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US Sentences Nigerian Al Qaeda Member Lawal Babafemi to 22 Years in Prison



Lawal Babafemi

Lawal Babafemi

A Nigerian man named Lawal Babafemi, who is an Al Qaeda member, was on Wednesday sentenced to 22 years in prison.

His sentence comes having pleaded guilty in April 2014 to “providing and conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist group, New York Times reports.

During court proceedings, Babafemi told the Judge presiding over the case,  John Gleeson that he was extremely sorry and that he has denounced Al Qaeda.

In January 2011, Babafemi travelled to Yemen, where he went to a safe house and pledged loyalty to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He also wrote and edited for Inspire Magazine, an English-language propaganda publication, and “wrote English rap lyrics about jihad” as part of an effort to spread the Qaeda branch’s views through songs.

Reports also state that he was making plans to recruit other Nigerians to join the terrorist group.

NYT sheds some light on Babafemi’s background:

Babafemi, about 35, was born in Nigeria. When he was 2, his parents separated — his father had several wives, Mr. Babafemi said in a letter to the judge. After that, he saw his father only three more times.

His mother hauled timber to a sawmill six days a week to support him and his four siblings, and “there were many cases of people dying in this forest due to the attack from the wild animals,” Mr. Babafemi wrote.

Mr. Babafemi was often left in day care or watched by older family members, and he was sexually abused by some of them until he was 10, according to a sentencing memorandum filed by Ms. Hoyes.

In Lagos, violent student groups known as cults shut down his college’s operations. After an identification mix-up, he had to repeat his first-year courses, and professors said they lost exams, so he did not get credit for some classes. Mr. Babafemi did not graduate despite paying for and attending for six years.

He married a childhood friend, a woman named Nike, in 2007, and tried to start a fish-farming business. Suppliers, however, lied to him about the species they sold, and power failures made maintaining fresh water for the fish impossible, the memorandum said.

Nike had a stillborn baby and several miscarriages before delivering two children.

In 2010, Mr. Babafemi went to Yemen, apparently wanting to join Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He did not explain why.

For more information about Babafemi’s case, visit New York Times


  1. Tai omo Yoruba nimi

    August 13, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Idiot ! Disgracing and dragging our country in the mud but pls o which one is wild animals attacking and killing people ? Such a liar ,this how these foolish Americans will continue to have their myopic view of Africa and how we live In The forest and on trees.this man makes me so mad ,I was expecting the judge to order a longer sentence ,55 yrs would have been ideal for you oloriburuku onyeara oloshi jatijati

  2. melody

    August 13, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Babafemi… This is heartless of you oh.. Al- Qaeda has network in Nigeria too. Wicked People out there. One has to be watchful!

  3. nene+

    August 13, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I wanted a life imprisonment for this fellow, then i chose to up the read up the post and i can say that if he repents after 22*3=66 years he should rejoin his family whilst his parent should complete the life imprisonment for Babafemi.

    Babafemi there is no justification for joining Al queada to kill innocent people.
    There are several others who share your story but have succeeded doing legitimate business.

    Mtcheeeeww useless excuses even though your parents where wrong you have done the worst.

  4. Gorgeous

    August 13, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    The wickedness that goes on in Nigeria, enables and feeds such menace. Nigeria is fertile ground for such recruitment because most are frustrated by the way we do things. The thing is it will always backfire on us. We need to do better. How can an institution collect money for 6 years and not award a certificate or dismissal, wickedness of the highest order. That is why the North is what it is. Such wickedness is alien to the SW and we should do better, really.

  5. lala

    August 14, 2015 at 12:44 am

    That is not excuse abegiii,the guy had it in him all these while,a lot of people have been through worse problems,us govt sort him out bo,he should not pour sand in other people’s garri

  6. Tiki

    August 14, 2015 at 8:59 am

    They should have given him life imprisonment. Since when did suffering excuse terrorism? Is he the first to have suffered? At least he found a way to travel, and reach Yemen! Does he know how many people suffer until the day they die in a face-me-I-slap-you in Ojuelegba?

    Aaargh, my blood boils. Such people make me wish jungle justice was still an option.

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