In a video of two European engineers who were kidnapped in Nigeria, the hostages say their kidnappers are from Al Qaeda, but their home governments have doubts.
In May, two engineers, one British and one Italian, were kidnapped in Kebbi, a city in Northwestern Nigeria near the borders with Benin and Niger (map). Commentators speculated about the kidnappers – was it Boko Haram, the Muslim militant sect that operates primarily in the country’s Northeast? Was it Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which has kidnapped Westerners in Mauritania, Mali, Niger, and North Africa, but never before in Nigeria? Or was it a local criminal group? The latter was my own suspicion at the time, but for a time there was practically no information about the incident.
That has changed. A newly released video links the kidnapping to Al Qaeda:
The roughly one-minute-long video sent to AFP in Abidjan is the first proof of life of the engineers since they were kidnapped from their apartment in Nigeria’s northwestern Kebbi state on the border with Niger.