By Emerson Vermaat
August 29, 2006 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Each year, more than 240,000 illegal African immigrants are entering Europe. Behind these huge operations of migrant trafficking are powerful criminal African and North African organizations which bribe the police, customs officials and other local officials as well as government ministers. Each illegal immigant has to pay up to 3000 Euros to the trafficking organizations. These mafia organizations receive some 300 million dollars (237 million Euros) annually for their clandestine services (bribing of officials, document forgery, etc.), according to a recent United Nations report (July 2006). Many of these organizations are run by Nigerians, the report says. Nigeria is one of the most corrupt countries in Africa. The trafficking organizations offer complete packages. Sub-Saharan Africans first travel to Senegal, Mali and Niger from where they are transported accross the Sahara. The Nigerian traffickers cooperate with criminal organizations in North Africa. They also built strong networks in Europe. In southern Spain, for example, there are operational networks consisting of Moroccans, Algerians en Mauritanians. The networks are also very efficient in "shipping" thousands of Africans to the Canary Islands, putting them in large canoes or wooden boats ("cayucos") and providing GPS (Global Positioning System for navigation.
Between January 1, and August 17, 2006, 16,607 sub-Saharan Africans had arrived in the Canary Islands. One week later the total number of arrivals had risen to nearly 19,000, 700 minors among them (in the weekend of 19 and 20 August 2006 the total number of arrivals was 1268). Nearly desperate local authorities speak of an invasion or an avalanche. Most of these Africans are young men, and none of them has identification papers so that their country of origin cannot not be traced. (They are instructed by the trafficking organizations to dispose of their passports.) The Spanish authorities then transfer these "sin papelles" (undocumented illegal immigrants) to the mainland where they are subsequently set free. They receive a written "Expulsion Order" which says that they must leave the country. They are not allowed to work. Often they are then approached by criminal organizations which offer them forged identity papers and some kind of ill-paid job. Spanish authorities managed to send some 800 sub-Saharan immigrants back to their home courtries. (On one occasion the illegal immigrants simply refused to leave the plane, on another occasion they complained that by sending them back their "human rights" had been violated.) Spain just cannot cope with the thousands of illegal immigrants arriving each week and the criminal organizations are very well aware of this. A number of these illegal immigrants stay in Spain, many others travel to other European countries, especially to France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Britain. "The mafias have converted Spain into an authentic paradise for themselves," commented opposition leader Mario Rajoy recently.
At present Europe is facing an unprecedented influx of illegal immigrants from North and sub-Saharan Africa. While the "multiculturalists" may be happy, we cannot ignore the fact that this is a very serious a problem indeed. The trafficking organizations, are, so it seems at least, more powerful than the governments of Europe.
The current massive immigration directly affects the security and stability of Western countries. It has been argued that these immigrants do the kind of jobs many consider unsuitable for Westerners. This is a fallacy. A lot of the illegal immigrants are exploited by their bosses, poorly paid and there is no social security for them. It is a new kind of slavery. And problem cannot simply be solved by so-called "regularizations," a change of status to become a legal immigrant. Such measures will only lead to a new influx of illegal immigrants. This is precisely what happened in Belgium, Italy (at least three regularizations) and Spain where the situation today is much worse than before those regularizations.
In Europe, mass immigration from poor countries is causing problems of a much more serious nature than some sociologists and migration specialists want to admit. It is the police rather than the academics who have to deal with migration crime in Europe's big cities. In May 2003, Chris Fox, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) told "The Observer" that "the mass movement of people around the world had brought new levels of organized crime, with drug dealing, gun offenses, prostitution and kidnapping." "Mass migation has brought with it a whole new range and a whole new type, from the Nigerian fraudster, to the eastern European who deals in drugs and prostitution to the Jamacian concentration on drug dealing. (...) It's healthy that we've got lots of different people, but if you go into some of the cities, looking at the North, Bradford simmers, Blackburn simmers. It doesn't take much to disturb the balance, and I think we've got to be very careful to make sure that we're not overwhelming our current infrastructure.' After the conviction of Danny and Ricky Preddie, Damilola Taylor's Jamaican teenage killers, Minette Marrin made a similar observation in "The Sunday Times" of August 13, 2006: "The government has been either unwilling or unable to control, or to admit to even to estimate the vast numbers of new arrivals. Only now is it beginning to wonder whether this influx was an entirely good thing. At the time of Damilola's death the ethnic composition of north Peckham in Southwark, where the estate (where he died) lies, was 43.4% white, 15.9% black Caribbean, 26.6% black African, 4.1% black other, 7.9% Asian and 2.2% other. (...) Southwark today is still considered a high crime area by the Home Office and a high youth crime area. (...) Violent crime there has risen from 10,000 incidents in 2000-01 to 12,500 in 2005-06, even though huge sums of money have been thrown at the problem."
In the second edition of "The Oxford Handbook of Criminology" (1997), David J. Smith writes: "The rate of imprisonment for drugs offenses was 10.8 times as high among blacks as among white men." The high crime rate among black immigrants in Britain has been explained as a result of discrimination and police bias. No doubt, this does play a role, but it cannot explain everything. David Smith: "Although some bias against black people has been demonstrated at several stages, and although some apparently neutral criteria have been shown to work to the disadvantage of black people, the magnitude of these effects seems small compared with the stark contrast in rates of arrest and imprisonment between black and white people."
The Third Edition of the Handbook of Criminology (2002) shows Home Office statistics of the male prison population by ethnic group, 1985-99. In 1999, the number of white males in prisons was 49,961, the number of black males was 7,355, the number of South Asians was 1,895, the number of Chinese and other was 2,081. In the same Handbook, Coretta Philips and Ben Bowling make the following observation: "Ethnic monitoring data on Britain's prison population have been available since 1985. The first statistics revealed a marked over-representation of West Indians, Guyanese, and Africans within prisions among both males and females."
In Spain one third of the prison population are immigrants from non-European countries. According to the latest figures (August 2006) the total number of prisoners is 64,042, 19,919 of whom are not originally from Spain. Most of the detainees are Moroccans (5,441), Colombians (2,137), Rumanians (1,365) and Algerians (1,323). The number of detained Nigerians is 281, the number of detained Liberians is 132. The number of Pakistani detainees is 43. The number of prisoners originating from the Dominican Republic is 382, along with 56 in Catalonian prisons. The number of immigrant detainees is rapidly growing and there are not enough prison cells for all of them. This is why the Spanish General Directorate for Penitential Institutions (DGIP) proposed that immigrants who are convicted in Spain be sent back to their countries of origin to serve the rest of their prison term over there.
In Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Italy powerful Nigerian criminal networks are involved in migrant trafficking, prostitution, drugs (especially cocaine) and fraud. In February 2001, I was seriously threatened by a Nigerian criminal in Hamburg when I was preparing a television news report on drugs and migrant trafficking. Another African drug dealer in Hamburg was resisting arrest and had to be succombed by four policemen. Both drug dealers, men of strong physical appearance, were shown in my TV program. I also showed two fully integrated African immigrants a bright young woman and an equally bright young man who told my viewers how much they destested these criminals. There are too many Nazis and Neo-Nazis in Germany who think that every black person is a criminal.
