Nigeria: We've Made Arrest in Missing Girls Case

Businessman 'actively participated' in mass kidnap

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 1, 2014 2:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Nigeria's military says it has arrested a businessman who belonged to a vigilante group fighting Boko Haram but was secretly a member of the extremist group himself—and "participated actively" in the kidnap of more than 200 schoolgirls in April. The military says the businessman was part of a Boko Haram intelligence unit and coordinated attacks that have killed hundreds of people, the BBC reports. Two women from the intelligence unit have also been arrested.

It's not clear whether the arrest of the businessman will help rescue the girls, at least 219 of whom are still believed to be in captivity: Nigeria said a month ago that it knows where the girls are, but fears trying to free them with force could get them killed. Boko Haram, which says it won't free the schoolgirls until captured fighters are freed, has killed more than 2,000 people so far this year, including dozens killed Sunday in attacks on churches just a few miles from where the girls were kidnapped, the AP reports. Vigilante groups say the militants gunned down worshippers before torching at least four churches, killing more than 30 people.

This image is taken from video of the missing girls released by Boko Haram, which says they have converted to Islam.   (AP Photo)
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