While DAESH Inspires Fear Across The Globe, Boko Haram Murders 14 In Christmas Attack
While waxing hysterical over DAESH, we forgot about Boko Haram.
On Christmas Day, the Islamic Extremist group primarily based in Nigeria, Boko Haram, killed at least fourteen people in a village of Northeastern Nigeria. The jihadists allegedly rode into town on bicycles, opening fire on villagers and torching homes on Friday night. Hundreds of people from the village in the Borno state fled to a refugee camp nearby already filled with people on the run from the terrorist organization.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari recently told the BBC in an interview that Boko Haram militants had been “technically” defeated in Nigeria. According to the president, the group maintained a force only in the Borno region of the country, and is only capable of small scale attacks. According to the BBC, critics of the Nigerian government insist they exaggerate their successes as Boko Haram continues to rebuild whenever the organization suffers a setback. In the past six years, Boko Haram has claimed the lives of 17,000 people in Nigeria and forced more than 1.5 million Nigerians to flee their homes.
Boko Haram was initially founded in 2002, and means “Western education is forbidden,” in the Hausa language. The group began military operations in 2009, and has been deemed the Western African province of DAESH (ISIS). Like DAESH, they have declared a caliphate in the territories they control.
In 2013, the United States placed a $7 million bounty on the head of Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau. It is unclear if Shekau is still alive as the Nigerian government has claimed to have killed him on many occasions, but no videos have surfaced of the leader since February 2015.
Recent attacks carried out by Boko Haram have also occurred in Cameroon and Chad. Influence and support from DAESH, in combination with the extreme levels of poverty throughout Nigeria and neighboring regions make Boko Haram a continuous threat. The Nigerian military’s successes against the group could serve as a possible template for defeating DAESH in Syria, Iraq, and other Middle Eastern countries where the Islamic extremists seek refuge.
Featured image: Public Domain 2015 AlchemillaMollis/Pixabay with sand background/texture and blood added.
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Freelance Journalist based in Gainesville, Florida. Binghamton University Alum