Konrad Freiberg, chairman of the German Police Union, told me that West African (Nigerian) criminals are extremely violent and aggressive. They fight with the police, even bite police officers. "Some even undress in their prison cells and put feces (excrement) on their bodies," Freiberg told me. "You have no idea how this emotionally affects the men who have to deal with these people. I hear members of my union complain about the hard conditions of this kind of work." I further interviewed terrified native Germans living in an area near Hamburg's Central Railway Station. After sunset African drug dealers were taking over the streets. In Belgium I was reporting on Albanian and Nigerian prostitution networks and heard shocking stories about the exploitation of young West African women sometimes minors. I heard stories about gang wars and killings. These African gangsters in Europe are making huge profits and it is very hard to deport them.
Most of the immigrants from Africa who enter Italy travel to the rich cities in the north of the country. The ones who are fully integrated, pose no problem. But there are too many others who live in poor conditions in old apartments. In Padua, a popular tourist destination, the center-left city council ordered to build a steel wall around a cluster of run-down apartment blocks housing 1500 people many of whom are illegal immigrans ("clandestini") from Africa, the Maghreb, Asia and Eastern Europe. Petty crime is flourishing and prostitutes and drug dealers are causing trouble. Gangs representing ethnic and criminal groups were formed and there was street fighting in this old and peaceful Italian city. In July 2006, the police had to quell street fighting between Nigerians and Moroccan drug gangs as some 200 of them clashed with knives and machetes. The wall has been condemned as "obscene and racist," but the socialist mayor of Padua described it as an "enclosure" needed to help tackle the drug dealers. "When the police tried to arrest the drug dealers in the other part of town they fled to this area here, now that's no longer possible," a city councillor told the Dutch TV program "RTL4 News." "We had to do something," he continued, "otherwise the problem would be unsolvable. We still remember what happened in the French banlieues, and we don't want that to happen here in Italy."
In addition to rising crime, there are cultural and social customs like Female Genital Mutilation and polygamy which are causing problems in Europe's big cities. Furthermore, the rapid influx of sub-Saharan immigrants will lead to an increase of HIV infections in Europe. And finally, there are terrorists and militant Arab, Pakistani or North African missionaries who seek to convert and recruit young African males who feel lost, disoriented, lonely and marginalized in Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Milan, Paris, Marseille, Brussels, Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg, Birmingham or London. Al-Qaida, too, successfully targeted African immigrants in Europe. One of them was Nizar Trabelsi, a Tunisian living in Brussels. He traveled to Afghanistan, met with Osama bin Laden and was later convicted in Brussels for his role in a major terrorist plot.
Militant Islam and Al-Qaida in Africa
The origins of Al-Qaida lie both in Afghanistan/Pakistan and Africa. After taking part in the jihad against the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan and founding Al-Qaida in 1988, Osama bin Laden set up base in Sudan (1992). Half a decade later, though, he returned to Afghanistan establishing more training camps and expanding Al-Qaida into a truly global network, in close cooperation with his Egyptian friend Ayman Al-Zawahiri. In Sudan he established a terrorist training camp (referred to as "a farm") and funded terrorist groups in the Persian Gulf, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Sudan, Malaysia and the Phillipines. He also established a media organization and a printing house in London, the beginning of his manifold activities in Britain and other European countries. (At the end of 1995, the London "Times" reported in September 2005, bin Laden even tried to move to Britain having transferred some of his considerable personal fortune to London for his followers to establish terror cells in London and accross Europe.)
Bin Laden seems to really love countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sudan, but the lawless country of Somalia is also dear to the Al-Qaida leader's heart. In an interview with the daily newspaper "Pakistan" bin Laden boasted of being in Somalia during the United Nations mission to feed Somalis left starving by feuding warlords. Bin Laden sided with Somali warlord general Farah Aideed, who in his view was battling neo-colonialist forces trying to establish their authority over Somali Muslims. In June 2006 a pro-Al-Qaida militia, the "Islamic Courts Union" chased the warlords out of the capital of Mogadishu and established a Taliban like regime. Music and movies were banned, sharia law was enforced by sharia courts. Somali's new leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys is an admirer of bin Laden. He also justified Al-Qaida's attack on the World Trade Center. Various leaders of his militia were trained in Afghanistan and assisted Al-Qaida terrorists who attacked a hotel in Mombasa, Kenia, in 2002.
From his hideout in the tribal areas of Pakistan bin Laden heaped praise on the new Somali leaders urging Somalis to support them. "You have no other means for salvation unless you commit to Islam, put your hands in the hands of the Islamic Courts to build an Islamic state in Somalia," he said. He lashed out at the president of Somalia's secular interim government, Abdullah Yusuf, calling him a "traitor" and a "renegade." He told other countries not to get involved in the conflict. If that were to happen "we will fight your soldiers on the land of Somalia and we will fight you on your own land if you dispatch troops to Somalia." On August 23, 2006, the new rulers opened a training camp in Hilweyne, north of Mogadishu, for 600 members of Islamic militias. The instructors came from Eritrea, Afghanistan and Pakistan. These Pakistani and Afghan instructors and ideologues will, no doubt, transform this terrorist facility into a real Al-Qaida camp.
Somalia is Al-Qaida's new operational base in Africa. The implications are rather serious, especially for neighboring East African countries for which Al-Qaida has always shown a preference. Kenya shares a 420-mile porous border with Somalia. In the past Islamic radicals crossed the border undetected. About 11 percent of the Kenyan population is Muslim, most of them are moderates, but there are Islamic courts (or Kadhi's courts) and these are recognized by the government.
Al-Qaida was succesful in recruiting a number of local muslims. Al-Qaida began establishing cells in East Africa during the early and mid-1990s. There were Al-Qaida cells in Nairobi, the coastal city of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania. These cells were responsible for the suicide attacks on the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in August 1998. After the bombings it was found out that some Kenyan Muslims had visited Al-Qaida training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. One of the Kenyans who played an important role in the Nairobi bombings was Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan, born in Mobasa. A few days before the bombings he left for Pakistan and he is on the FBI's "Most Wanted Terrorists" list. Swedan visited Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, in June 2001, when Liberia's dictator Charles Taylor was selling diamonds to Al-Qaida. He is a high level Al-Qaida operative. Another Nairobi plotter on the FBI list is Abu Anas-Al-Lib(b)y, a Libyan who once claimed asylum in Britain and lived in Manchester before 2000. Another Al-Qaida conspirator in the embassy bombings is Mohammed Sadiq Odeh, a Palestinian born in Saudi Arabia who joined the jihadists in Afghanistan. He arrived in Kenya in 1994 and worked as a fisherman in Mombasa marrying a Kenyan woman and having children. He was known as "Mohammed the Fisherman" indeed, a perfect cover for a terrorist. More than 200 people died, more than 5000 were wounded in the twin blasts most of the victims were Kenyan and Tanzanian nationals.
