6 years after two Ghanaians joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and almost 12 years after Nigerian Umar Faruk Abdulmutallab used Accra as a transit to Amsterdam for a failed plane bombing, a Ghanaian suicide bomber, Abu Dujana, has detonated a suicide car bomb at a French Reconnaissance camp inside Mali, MyNewsGh.com can authoritatively report.
The car bomb was detonated by the Ghanaian suicide bomber near French military forces in the Kaigourou neighbourhood of Gossi in Mali, leaving at least twelve people including 8 French soldiers and 4 residents with very fatal injuries. Abu Dujana didn’t survive.
Abu, who pre-recorded a video before the attack revealed he is a native of Karaga in the Northern Region of Ghana.
He detonated the explosives on the instructions of terrorist coalition the Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin popularly known by its acronym JNIM or its French name Groupe de soutien à l’Islam et aux Musulmans (GSIM).
85% of all terrorist bombings in Mali and Burkina Faso are reportedly carried out by this JNIM group which is a merger of terrorist groups Ansar Dine, the Macina Liberation Front (FLM), Al-Mourabitoun and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). JNIM is the official branch of Al-Qaeda in Mali, after its leaders swore allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the global terror kingpin after Osama Bin Laden.
Based on checks, Abu Dujana is suspected to have changed his actual name and adopted the “Abu Dujana” name when he joined the terrorists.
In the video he pre-recorded snippets of which has been intercepted by MyNewsGh.com before the suicide mission, Abu bade fare well to his parents and called on Ghanaians youth, especially those from his Fulani ethnic group to take up arms against Ghana.
This comes on the back of perceived marginalization and discrimination against Fulani in Ghana.
Abu Dujana paid tribute to the leadership of the terrorist coalition JNIM and called on Jafar Dicko (leader of notorious Ansaroul Islam terrorist group) to continue the terror fight without giving up.
It is unclear the timeline of when he joined the terrorist and whether he was the only one recruited prior to the June 21 suicide attack last week.
Ghana in turbulent times
Although Ghana is situated in a turbulent neighbourhood given developments in Mali and parts of Burkina Faso lately, Ghana has managed to largely stay free from terrorism and extremism until these latest developments; first, when officials confirmed at least two citizens joined the Islamic State ISIS in 2015 and now when MyNewsGh.com intercepted information on the latest car suicide bombing by a Ghanaian.
It will be recalled in 2015, Ghana confirmed that at least two Ghanaian citizens left the country to join the Islamic State. One of them, Mohammad Nazir Nortei Alema, a 25-year-old university student, contacted his family via WhatsApp on Aug. 16 2015 to tell them he had joined the Islamist extremists.
The identity of the second individual who allegedly joined the group was not reported.
According to Yaw Donkor, then National Security boss, Alema likely traveled through neighbouring Burkina Faso or nearby Nigeria before reaching a training camp in Niger and then moving forward to Turkey or Syria. Mr. Donkor also confirmed that Alema was radicalized in an online forum, raising fears that the Islamic State was using social media to persuade other Ghanaian university students to join the group in Iraq or Syria — or potentially, return home to take up arms in Ghana itself as news reports then suggested.
Alema’s family have claimed they believed he was radicalized online, not in a mosque in Ghana.
Alema, who reportedly finished a government internship in July, displayed no signs of outwardly supporting radical Islam, his family members have said. His brother told Reuters that two weeks after telling his family he was traveling from Accra to a mining town in the country’s west, they received WhatsApp messages revealing he left the country to join the group and abandon what he called “the corrupt system.”
Umar Farouk Albdulmutalab Accra
It will be recalled in 2009, a 25 year old boy Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab traveled to Yemen for the purpose of becoming involved in violent “jihad” on behalf of al-Qaeda purchasing his ticket in Ghana and flying via Kotoka International Airport to Lagos.
He arrived in Nigeria on 24 December from Ghana via Virgin Nigeria. His passport was scanned on entry into Nigeria at 20:08 and was scanned in at check-in for departure to Amsterdam at 20:35.
Although Abdulmutallab was known to have bought his ticket here in Accra, he officially started his journey on December 24 in Lagos, where he boarded the KLM flight to Amsterdam before transiting to the Detroit flight.
He conspired with other al-Qaeda members to bomb a U.S. aircraft over U.S. soil and received an explosive device for that purpose. Abdulmutallab traveled with the bomb concealed in his underwear from Yemen to Africa and then to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where he boarded Flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009.
Abdulmutallab’s purpose in taking the bomb on board Flight 253 was to detonate it during flight, causing the plane to crash and kill the 290 passengers and crew members on board.
As Flight 253 was on descent into Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the Abdulmutalab detonated the bomb, which resulted in a fire, without fully exploding. Passengers and flight attendants tackled him and extinguished the fire.
A native of Kaduna in Nigeria, Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty on Oct. 12, 2011, to conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries; attempted murder within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States; willfully placing a destructive device on an aircraft, which was likely to have endangered the safety of the aircraft; attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction; willfully attempting to destroy and wreck a civil aircraft; and three counts of possession of a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence.
He was sentenced to life.