeBooks.com, USAfrica.TV and several blogs. He served on Houston former Mayor Lee Brown’s international business advisory board (Africa),  appears as an analyst on CNN, VOA, SABC, NBCNews, CBSNews, ABCNews FOXNews affiliates and honored by the Washington-D.C.-based National Immigration Forum for utilizing multimedia to fight authoritarianism and foster freedom of expression; served on the board of the oldest civil rights organization in the U.S., the NAACP (Houston);  publicity committee of the Holocaust Museum, Houston; recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in May 2009.


Obama confirms Mutallab trained by al Qaeda; Republicans attack Obama for “slow response” By Chido Nwangwu via USAfricaNewswire, Jan 2, 2010

USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston. USAfricaonline.com


Nigerian Terror suspect’s Houston visit raises questions….
USAfrica’s Publisher Chido
Nwangwu speaks to Houston Chronicle
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6788559.html

Also see,  The Mutallabs: contrasting terror-bound son Farouk and business mogul father Umar. Special report by Chido Nwangwu.

Alhaji (Dr.) Umar Mutallab is a man whose relatively mild-mannered public persona has been snatched from him; snatched by the most unlikely person: his own son, Farouk Abdul Mutallab.

FULL commentary at USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/mutallabs-chido-usafrica
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USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com (characterized by The New York
Times as the  most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia
networks) established May 1992, our first edition of USAfrica magazine
was published August 1993; USAfrica The Newspaper on May 11, 1994;
CLASSmagazine on May 2, 2003; www.PhotoWorks.TV in 2005
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What others say about : Nigeria, U.S. and Mutallab terrorism issues: Voice of America’s interview of USAfrica’s Chido Nwangwu...


CROWN-JOWITH NAIJAPI

SEND THAT (FAROUK MUTALLAB) TO NAIJA AND SEE WHAT NIGERIANS WILL MAKE OF HIM ON THE STREET OF LAGOS OR EVEN KANO, ANYWHERE NA KILL-DIE!

America forgets so easily that they trained terrorism fathers such as Osama, Hussein, and the rest!

Now they will disown their very own umar farouk abdul mutallab and enlist Nigeria as terrorists!

I challenge Mr. Obama and the whole of America to appreciate the trueness of the father of that born – by mistake – umar farouk abdul mutallab.

I also challenge Mr. Obama, CIA, FBI or whatever to disclaim being the godfather of any of the following: CRIME? THEFT? FRAUD? BETRAYAL? TERRORISM? the list is endless.

ENOUGH OF SMOKESCREEN PROPAGANDA! WE NO BLIND AT ALL oooo!!!

And that he was born to Nigerian parents is the world's greatest genetic mistake! GUINESS BOOK OF RECORD, TAKE NOTE!

NAIJAPIKIN!

(c)2010

CROWN-JOWITH NAIJAPI

SEND THAT umar farouk abdul mutallab TO NIGERIA AND SEE WHAT ANGRY NIGERIANS WILL MAKE OF THE FOOLISH VAGABOND!

America called Nigerian terrorists and so what?

I can't be moved by that kibosh.

America is the grand master of terrorism.

Didn,t America train the truckload of world's terrorists like Osama, Hussein and the rest?

America listen and listen to NaijapikiN well!

Whatever you call it, crime! theft! corruption! profanity! obscenity! and ungodliness!

America is the godfather of it all.

We aint blind man!

America and Mr. Obama don't appreciate mutallab's very Nigerian father for notifying their crashing security weakling of a crazY son's newly found style man!

PEACE AND UNITY!

NAIJAPIKIN!

CHERRY

KUDOS CHIDO!

I like the points you made on Ghana and Egypt not being listed as terrorist countries. I'd like to know the criteria by which the U.S. classified Nigeria as terrorism prone and how they differ from those of any other country in the world? Do you know where I can find this info?

I think the decision was simply made in the panicky rush to cover their gross security lapses. I mean what sort of entity gets an alert of a potential terrorist threat and doesn't follow it through to a positive conclusion? U.S. security was slow to act and they should take responsibility for that. They haven't afterall black-listed Schipol airport as well have they?

Just placing Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab on the TIDE list wasn't sufficient:
http://worldmeets.us/nrchandelsblad000106.shtml http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorist_Identities

If the U.S. insists on judging a nation by the acts of one person, then I posit that the family's act of reporting their son's activities proves that Nigerians are indeed responsible citizens of the world.

Well, on the softer side, I believe the Mutallabs must have been praying earnestly for their son. The force of their prayers made the crime unsuccessful, where man-made security had failed us. God intervened when man ignored.

I heard some news that the young man traveled with Ghanaian documents or claimed to have lost his travel documents and was allowed to fly without them? Is any of this true? Can you find out for us?

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