The planning for the Embassy bombings started in 1993 when bin Laden was still in Sudan. At the end of 1993, an Al-Qaida surveillance team was sent to Nairobi, writes Johathan Randal in his book "Osama. The Making of a Terrorist" (2004). These men thoroughly cased the U.S. embassy. "Photographs were later shown to Osama bin Laden in Khartoum. Bin Laden looked at the picture of the American embassy and pointed to where a truck could go as a suicide bomber. Less than five years later an Al-Qaida team did just that." The surveillance team consisted of Abu Mohammed Al-Amriki and Anas Al-Lib(b)y who carried a camera on Moi Avenue. The August 1998 attacks had been planned by Mohammed Atef, a former Egyptian police officer who assumed military command of Al-Qaida in May 1996, says former CIA officer Gary Berntsen in his book "Jawbreaker." "He had traveled to Somalia in 1992 and 1993 to train clans opposing U.S. forces."
Al Qaida continued to operate in Kenya and Tanzania after 1998. At the end of November 2002, the Paradise Hotel near Mobasa, a resort owned by an Israeli and popular with Israeli tourists, was car bombed. Sixteen people died, including three Israelis and the three car bombers. Almost simultaneously SA-7 missiles were launched shortly after an Israeli charter plane had taken off from Mombasa airport. They missed. SA-7 surface-to-air shoulder launched missiles are popular with Al-Qaida and Somali militias. The missiles were problably smuggled accross the Somali-Kenyan border. Behind the attacks was the Somali-based group "Al-Itihaad Al-Islamiya," which is linked to Al-Qaida. They received money from Osama bin Laden and many of its members were trained in Afghanistan. It did not take long for Al-Qaida to claim responsibility for the Mombasa attacks: "The brothers gave them a gift for Ramadan in Mombasa, and the gift for the holiday (Id Al-Fitr, at the end of Ramadan) is on its way." (The latter is a reference to a future attack but nothing happened.) In his article on "Al Qaida Recruitment Trends in Kenya and Tanzania," William Rosenau (Rand Corporation) discusses the possibility "that Nairobi- en Mombasa based remnants were responsible for the November 2002 attacks on Israeli tourists." "Fazul Abdallah Mohamed, the Comoros born mastermind of the embassy bombings, is widely considered responsible for the Mombasa attacks. Like his fellow Mombasa and Nairobi co-conspirator, Ahmed Salim Swedan, Fazul was a product of Al Qaida training in Afghanistan." Fazul lived quietly in the coastal town of Lamu near the Somali border, married a local woman, taught at a madrassa. The planning for the November 2002 attacks, though, was protracted and meticulous: "Fazul assembled a team along the coast, and established a small-scale lobster fishing business to provide cover for the group's activities. A year before the attacks, some members of the group gathered in Mogadishu, Somalia, where they received ideological and weapons training, with locally purchased weapons. Later, a number of terrorists returned to the Mombasa region, where they were joined by other elements from the network, and by the following April, the group had identified its targets and was conducting surveillance. Before the attacks, the group divided into four subgroups, with one staying in Mogadishu, a second carrying out the suicide bombing of the hotel near Mombasa, a third in Lamu preparing a boat for escape to Somalia, and a fourth, under Fazul's command, carrying out the failed missile attack on the airliner. The surviving members of the organization fled to Lamu and on to Mogadishu, although a number later returned to Kenya. In August 2003, a suspect in the attacks, Feisal Ali Nassor, killed himself and a police officer when he detonated a grenade as he was being taken into custody. A subsequent raid on a Mombasa house yielded a weapons cache and ammunition, and confirmed to authorities that terrorist cells were still active in Kenya."
Terrorists and Muslim extremists are also active in Tanzania and Zanzibar. In Tanzania about 45 percent of the population are Muslims. Most of them are moderate and peaceful, but there are worries about outside fundamentalist Wahhabist influences from Sudan and Saudi Arabia. Saudi, Sudanese and Gulf charities and business are active in Tanzania which may serve as a cover for terrorist operations and financing. There are also indications that Al-Qaida and other extremists ("Pakistani missionaries" and the like) are stepping up their recruitment efforts in Tanzania and Zanzibar. There have been violent incidents including armed takeovers of moderate mosques in Dar es Salaam. According to "Time Magazine" (September 2003) fundamentalists have taken over 30 of the 487 mosques in the capital and have begun bombing bars and beating up women who go out without being fully covered. Mosques are packed on Fridays and the sermons are increasingly hostile to the West and supportive of the holy war in Iraq and Palestine. "We get our funds from Yemen and Saudi Arabia," says Mohammed Madi, a fundamentalist activist (see footnote 66). "Officially the money is used to buy medicine, but in reality the money is given to us to support our work and buy guns."
At least two Al-Qaida operatives have been identified as originating from Zanzibar: Khalfan Khamis Muhammad, one of those convicted in connection with the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings, and Qaed Sanyan Al-Harithi, a suspected East African point man for bin Laden who was killed in Yemen last year by a CIA drone. Disillusionment with democracy and corruption in Zanzibar and Tanzania has led to more converts to Islam in recent years. Saudi Arabia financed clerics to study in Saudi Arabia. These clerics present Islam as a morally and politically superior model.
Quite worrying is the fact that since 2004 a growing number of African jihadists have traveled to Iraq. Close to a quarter of foreign fighters in Iraq come from Northern Africa. General Thomas Csrnko, head of the U.S. special operations command in Europe (EUCOM), whose security oversight includes North and West Africa, says: "Many veterans could return to Northern Africa to use insurgent tactics developed in Iraq, from bomb-making to strategic planning, against their governments." Al-Qaida in Iraq issued a statement on its website congratulating the "Mujahedeen who are fighting the converters in Mauritania." (This the converters refers to a U.S special forces training program in Mauritania, Chad, Mali, Senegal, Morocco, Niger, Tunisia and Algeria.)
Immigrants from Africa and the Carribbean are targeted by Al-Qaida and other terrorist networks. These young men visit mosques in France, Italy, Germany or Britain, visit internet-cafés and some of them become radicalized. Not always are they marginalized. Take Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a young man from Mauritania who went to Germany to study Electronics at Duisburg University. When he arrived in Germany, he was not radical at all. But this changed after he began to surf the net and met friends who visited the radical "Al-Taqwa" mosque, a favorate place for terrorist recruiters. There were some interesting websites on the war in Chechnya, there was a website linked to Al-Qaida, and there was a nice offer for a free trip to Afghanistan. It did not take long for our young and promising African student to be recruited by Al-Qaida. He finished his studies and set up company in Duisburg. This company served as a cover for Al-Qaida's financial transactions. He married a Mauritanian woman named Sina Bint Seif Al-Din, the sister of Khalid Al-Shantiqi alias Abu Hafs the Mauritanian. This man happened to be a friend of Osama bin Laden's. Abu Hafs the Mauritanian was directly involved in the attacks on the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. In 1999, Osama bin Laden personally asked Ould Slahi to go to Canada. There, he was to meet an Al-Qaida operative named Ahmed Ressam. Ould Slahi had to pass on money and instructions to Ressam in view of a planned "Millennium" terrorist attack in the United States. But US customs found the explosives in Ressam's car and he was arrested.
