Tags: Nigeria | young | radicals | Islam

Young Nigerians Pulled Into Radical Islam for Terror Training

Sunday, 27 Dec 2009 10:07 PM


KANO, Nigeria - Middle Eastern schools favored by Nigeria's wealthy families are pulling young Nigerians toward radical Islam, security and rights experts said Sunday.

The 23-year-old Nigerian charged with trying to blow up a passenger jet over the United States on Christmas Day was a devout Muslim who studied in Dubai and Yemen after living in Britain.

"The recent trend of rich parents sending their children for studies in the Middle East has an unhealthy implication, exposing these children to Islamic extremism," said northern Nigeria rights activist Shehu Sani.

Whereas most wealthy Nigerians previously sent their children to study in Europe or the United States, many have switched to the Middle East and Asia to save on cost and to protect Islamic values.

"It is a Catch-22 situation," Mr. Sani said. "While young men who study in the West imbibe a world outlook and dispositions deemed abhorrent by traditional northern Muslim society, those sent to Asia and the Middle East stand the risk of indoctrination with religious extremism."

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