Four teen girls detonated themselves outside the Nigerian capital of Borno Wednesday. Police say the blast killed the bombers, plus two others, and wounded 16 more, Fox News reports. According to the state run media, the girls were released into a residential area known as Muna Garage, outside Maiduguri, around 1:15 am. They would knock on the door of homes and then detonate when the doors were opened.
The bombers were the latest in the series of attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents trying to take over Nigeria. Muna Garage, in particular, is a favorite target and estimates are that around 200 girls have lost their lives in similar exploits in this area.
One such girl, who refused the mission at the last second, told authorities they had been led to believe that the explosives would not harm them. After their mission she said, they were supposed to be deployed to a “safe haven,” where a handsome husband of their own choice was waiting for them, and they could the rest of their lives in peace and happiness. An appealing claim for girls kidnapped, enslaved, probably abused, and living in what the western world identifies as a “humanitarian crisis.” Why wouldn’t they go for it?
Boko Haram is a radical Muslim group founded originally in 2002, the BBC reports. They believe that anything Western is evil, particularly the education. But they also defy their clothing, voting in elections, or any type of government that includes Western influence. They seek to overthrow the Nigerian government and replace it with a purified Muslim one. The group set up a religious complex with a school in 2002, which has become a breeding ground for Islamic jihadists. Many poor Nigerian families send their children to be indoctrinated and recruited for terrorist service.
In 2009, the group attacked a number of police stations and government buildings in the country’s capital. The result was a fiery shoot-out in the streets in which thousands were killed and even more injured. After that event the Boko Haram leader, Mr. Yusuf, was captured and killed by Nigerian government authorities. The state run media took his body and paraded it through the streets on national television.
Yusuf’s death was thought to have ended Boko Haram, until Abubakar Shekau emerged and reunited the group. Boko Haram was declared a terorrist group in 2013 by the United States Officials suspect the group has ties to Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists interconnected in a web to create a worldwide jihad. They are mainly based in the northeastern part of the country, hiding in the mountains and forests. When the group established presence there, they raided towns and villages, killing women and children and drafting the boys into service.
Boko Haram made international headlines in April 2014 when they kidnapped 200 schoolgirls from the city of Chibok. The leaders proudly stated that they would enslave them and then marry them off. In October 2016 a coalition of Swiss, Nigerian, and Red Cross officials met with Boko Haram leaders, convincing them to give up the girls. They released 21 of them. However, Amnesty International estimates the group holds more than 2,000 children captive. Boko Haram has grown in number. Because its headquarters is located on the Nigerian border between two other countries, it easily draws an multi-national Islamic force. In its ranks appear a conglomeration of African nationalists, including Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
“We are in an Islamic caliphate,” said Mr. Shekau, who lead the group in 2014. “We have nothing to do with Nigeria. We don’t believe in this name.”
They consider themselves an unrecognized country with all of the conquered territory as its nation. This includes about a quarter of Nigeria with their capital as the town of Gwoza. In 2014, Mr. Shekau pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State and renounced ties to Al Qaeda. In 2015 it lost control of much of its however. The Nigerian military pursued them into the mountains and freed thousands of captives. Again, it was believed Boko Haram was in recession, at least. But it reformed again, with new strength, under a new leader, Abu Musab al-Barnawi. Now it still carries out attacks, trying to regain control of the region. The force numbers over 9,000, the CIA reports, and is apparently well- funded and well-armed.
This latest attack is the latest in a string of suicide bombings. Estimates are that more than 20,000 have died in the Boko Haram attempted coup in the last several years. Attacks by the group have increased in the last months and they have targeted crowded places such as markets. Fortunately, many of them have either been stopped by authorities or caused very little fatalities other than their own.
Connected with the civil war in Yemen, Syria, and our own “politically correct,” war with Islam, it is certainly a worldwide jihad. The question is whether the United States, and other western countries, will wake up before it’s too late.