In Germany, Ould Slahi recruited an native German citizen named Christian Ganczarski who also traveled to Afghanistan and where he met Osama bin Laden. BinLadne needed Ganczarski because of his German passport. He became an Al-Qaida courier. In 2002, Ganczarski would play an important role in the Al-Qaida suicide attack on the synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba. He gave the suicide bomber his blessing.
Al-Qaida also recruited a number of Tunisian, Algerian and Moroccan immigrants in Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Belgium and Britain. Terrorist cells planned and carried out attacks, like the one in Madrid in March 2004 (most of the perpetrators were Moroccans). In 2002, a Tunisian cell in Northern Italy experimented with nerve gas and planned a terrorist attack in France. They were linked to at least one Al-Qaida operative in Belgium. Fortunately, the Tunisian cell in Milan was dismantled by the Italian police just in time.
The Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) is becoming increasingly important and dangerous. The group pledged allegiance to Al-Qaida and is active in Algeria, northern Mali, eastern Mauretania, northern Mali, northern Niger and northern Chad (to create safehaven outside Algeria). "Militant groups like the GSPC can encamp in these regions and go undetected for long periods of time. They promise the poor that Islamic government or a return to Sharia will alleviate their misery." They may also have ties with some African trafficking organizations and are involved in migrant trafficking and documernt forgery operations themselves. In February 2003 a group of tourists, among whom the Dutchman Arjan Hilbers, was taken hostage near Tamanraset in southern Algeria. The kidnappers were GSPC members. In August 2003 the hostages, including Hilbers, were released. Libya's leader Muammar Ghadaffi, who restored relations with the West in recent years, is very concerned about the threat posed by these "Pan-Saharan Salafis." He is equally worried about the prospect of jihadists returning to Libya from Iraq. A number of Libyan jihadists have joined the insurgency in Iraq, three Libyans from Benghazi blew themselves up in Baghdad, and their families in Benghazi held a special "wedding" celebration for these "martyrs." What Ghadaffi does not want is a repetition of what happened in the 1990s when Arab Afghan veterans returned from Afghanistan and continued to wage jihad, but this time against the leaders of their home countries.
The GSPC is furthermore active in Europe (Belgium, France, Spain, Britain. The Netherlands). In April and June 2002, intensive investigations by the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) into recruiting activities in the Netherlands resulted in the arrest of a group of persons that had formed itself around an Algerian man named Rodoin Daoud who was affiliated with the GSPC. After that not much was heard about GSPC activities in Holland. In November and December 2005, Spanish authorities arrested 18 Algerians on suspicion of giving logistical support to the GSPC through criminal activities (theft, document forgery).
North African immigrant networks are increasingly shifting focus to the war in Iraq, Al-Qaida's latest battleground in the jihad against the West. In January 2006 Moroccan Omar Naksha was arrested in Spain, accused of recruiting for Iraq and assisting the Madrid bombing suspects. Spanish authorities linked him both to the GSPC and the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM). There are also GICM terror cells in Belgium and possibly the Netherlands.
In Europe's big cities radical North African and Arab Muslims seek to introduce sharia law in neighborhoods and subsurbs where Muslims form a majority. In Brussels-Molenbeek, for example, Salafist Muslims want to establish an Islamic caliphate, others propagate jihad, the holy war against the infidels. Hind Fraihi, a young Muslim women in Brussels, just published a shocking book on her conversations with fellow Muslims in Brussels-Molenbeek and Brussels-Schaarbeek. Fifteen year old Moroccan boys talked about terrorist attacks and suicide bombings as if they were a normal thing. Young men in Brussels are recruited for the jihad and sent to terrorist training camps, she was told by various sources. She was in a mosque in Schaarbeek where some firebrand cleric was calling on the mosque visitors to sacrifice their money and lives in the jihad.
In the summer of 2005 there were two terrorist attacks on the public transport system in London, those on July 7 were successful, the ones on July 21 tried to imitate the July 7 bombings but failed. The 7/7 attacks were carried out by three Pakistanis (well integrated, not poor) and one Jamaican immigrant. At least two of the Pakistanis had previously received training in a terrorist training camps in Pakistan. One of them, Mohammed Siddique Khan, had visited the US in 2001 and 2002, but in 2003 the CIA and the FBI suddenly discovered that he was a potential terrorist and put him on a no-fly list. There are strong indications that Al-Qaida was involved in the 7/7 bombings. The July 21 "copycat" attacks were probably not linked to Al-Qaida. However, but attention should be focussed on another interesting aspect. Three of the suspects of the failed London bombings were born in Africa, they became jihadists after their arrival in London. Osman Hussain (real name: Hamdi Isaac) and Yasin Hassan Omar were born in Somalia and arrived in Britain in 1992. Mukhtar Said Ibrahim arrived from Eritrea in 1992, and moved in with Omar in 1995/96. He was convicted in 1996 for gang robberies and spent some time in juvenile prisons. After the failed attack on July 21, Osman Hussain fled to Italy where he was arrested (together with his brother who lived in Italy). Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said "Hussain counted on an extensive network from the Horn of Africa in Italy to protect him in his flight from London, through Paris and to Rome." (Members of Somali clans usually protect each other.) Osman lamely claimed he was not a terrorist, he had no intention to kill anyone, but he was "upset" by the presence of British and American troops in Iraq.
Witchcraft and mystical power
"To my knowledge, there is not an African society which does not hold belief in mystical power of one type or another,' writes John S. Mbiti in his authoritative study "African Religions and Philosophy." "There is mystical power which causes people to walk on fire, to lie on thorns or nails, to send curses or harm, including death, from a distance to change into animals (...) power to make inanimate objects turn into biologically living creatures; there is power that enables experts to see into secrets, hidden information or the future, or to detect thieves and other culprits. African peoples know this and try to apply it in these and other ways." Sorcery, witchcraft (evil employment of mystical power), evil magicians, witches, medicine-men and priests still play an important role in the life of many Africans. Witchcraft "is part of the religious corpus of beliefs." There is also a widespread belief in spirits, spirits are blamed for all forms of illness. "Spirit possession occurs in one form or another in practically every African society." Daniel Etounga-Manguelle from Cameroon puts forward the idea that Africa needs a cultural adjustment program. "A society in which magic and witchcraft flourish today is a sick society ruled by tension, fear and moral disorder." In his view, it is the Africans and their culture which are to be blamed for irrationalism, widespread practices of corruption ("the elites have access to large amounts of money"), inefficient African bureaucracies, tribalism and the negation of the individual. There is also a "propensity to feast that suggests that African societies are structured around pleasure." "The African works to live but does not live to work." (In the Summer of 2004 I had a long and friendly conversation with the Sierra Leonan film-maker Sorious Samoura who emphasized: "It's easy to blame the West for Africa's huge problems, but we in Africa must first look at ourselves before we start blaming others.") The costs of irrationalism, says Etounga-Manguelle, are high: "Sorcery also extends to government. Witch doctors surround African presidents, and nothing that really matters in politics occurs without recourse to witchcraft. Occult counselors, responsible for assuring that authorities keep their power by detecting and neutralizing possible opponents, have power that the most influential Western advisors would envy. The witch doctors often amass fortures, and they themselves end up with official designations, enjoying the direct exercise of power."
