Benin: French tourists missing, guide found murdered

May 6, 2019 | Brainwave Science


Benin: French tourists missing, guide found murdered: Brainwave Science


A local guide for two French tourists who went missing on safari in the West African nation of Benin last week has been found dead in the Pendjari National Park. Benin’s Ministry of Interior confirmed that the body found belonged to the guide.

According to the local and regional security personnel, the guide was found shot dead, and the SUV used by the group was found empty and burned in eastern Burkina Faso. The disappearance has raised fears they could have been abducted by Islamic extremists who have become increasingly active over the border in Burkina Faso. There are worries the militants could be infiltrating northern Benin and the other neighboring countries as well. However, no one has yet claimed responsibility. Beninese and French authorities are investigating the incident.

Officials added the fate of the two French tourists remains unclear.

Initial investigation revealed that the group had set out on a safari along the Pendjari River, which marks the border with Burkina Faso, and did not return to their camps that evening. Beninese and French authorities have issued no official statement on what became of the tourist, but investigators support the theory of kidnapping. Searches are ongoing, with the park sending a hundred rangers, two airplanes, and dozen vehicles. Security forces from a nearby town were also sent to reinforce search and rescue efforts.

France’s foreign ministry said, “They are being ‘actively sought’ with the help of authorities in Benin”.


Security analysts have warned that Benin was among a group of West African countries vulnerable to expansionist strategies of militant groups linked with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State armed group. The reason behind such warning is that Benin shares border with Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria which are already infected by terrorism plague.

Pendjari is a wildlife reserve spreading into Burkina Faso and Niger which both are considered as a hotspot for Islamic extremists by African counter-terrorism agencies. However, Benin authorities and reports say that cases of missing tourists or murder or terrorist attacks are rare in Benin, but should this case be marked as a beginning of terrorism in Benin?

Burkinabe Security analyst Mahamadou Sowadogo said, “the axis is dangerous, especially for Westerners. The zone where the guide’s body was found is a zone of predilection for the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.”

France has already warned its citizens against traveling to North-West Benin near the Burkina Faso border because of the risk of kidnapping. Since February 2018, there have been about 60 terror attacks in the eastern region of Burkina Faso. A statement of an active terrorist cell in the above-mentioned region. The irony in the above attacks are no group has claimed responsibility, the incidents were allegedly carried out by individuals linked to violent extremist groups. Question asked is where French couples and guide were kidnapped by the same individuals? If they were, then how will law enforcement agencies bring back the couple safely? Do they have the right resources, intelligence, and tools? It is accepted by law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies that extremist groups take advantage of the vast wildlife, forest reserves and foreign tourists in Pendjari to protect themselves from counter-terrorism strikes and spread fear and promote their finance through kidnapping. The disappearance of the French couple and murder of the local guide is a serious threat and must be tackled immediately. If extremists murdered the local guide, then how long will French tourist be safe? The biggest challenges in this case for French and Benin law enforcement agencies are how to locate the whereabouts of the kidnapped French couple? How to identify whether kidnapping is linked to terrorism, prosecute the perpetrators and find a permanent solution to the rising terror threat from neighboring countries.


To bring back the French couple safe, identify the killers/kidnappers in this case and estimate the reach and strength of extremists in the eastern region of Burkina Faso, the investigators need a quick and effective way to screen suspects and gain accurate intelligence related to this mystery case. The French couple was kidnapped last week which gives Benin and French law enforcement agencies limited time to track the couple and perpetrators and identify the link before another body shows up in Pendjari National Park.

Only one technology in the security market can potentially promise to lead the investigation of the French couple in the right direction for law enforcement. A Massachusetts based company, Brainwave Science, is the developer and provider of iCognative, an innovative technology which can rapidly screen suspects and pinpoint the ones who possess specific crime-related information about the kidnapping of French couples and killing of the guide. Only through iCognative test, investigators can quickly investigate this case in the right direction and be more productive and efficient in their search.

It is a common practice of law enforcement agencies to use lie detector/Polygraph test in criminal and civil cases to identify if a suspect is lying or not. Unfortunately, the results from these tests are highly subjective and depend on the opinion of the examiners. However, iCognative technology does not rely on the emotional responses or the opinion of the examiners as both can be manipulated. iCognative by Brainwave Science guarantees accurate results as it identifies the perpetrators from innocents and whether a suspect possesses specific crime-related information or not by measuring EEG brainwaves of the suspect. The specific P300 EEG brainwaves response comes at a lightning speed and cannot be manipulated by the suspect or examiners. The possibility of any error using iCognative technology is next to impossible. That means that no false positives or no false negatives will be reported in the results. iCognative takes science to the level of accuracy that is virtually unprecedented ~100%.

iCognative sets the benchmark for innovation and performance, as it is a highly advanced, non-intrusive, and affordable security solution, showing a great value for law enforcement, counter-terrorism, border security, and national security agencies around the globe. This technology can be used in 85-90% of all types of criminal and civil cases wherever some investigation is carried out.

iCognative is the much-needed weapon for Benin law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies against the rising crime such as kidnapping and terror threat from neighboring countries. In this case, Benin and French law enforcement agencies must deploy iCognative without any further delay to serve as a modern and valuable intelligence gathering tool to provide accurate intelligence, missing links, whereabouts of the French couples, route through which they were taken to Burkina Faso and other vital information necessary for law enforcement personnel to investigate. All this information would be available once identified suspects in this kidnapping case are made to undergo a 45-minutes to an hour testing. iCognative can support law enforcement personnel to determine the level of involvement and innocence of each of the suspects. Further, the accurate results and intelligence gained from iCognative test can help law enforcement personnel to bring back French couple safely and eliminate the rising terror threat from Burkina Faso without much sweat. Information such as the location of a French couple, when last were they have seen, any linked to terrorism, who kidnapped the group, why and who killed the local guide, identification of the victim, etc., would be available for law enforcement personnel through 45-minutes to an hour of iCognative testing. Only work required by law enforcement personnel would be to use iCognative as a primary investigative and intelligence gathering tool in future crimes in Benin. Brainwave Science’s iCognative can help elevate the reputation of Benin’s law enforcement agencies and Pendjari National Park. iCognative can be the solution to not only bring back French couple safely but also avert rising terror threats in Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria. If counter-terrorism agencies want to win over terrorism and strike one ever-lasting blow, then iCognative is what they need to add to their arsenal.

Main Source: Reuters