HENRY OKAH – A GLOBAL GUERRILLA ENTREPRENEUR

John Robb of Global Guerrillas has presented information of what he thinks is maybe the most successful guerrilla entrepreneur in innovation of warfare. Varldsinbordeskriget has earlier quoted Robb on guerrilla techniques in what is on this blog called the global civil war.

Okah, a Nigerian, has moved to South Africa with his family. He has a personal fortune and has caused millions of U.S. dollars in losses for Nigerian/Shell, which has a market value of 29 billion US dollars. Okah’s new system of warfare will probably be a vital part of the global civil war in years to come.

Young violent men in Nigeria routinely offer their services to dfferent causes. Okah started hiring them, so that he could assemble ad hoc guerrilla forces to do his work. To fund these guerrillas he had a system of private entrepreneurs to steal oil from the pipelines of major oil companies in the Niger delta Henry’s leased freighters which were waiting offshore to receive the stolen oil. In return for protection the guerrillas were given cash and weapons.

With guerrillas, cash and weapons Okah was now able to fight a war. He formed a political Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) which he steered from his home in South Africa. Robb describes Okah’s method as systems disruption. Oil pipelines were sabotaged through attacks on pumping stations and oil platforms. Western oil workers were taken hostage n an effort to drive out Western companies. The goal: hollow out the Nigerian state by depriving it of income, driving away its corporate allies, and setting up temporary autonomous zones in the Delta .
Okah was arrested in February 2008 while in Angola to purchase arms and equipment but was extradited to Nigeria. Despite his capture the technique will live on.

Okah is a good example of what the new guerrilla can do by forming a criminal system and coordinating attacks using the new global communications network. He was able to use violent guerrillas and contractors to threaten a large nation state in Africa. The arrest of Okah means that the stage is open for new entrpreneurs in this form of guerrilla warfare.

The idea also has global consequences. The technique in Nigeria can be used on a global scale. The cost is low and the promise of cash reward is great.

Not only jihadist terror is a threat today. Private entrepreneurs now have the ability to finance their guerrilla warfare. We are a long way from Mao.

Buy and read Robb’s book Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization (2007).

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