There is also a widespread irrational belief in Africa that aids can be cured by magic or having sex with teen-age virgins (the more the better), or eating and drinking according to a regulated or prescribed system. The latter is advocated by South-Africa's Minister of Health, Mrs. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, who claims that garlic, African potatoes and olive oil can cure the disease.
Migrants from Africa take their views, habits, cultural and social manners with them. For example, Nigerians introduced voodoo practices to Holland, Belgium, Britain and Italy. Young girls from Nigeria are forced into prostitution by Nigerian traffickers and sent to Europe. Before going to Europe such a girl first has to visit a priest or witch doctor who often has sex with her as part of some sort of initiation ritual. Then he cuts her nails and takes some of her pubic hair and performs a magic ritual called voodoo, thus enforcing the girl's loyalty to the criminals who will send her to Europe. The terrified girls are told that they will die should they dare to escape before they paid their debt to the criminal organization. In Britain and Italy, some certainly not all! African migrants have introduced cannibalistic rituals. They believe that eating parts of the human body will give them extra powers. (This is what African dictators like Emperor Jean-Bedel Bokassa, Idi Amin and Charles Taylor did; Amin, a Muslim with strong ties to the Arab world, was also frequently consulting witch doctors.
In African societies individuals do not count. What counts is your ethnic group, tribe and family relationships. In these male-dominated societies polygamy is not uncommon. Marrital fidelity is exceptional. Aids in Africa is rampant because of widespread practices of promiscuity and prostitution. Having many wives and girlfriends and lots of children, enhances a man's status among African men (such a guy must be very strong and sexually potent). This is also the typical lifestyle of many again, certainly not all Antillians and Jamaicans from the Caribbean who have emigrated to the Netherlands and Britain.
Former Ungandan Health Minister Henry Kyemba makes the following interesting observation about polygamy: "To Europeans and Americans, the idea of having several wives seems strange. There is such a vast cultural gulf between Africans and western nations that the practice is often condemned out of hand by westerners (as we condemn the western custom of extramarital affairs). But in Uganda indeed in many parts of Africa the system is long established, and still works as well. In fact, I myself have to wives."
In a West African country like Mali polygamy is quite common. It is an accepted form of marriage. There are government ministers and ambassadors married to more than two wives. About 90 percent of the population of Mali is sunni Muslim (There is a strong tradition of religious tolerance in Mali, but fundamentalist Wahhabism is gaining ground.) Ancestral practices abound, though, and belief in witchcraft is widespread. In an interview with the BBC in September 2004, state prosecutor Fodie Toure said: "We are getting more cases of everything from people being killed for their organs, to graves being dug up and the bones being stolen, so they can be sold either in Mali or exported." Bodies have been found. Their organs have been cut out so that they can be used in human sacrifices. Such primitive religious customs are not in consonance with official Islam, and Mali has strict laws against practices like human sacrifice: anyone found guilty faces the death penalty. But having up to four wives polygamy is allowed under Islam.
A lot of illegal immigrants currently pooring into Spain are from Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. In the past fifteen years, thousands of immigrants from Mali settled in France's major cities, particularly in the suburbs of Paris (the so-called "banlieues" or "cités"), and they continue to arrive today in vast numbers. Mali (formerly French Sudan) and Senegal were French colonies and French is still the official language spoken in Mali. There are some 120,000 Malians in France, only 40,000 of whom have a residence permit. Many arrived as illegal immigrants, others in the context of so-called "family reunification." Between 1999 and 2004 there was an unprecedented 45 percent increase in immigration from sub-Saharan African countries.
In France polygamy is prohibited by law (since 1993) as is the case in all western countries. But the ban on polygamy was never seriously enforced, the French government simply being unable and unwilling to do so. Immigrants often invoke their "human right" of family reunion. (In 2003, there were nearly 140,000 immigrants, more than 100,000 of whom arrived in France in the context of family reunification.) There are more than 20,000 polygamous families in France, most are from Africa. It is obvious that these migrants take their cultural and social habits and lifestyle to France, disrupting social life and harmony in the suburbs of Paris and other cities. For quite a long time this was a taboo theme in France. Criticizing the cultural and social habits of African migrants was tantamount to racism and xenophobia even Female Genital Mutilation (see below) was a "cultural practice" you were not supposed to condemn (fortunately, this is no longer so). But in November 2005, France's employment minister Gerhard Larcher said "multiple marriages among immigrants was one reason for the racial discrimination which ethnic groups faced in the job market. Overly large polygamous families sometimes led to anti-social behavior among youths who lacked a father figure, making employers wary of hiring ethnic minorities." The men live in apartments with three or four wives and children do not go to school. Hélène Carrère d'Encausse, secretary of the prestigious "Académie Française," sounded desperate when she said in November 2005: "Everybody is wondering: Why are African children in the streets and not in school? Why is its that their parents cannot buy an apartment? It is obvious why: Many of these Africans are polygamists. In one apartment there are three to four wives and 25 children. These apartments are so cramped that you cannot call them apartments anylonger. God knows what they are! Now we understand why these kids are roaming the streets." Critics said Carrère d'Encausse was "stigmatizing" the African community.
Like in Britain, these kids are often organized in criminal and violent gangs (so-called "bandes") which control streets and neigborhoods. African and North African youngsters are largely responsible for the riots in the French suburbs in October/November 2005 when more than 35,000 cars were set on fire. A recent French police report on the 436 gang leaders who were detained last Autumn finds that 67 percent of them had a North African background, 17 percent originated from Africa, and 9 percent was native French. The report was criticized by "SOS Racism" for mentioning the ethnic origin of the detained.
But in the suburbs of Paris there is a new kind of racism aimed at "white Europeans." Native French are afraid of 13-year old boys some of whom have knives. (During the riots last year violent youths set a woman afire, killed a man, frequently attacked the police, causing injuries to quite a few policemen. Native French are now in a minority in the suburbs, they are intimidated and threatened, even beaten up. "You must not look at them," a 47-year old Frenchman told the French newspaper "Le Monde." "If you do they may regard this as a provocation." And a 58-year old French woman told the newspaper: "I take the dog out for a walk in the afternoon. I then return home and lock myself up. There are gangs in the street which threaten us. I am afraid. There are too many immigrants here. There would be no problem if they were quiet, if they were educated. The problem is, each time when 2000 of them are leaving some 3000 new ones are arriving."
In February 2006, a 23-year old Parisian Jew named Ilan Halimi was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by an extortion gang from the suburb of Bagneux. The gang included Muslims of North African descent and was headed by Youssef Fofana, an immigrant from Ivory Coast. They proudly called themselves "the Barbarians." The gang kept Halimi naked and tied up for weeks. They cut him and in the end poured flamable liquid on him and set him alight. The brutal killing of Halimi was widely publicized, Fofana panicked and fled to Ivory Coast, his native country. He was arrested and subsequently expelled to France. Fofana, too, was a man of many women. When he was interviewed by French television in his prison cell in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast, a young local girl was with him all the time. During house searches police discovered Salafist material, some gang members obviously sympathized with extreme religious ideas.
