Former U.S. Ambassador John Price, in a wide ranging interview on Fox News, describes in detail the threat posed by the Islamic militant group, Boko Haram. The group is suspected of kidnapping several hundred schoolgirls in Nigeria and is in the process of selling the girls for as little as $12 USD.
Ambassador Price describes how the group has not been a priority for the United States. “Congressional [leaders] don’t know much about what is going on there,” Price said. “We don’t get in there and talk about the real issue which is radical Islam is growing.” Besides the 300 schoolgirls that were kidnapped, the group is responsible for countless killings in Nigeria, and in the region. “There have been thousands of people killed, many attacks mostly against Christian churches and now even Muslim children are being attacked in schools,” Price said.
The U.S. State Department has announced that the United States will send personnel to Nigeria to help search for the kidnapped girls. However, Price suggested that the United States could utilize other assets like drones to help the Nigerian government search for the girls and to conduct intelligence gathering. “There are a fleet of drones sitting in Niger,” Price said. “We should be using those drones to check out the northern part of Nigeria to [monitor] the Islamist activities.” Price speculates that based on the movements of the group that the girls are now in neighboring countries. “The concern is if you try and find the camps they are in…the Islamists will start killing the girls,” Price said.
John Price was the former U.S. ambassador to Mauritius, Seychelles, and Comoros, during the Bush administration and has written extensively on the threat posed by Islamists throughout West Africa.