Weekly News Roundup: Pakistan, West Africa kidnappings, Iranian mischief in Nigeria

(Notes on the Periphery will feature a few news and analysis pieces each week from trending topics. Not meant to be comprehensive (thank God!), but rather meant to introduce some of the highlights.)

So…the first-ever Notes on the Periphery news roundup below!

West Africa

Nigeria: This week saw an unusually high concentration of kidnappings in the region, as 20 foreigners were snatched in or around Nigeria in three separate incidents. Northern Nigeria-based Ansaru, a Boko-Haram offshoot, has claimed responsibility for two of them (good backgrounder here). Map of the current Nigeria-based hostages here (in French).

Also in Nigeria news, an uncovered terrorist cell in Lagos reportedly backed by Iran puts Tehran in an awkward situation, particularly in light of this. Oops.

Thinking about travelling to the region? Well, the French government says stay out of the areas in red here. Mali, Niger, and Mauritania will, sadly, probably be off limits for tourists for some months or years.

Mali: Islamists in the north seem determined to start a guerrilla war. Should a spate of new attacks change France’s mind about leaving?

Also, if you’re a fan of Oscar nominee Django Unchained, did you know there was a real-life Django serving as Mali’s prime minister? An interview with PM Django Cissoko here (in French again).

South Asia

Pakistan: Less than a week after another deadly attack targeting Shi’a Muslims in Quetta, Pakistani security forces took action against terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), the likely perpetrators. We shouldn’t forget, however, that LeJ leader Malik Ishaq has been let off virtually scot-free before

India: Islamist terrorist group Indian Mujahideen is likely behind two deadly explosions in Hyderabad this week. Stay tuned for more details.

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