In an interview with the French magazine "l'Express" French Interior Minister Nicolas Zarkozy said: "I don't want the order (established system) of the mafias or the bearded men (radical Muslims), I want the order of the Republic."
Polygamous families from Mali and other African countries have become real clans intimidating anyone who dares to oppose them. The total number of people involved is somewhere between 150,000- and 300,000. They cost the French taxpayer 300 million Euros a year in welfare payments and health costs. (The more children you have, the more money you get.) Many Malian men have a wife in Paris as well as in Mali. Without divorcing their first wife, they can easily marry a second or third time, as so-called "Islamic marriages" are considered legal in Islam, even when such marriages are not recognized by the secular state. Immigration rules have been violated by men who enter France (or Spain ) as so-called single men who are not single at all. In France they marry a local woman who has a residence permit. Mosques and imams fully cooperate, imams in Parisian suburbs are even willing to perform wedding ceremonies in cramped apartments with the men in one room and the women in the other. Abdoulaye Doumbia, President of the "High Council of Malians in France," justifies polygamy as "an ancient custom." Manogamy should not be imposed on Africans, he says. French authorities are afraid to really enforce the ban on polygamy. It would lead to serious disturbances. Another Malian in France (with two to wives) says: God allows us to do so. We have to the right to have four wives."
The Parisian suburb of Montreuil is now called the "first Malian city in France." In Montreuil there are some 6000 Malians, one thousand of whom are polygamous. In the small suburb of Val-Fourré there are 75 polygamous families. Local authorities tried to solve the problem by finding an apartment for each wife but it just did not work. The secular French Republic has lost the battle and everyone knows it. Native French are no longer safe in their own street, their own city, their own country. The huge problems in the suburbs will not be solved when immigrants continue to live and behave as if they were still in Africa. Indeed, this kind of arrogant attitude is the root cause of the problem.
I am familiar with the case story of man from a sub-Saharan African country whose application for political asylum in the Netherlands failed. For six years or so he managed to survive working as and illegal immigrant. At regular intervals he sent few hundred Euros to his wife and relatives in Africa. But last year Dutch immigration authorities sent him back to his home country. As a matter of fact, our African friend was quite happy to be back and see his wife and child again. But his relatives were not so happy. One of his relatives had more than one wife to support, and now the money flow from Europe had suddenly stopped. By sending money to his family back in Africa, our illegal immigrant in Holland was supporting polygamous relationships in his home country. We may pity these illegal immigrants and we may be inclined to help them by giving them a job, but polygamy in Africa not something we should promote.
Genital Female Mutilation (FGM)
Another major problem is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a practice widely spread in Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, Mali, Mauritania and North Nigeria. The World Health Organization estimates that FGM has affected between 100 and 140 million women and girls in 28 African countries (although some of these women and girls live in Asia and the Middle East), and the numbers continue to rise at a rate of approximately 2 million per year. The practice of FGM is also increasingly found in Europe, Australia, Canada and the USA, primarily among immigrants from these countries. For example, in 1995 it was estimated in France that 20,000 women and 12,500 girls have either suffered Female Genital Mutilation or will do so. Of these, 90 percent live in the Paris region; most are from Mali, a few from Senegal. Given the recent influx of immigrants from Mali. Mauritania and Senegal the numbers could be even be higher now.
There are different kinds of FGM or female circumcision: The "Sunna," consisting of the excision of the prepuce of the clitoris (Egypt), the "clitoridectomy," consisting of the excision of the clitoris sometimes with parts of the minor labia, and the "infibulation operation" which means excision of the whole clitoris, the minor labia and the internal faces of the major labia. The remains of the major labia are then stitched together and a small opening left at the lowermost part of the vulva. (Widely practiced in Somalia and Sudan.) "The large numbers of Africans who have emigrated to Europe and the United States have taken the practice with them," says a Somali woman named Waris Dirie in her shocking book "Desert Flower." She herself endured this ancient and savage custom at the age of five. Dirie: "The practice is simply promoted and demanded by men ignorant, selfish men who want to ensure their ownership of their woman's sexual favors. They demand their wives to be circumcised. The mothers comply by circumcising their daughters, for fear their daughters will have no husbands. An uncircumcised woman is regarded as dirty, oversexed, and unmarriageable. In a nomadic culture like the one I was raised in, there is no place for an unmarried woman. (...) There is no reason for the multilation of millions of girls to occur every year except ignorance and superstition. And their legacy of pain, suffering, and death that results from it is more than enough reason for it to stop."
In many male dominated African societies and cultures women are seen as objects for sexual pleasure. On the final page of her book Dirie writes: "Since women are the backbone of Africa, and they do most of the work, I like to imagine how much they could accomplish if they weren't butchered as children and left to function maimed for the rest of their lives."
In a number of African countries (South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Rwanda, Congo) many women are victims of rape, especially group or gang rape. In post-Apartheid South Africa more women are raped than anywhere else in the world (every 85 seconds a woman is raped) which is one of the main reasons South Africa has the world's highest rate of HIV infections. In Europe, North African, African and Caribbean youth gangs are responsible for the rising incidence of group rapes. The victims are often (but by no means exclusively) white Europen women. In Britain, Scotland Yard reported: "Suspects of African and Caribbean appearance were identified in 49 percent of attacks. A further 13 percent were committed by men of Indian/Pakistani appearance." In England gang rapes and "jack rolling" (gangs of youths in cars block off streets and rape every woman caught in their net) were introduced into Britain by young blacks from Jamaica and South Africa. In court the rapists usually deny everything, claiming that the women they raped wanted sex themselves. They often intimidate and threaten their victims and their family members if they go to the police.
Gang rapes in the suburbs of Paris have been described in Samira Bellil's book "Dans l"enfer des Tournantes" (2002). She was frequenlty gang raped herself by youngsters of North African descend living in the Parisian suburbs. Her case shows that second generation Muslim female immigrants are also targeted by these extremely violent groups and gangs. Any woman who dares to resist the dominance of these local youth gangs can be raped or even killed. Samira Bellil describes how women are being gang raped in basements. The "cités" (suburbs) are full of North African and African machos, the only thing they learn at home and in the street is that men are the masters of the women. Women have to oblige all the time. Reporting to the police is out of the question. Women like Samira Bellil who take such a step face serious consequences. The young gangsters threaten to set their apartment on fire, they intimidate parents (after receiving many threats Samira's parents had to sell their apartment in Pierrefitte), sometimes they even kill their victim. There is no lack of guns and knives, no lack of aggressive young men seeking revenge. You are not supposed to break the rules of the cités.
"Enjoy your drink, finish your glass quickly, because this will be your last," two Cape Verdian killers said just before they used their machine guns in a pub in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Pub owner Alberto Jose Frances, a Cape Verdian immigrant himself, and two visitors died instantly, the woman in the bar was seriously wounded and will be handicapped for life. Some local Cape Verdian gang leader wanted money from a man named Brian, but Brian had left the pub shortly before the killing commando entered it.
