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Thu Jun 19, 2014, 08:33 AM

Those Missing Nigerian School Girls


Nigerians Despair as Search for Girls Stalls

Frustration Mounts as Students Remain Missing Despite American Intelligence Effort; Boko Haram Takes Bolder Steps

In the two months since the U.S. said it would park a small number of surveillance craft in nearby Chad. U.S. intelligence specialists have spent the past month methodically piecing together a broad, so-called baseline portrait of northeastern Nigeria's topography, human geography, road networks and population centers, said one Washington-based adviser to U.S. intelligence agencies who is involved in the effort. It encompasses things like topography, human geography, road networks and population centers.

Nigeria's military says that it has the manpower and will to push back Boko Haram—and that it mainly lacks intelligence the drones can deliver. But such intelligence gathering can take months, even years, before yielding actionable leads, said Col. Leighton and this adviser. America's limited experience in Nigeria's countryside, where hundreds of languages are spoken, also presents an obstacle, both said.

"The first hours are critical" in a kidnapping, said J. Peter Pham, director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank. "Beyond that, trails go cold. And that's where the reality is. By the time social media caught onto this, it was well too late."

The U.S. military may also be reluctant to share sensitive raw intelligence with a Nigerian army whose soldiers have been accused of leaking information to Boko Haram insurgents, according to the adviser.

It was hard to find the right words/4 paragraphs - but what struck me the most is that we - the US are 'piecing' together basic information that appears in the CIA World Fact Book.

My heart breaks for those families - because I think those girls are lost forever.

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