Boko Haram leaders were among participants that took part in an extensive “conference call” organised by Al Qaeda to plan massive terrorist attacks. This fact was reported on August 7, 2013, when more details of the interception by the U.S. intelligence became available.
The data obtained from the ‘conference’ triggered the closure of 20 American embassies, including four from sub-Saharan Africa countries, namely, Rwanda, Burundi, Mauritius, and Madagascar.
Officials, according to initial media reports, said the decision was taken after communications between al Qaeda leader, Egyptian-born, Ayman Zawahiri, and the group’s leader in Yemen, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, were intercepted last week. From other sources it has been gathered that the discussion between the two al Qaeda leaders was via a conference call that included the leaders or representatives of al Qaeda and its affiliates, who called through a presumably secure network, from different locations.
Three anonymous American operatives reported that more than 20 al Qaeda operatives were on the call.
“Al Qaeda members included representatives or leaders from Nigeria’s Boko Haram, the Pakistani Taliban, al Qaeda in Iraq, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and more obscure al Qaeda affiliates such as the Uzbekistan branch,” the report said. “Also on the call were representatives of aspiring al Qaeda affiliates such as al Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula, according to a U.S. intelligence official.” “This was like a meeting of the Legion of Doom,” another intelligence officer concluded.
The report, widely sourced by other U.S. media on Wednesday, reflected the global reaches of Boko Haram as the Nigerian government struggles back home to contain the deadly group that has massacred thousands of civilians.
Again, while Boko Haram appears on the U.S. list, the notorious Somali terror group, Al Shabaab, which operates on the horn of Africa, was not mentioned, potentially, a measure of Boko Haram’s strategic importance in the global terror network.
Also during the meeting, the various al Qaeda leaders discussed in vague terms, plans for a pending attack and mentioned that a team or teams were already in place for such an attack. For some leading members of Congress, the revelation that al Qaeda’s leadership in Pakistan is actively managing and directing the operations of several affiliates directly refutes the Obama administration’s repeated assertion that the leadership of the core of the group has been decimated by American drone strikes and special operations forces while the affiliate groups have been strengthened.