In the Rotterdam, Cape Verdian and Antillean (from the Netherlands Antilles) gangs have a notorious reputation. They carry arms and intimidate others, especially people whose skins are white. Claiming to be victims of racial discrimination they display racist views themselves, are extremely arrogant and violent those who dare to contradict them will be severely beaten or killed. Their special skills are rape, gang rapes and prostitution. One of the gangs proudly calls itself the "Cabo Pimp Unit" (CPU), another is called the "G-Unit" (Gorilla-Unit). They are inspired by rap music and music channels like "The Box" and "TMF" which show sensual girls wanting sex with black men. In Rotterdam 50 percent of the Cape Verdian girls is raped or sexually abused by their father. In September 2005, a court in Rotterdam condemned a group twelve boys who had gang raped a 13 year old girl. The youngest gang rapist was only 9 years old. Girls are seen as objects for pleasure. This is not something unique. It is part of the youth culture in Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles (where most Antillean youths in Holland originally come from), Jamaica and South Africa. There is a pattern of one parent families, macho fathers who are often absent, mothers defending their sons' crimes, lack of proper education and money is made through crime or prostitution. For most of these gang rapists often minors younger than 18 rape is a leisure, a game. Importing AIDS and tuberculosis
Depending on the country of origin 4 to 15 percent of the young undocumented Africans arriving in Spain, Italy and Greece must be HIV infected. In a Muslim country like Mali the infection rate among 15 to 19 year old is 3.4 percent, the infection rate among the 20 tot 23 year old is 3.8 percent (2005). The adult prevalence of HIV infections in Senegal and Mauritania is between 0.5 and 1.0 percent, in Ivory Coast it is 5 to 15 percent, in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique it is 15 to 34 percent (UNAIDS, 2006). The rapid influx of sub-Saharan Africans, most of whom are young and sexually active males, is bound to result in an increase of HIV infections in Europe, especially in Spain, Italy and Greece. Many African illegal immigrants are also carriers of other diseases like yellow fever and tuberculosis. In Spain and the Canary Islands policemen handling the arrival of illegal immigrants from Africa are wearing protective nose and mouth caps against contagious diseases. Illegal immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa are not routinely tested for HIV or tuberculosis. But on August 19, 2006, a group of 132 Africans arrived in the Canary island of El Hierro. After one of them indicated that he had contracted tuberculosis, the whole group was taken to a sport complex and medically examined. It turned out that 46 of them reacted positively to the Mantoux test. Doctors emphasized, however, that none of them showed any symptoms of the disease yet. Local authorities decided to transfer 90 of these immigrants to the Canary island of Tenerife. But two shipping companies refused to take them aboard. The management of the companies argued that the health and security risks for the crew and the passengers were too high. They wanted a one hundred percent guarantee about the health condition of the Africans, and no such guarantee had been given, they claimed.
©2006 Emerson Vermaat, all rights reserved.
Emerson Vermaat, M.A. (law), is an investigative reporter specialized in terrorism and crime. As early as March 1997 he wrote about Osama bin Laden's role in international terrorism. As a reporter for Dutch television he traveled widely, making television reports in war zones and crisis areas (Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Asia and the former Soviet Union).
 El País, 28 July 2006, p. 19 ("La ONU Revela que las Mafias Ganan 230 Milliones al Año por Pasar a 240.000 Africanos a Europa").
 El País, 18 August 2006, p. 17 ("El Presidente Canario Exige al Gobierno un Gabinete de Crisis Ante la Riada de Cayucos").
 El País, 21 August 2006, p. 1, 19 ("El Gobierno Canario Pide Que Intervenga la ONU Ante la Situación de Emergencia").
 El País, 27 August 2006, p. 22 ("Lo Siento, Usted No Existe").
 The Observer, 18 May, 2003 (Immigrants behind crime wave police').
 Minette Marrin, Our Murderous Migrant Tower of Babel, in The Sunday Times, 13 August 2006, p. 6.
 David J. Smith, Ethnic Origins. Crime, Criminal Justice, in: The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. Second Edition (Oxford: Clarendom Press, 1997), p. 725
 Ibid., p. 750.
 Mike Maguire, Rod Morgan and Robert Reiner (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. Third Edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 601, 602.
 El Mundo, 28 August 2006, p. 11 ("Prisiones Promoverá que los Inmigrantes Cumplan las Penas en Sus Países de Origen").
 Twee Vandaag (Dutch TV Channel 2 news), 5 March 2001.
 Athor's interview with Konrad Freiberg, Hamburg, February 2001.
 The Times, 11 August 2006, p. 24 ("Ring of Steel Locks in Immigrants"); The Guardian, 14 August 2006 ("Out of Sight, Out of Mind"); BBC News, 8 August 2006 ("Padua Builds Wall in Drugs Battle").
 RTL4 Nieuws, 23 August 2006 (19:40 Dutch time).
 Rose El Youssef, 15 May 1995 (an Egyptian weekly).
 The Times, 29 September 2005, p. 3 ("The Day When Osama bin Laden Applied for Asylum in Britain"). Based on information from Michael Howard, who was then Home Secretary.
 Pakistan, 11 February 1997 (a Pakistani daily newspaper).
 Newsweek (European edition), 31 July 2006, p. 38, 39 ("Africa's Taliban").
 Osama bin Laden, As-Sahab (internet message), 1 July 2006.
 El País, 24 August 2006, p. 8 ("Los Islamistas de Somalia Abren un Campo de Entrenamiento Internacional").
 William Rosenau, Al Qaida Recruitment Trends in Kenya and Tanzania, in: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 2005 (28), p. 3.
 M.J. Gohel, Terrorism Returns to Kenya, APF Analysis, 28 November 2002, p. 2 (London: Asia-Pacific Foundation).
 Douglas Farah, Blood from Stones. The Secret Financial Network of Terror (New York: Broadway Books, 2004), p. 88, 89.
 Jonathan Randal, Osama. The Making of a Terrorist (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), p. 150, 151.
 United States District Court, Southern District of New York, United States v. Usama Bin Laden, et. al., Defendants, Day 21, 1215, 3173 (February 2001).
 Gary Berntsen, Jawbreaker (New York: Crown Publishers, 2005), p. 206.
 M.J. Gohel, Al-Ittihad Al-Islamiya, Al-Qaida and the Horn of Africa, AFP Analysis, 1 December 2002, p. 1-5 (London: Asia Pacific Foundation). See also: Newsweek (European edition), December 9, 2002, p. 28-32 ("Open Season").
 MEMRI, 4 December, 2002 ("Al-Qaida Affiliated Web Site Warns of Attack During Id Al-Fitr").
 William Rosenau, op. cit., p. 3.
 Time, 15 September 2003 ("Inside the Kingdom"). Internet edition.
 Terrorism Monitor, Vol. 1, Issue 5 (November 7, 2003), Tanzania: Al Qaeda's East African Beachhead? (Washington: The Jamestown Foundation).
 The Washington Times, 25 June 2005 ("Terrorists in Iraq seen from Africa").
