The Islamist group Boko Haram abducted eight more schoolgirls Tuesday as the Nigerian authorities faced rising protest over their inability to find the 276 girls kidnapped from the northeastern village of Chibok on April 14. Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday the US was sending FBI agents to help trace the girls.
In a video released Monday, Islamist Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau described the schoolgirls aged 14 to 16 as “slaves.” He said: "I abducted your girls. I will send them in the market, by Allah." Some of the girls were reported last week to have been forced to marry their abductors, who paid a nominal bride price of $12. Others were said to have been carried into neighboring Cameroon and Chad. These reports were not verified.
DEBKAfile: By the time the Nigerian army gets set for a serious search operation aided by US intelligence, the girls will have been moved to new hideouts or else Boko Haram will have carried out its threat to sell them. This episode exposes the weakness of the US AfricaCom that was established to combat terrorism on the continent. Nigerian police said 53 girls had escaped. President Barack Obama has been briefed several times on what the White House calls “an outrage and terrible tragedy."