 Emerson Vermaat, De Dodelijke Planning van Al-Qaida ("Al-Qaida's Deadly Planning") (Soesterberg, Netherlands: Aspekt Publishers, 2005), p. 196-198. Based on the author's extensive research on Ould Slahi.
 Ricardo Laremont and Hrach Gregorian, Political Islam in West Africa and the Sahel, in: Military Review, January-February 2006, p. 27.
 Annual Report 2003 General Intelligence and Security Service (Leidschendam, the Netherlands: AIVD, 2004), p. 18.
 Alison Pargeter, Militant Groups Pose Security Challenge for Libyan Regime, in: Jane's Intelligence Review, August 2005, p. 16, 17.
 Annual report 2002 General Intelligence and Security Service (Leidschendam: AIVD, 2003), p. 19; author's sources.
 Alison Pargeter and Ahmed Al-Baddawy, North Africa's Radical Diaspora in Europe Shift Focus to Iraq War, in: Jane's Intelligence Review, April 2006, p. 12.
 Ibid., p. 13.
 Hind Fraihi, Undercover in Klein-Marokko. Achter de Gesloten Deuren van de Radicale Islam (Leuven, Belgium: Uitgeverij Van Halewyck, 2006), p. 43-45, 82, 83, 86, 87.
 Ron Suskind, The One Percent Doctrine. Deep Inside America's Enemies Since 9/11 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006), p. 200-203.
 SFGate.com/Associated Press, 31 July 2005 ("Man Admits Role in Failed London Attack").
 John S. Mbiti, African Religions and Philosophy (London/Nairobi: Heinemann, 1974), p. 198, 199.
 Ibid., p. 202.
 Ibid., p. 81.
 Daniel Etounga-Manguelle, Does Africa Need a Cultural Adjustment Program? in: Lawrence E. Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington, Culture Matters. How Values Shape Human Progress (New York: Basic Books, 2000), p. 73.
 Ibid., 71, 72, 73.
 Ibid., p. 74.
 El País, 8 June 2005, p. 11 ("La Ministra de Sanidad Surafrikana Aconseja Falsos Remedios Contra el Sida").
 Emerson Vermaat, Misdaad, Migratie en Cultuur ("Crime, Migration and Culture") (Soesterberg, the Netherlands: Aspekt Publishers, 2004), p. 239-246. Also based on interviews by the author in Belgium and the Netherlands.
 Emerson Vermaat, op. cit., p. 245.
 Washington Post, 24 June 2003 ("Evil's Human Faces"). See also: Riccardo Orizio, Talk of the Devil. Encounters With Seven Dictators (London: Secker & Warburg, 2003).
 Henry Kyemba (former Minister of Health), State of Blood. The Inside Story of Idi Amin's Reign of Fear (London: Corgi Books, 1977), p. 108-110 (cannibalism and witchcraft).
 Douglas Farah, Blood from Stones. The Secret Financial Network of Terror (New York: Broadway Books, 2004), p. 48. See also: NRC Handelsblad, 8 April 2006, p. 48 (Charles Taylor's cannibalism), and: New York Times, 2 April 2006 ("A Master Plan Drawn in Blood").
 Emerson Vermaat, Misdaad, Migratie en Cultuur, op. cit., p. 168-177.
 Henry Kyemba, op. cit., p. 18, 19.
 UN HRCRC/99/49, 28 September 1999: Committee on Rights of Child Continues Review of Report on Mali.
 Michael Rubin, Deserted, in: New Republic, 11 February 2002.
 BBC News, 20 September 2004, 8:24 GMT.
 ANP/AFP, 24 August 2006.
 Sylvain Ephimenco, Het Taboe van de Polygamie, in: Trouw, 10 November 2005.
 Financial Times, 16 November 2005, p. 8 ("Polygamy played part in French riots"').
 Le Monde, 17 November 2005.
 Henri Georges Minyem, La Polygamie des Africains en Cause, Selon Carrère d'Encausse, Oumma.com, 21 November 2005.
 El País, 24 August 2006, p. 9 ("SOS-Racismo se Querella en Francia Por el Uso de Datos Etnicos de Detenidos").
 Le Monde, 15 November 2005, p. 13 ("Les Habitants des Pavillons de Montferneuil Vivent Dans un Sentiment d'Angoisse et d'Injustice").
 Haaretz.com, 19 February 2006 ("France Arrests Gang Suspected in Killing of Parisian Jew").
 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 24 February 2006, p. 3 ("Die Barbaren aus der Vorstadt") (Bei Hausdurchsuchungen wurden propalästinensische Propaganda und salafistische Schriften gefunden.' El País, 24 February 2006, p. 14 ("Detenido el Hombre que Mató a un Empresario Judío en París"): "En poder de la banda fue hallada además propaganda salafista."
 l'Express, 17 November 2005. p. 15 ("Nicolas Sarkozy Contre Attaque").
 Sybilla Claus, Eén Man, Vier Vrouwen. Ploygamie, in; Trouw, 8 March 2006.
 l'Express, 21 August 2006 ("Polygamie: Cet interdit qui a droit de cité"). Both quotes are from this article.
 World Health Organization (WHO), Female Genital Mutilation, Factsheet No. 241, June 2000.
 Collete Gallard, Female Genital Mutilation in France, in: British Medical Journal, June 1995 (310), p. 1592-1593.
 M.A. Dirie and G. Lindmark, The Risk of Medical Complications After Female Circumcision, in: East African Medical Journal, Vol. 69, Number 9 (September 1992), p. 479-482 and: Sami A. Aldeeb Abu Sahlieh, To Mutilate in the Name of Jehova or Allah: Legitimation of Male and Female Circumcision, in: Medicine and Law, Vol. 13, Number 7-8 (July 1994), p. 575-622.
 Waris Dirie, Desert Flower and Desert Dawn (London: Virago Press, 2004), p. 231.
 Ibid., p. 232.
 Ibid., p. 238.
 Telegraph.co.uk, 14 January 2004 ("Muggers Blamed for Increase in Gang Rapes")
 The Times, 12 August 2005, p. 3 ("Jack Rolling" Link to Rape Gang").
 Samira Bellil, Dans l'Enfer des Tournantes (Paris: Editions Denoël, 2002), p. 47-51.
 Ibid., p. 88-90, 168 ("After repeated threats by the gang, my parents were forced to sell their apartment."), 169-171.
 De Telegraaf, 26 november 2005, p. 7 ("Verdachten cafémoord geven nog laatste ronde").
 Trouw, 9 September 2005 ("De Verdieping") p. 1-3 ("Net als op de Box. Tienerseks").
 Algemeen Dagblad, 6 September 2005, p. 2 ("Jaar Cel voor Gedwongen Groepsseks").
 The Times, 12 August 2005, p. 3 (Where sex crime is "just a bit of a game").
 Monitoring the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS). Reporting Framework Mali, 2003-2005 (UNAIDS, 2006).
 El País, 25 August 2006, p. 18 ("Dos Navieras Se Niegan a Trasladar a 90 Africanos por Falta de Garantías Sanitarias"); See also: El Mundo, 25 August 2006, p. 10.