Boko Haram are dangerous militants who mainly populate the northern states of Nigeria, Yobe, Kano, Bauchi, Borno and Kaduna. in Africa. According to BBC News, Boko Haram in their local vernacular term used and it means, “Western education is forbidden.” Additionally, in Arabic Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad, is translated to, “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teaching and Jihad.”
The recent news of the of the girl who was found on May 8, 2016, alive and well, has prompted the need for a few facts to be reported about the Boko Haram and their search for power in the name of Allah. She was one of the 200-300 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the extremist organization in 2014.
How Did the Boko Haram Start?
The group, Boko Haram was founded in 2002 as reported by the BBC News, and is known for its brutality. However, it may have been started in the late ’90s and assembled under the Muslim Mohammed Yusuf. The group is in the middle of Maiduguri, which is the capital of the northeastern state of Borno.
Their belief system came from Yusuf, who was their young leader in 2003. His idealism was an extremist whose interpretations of the Qur’an (Koran) was strict. His belief stemmed from the creation of Nigeria, by British settlers of Western and un-Islamic ways of life.
In God’s Name
With wars across the world happening, some for reasons no regular civilian can understand, it is less understandable why the Boko Haram choose to fight for the reasons they do in the name of Allah. In doing so they say it is to restore his rule on Earth by removing the obstacles that they feel are in the way and defend the Muslim community against infidels. These are the type of wars against humanity that mankind does not understand. To seek war in the name of their god as opposed to the Christain ideal of God, who is supposed to be forgiving of all sin and loving of all man. It would seem to be a coward and hypocrites why to say, “we just want to kill because we like it.” The attacks are not limited to just men and their refusal to concede to the religion, the attacks also extend to women and children.
The militant group’s membership is not limited to only people who view themselves as native-born to the reign it is also made up of French, Americans and Russians. With the inclusion of Americans, it may feel like a stab in the back that some have joined the Boko Haram to help them kill men women and children in the name of Allah. The disgrace of the Boko Haram has killed and tortured many, their attacks are brutal and appear to be without prejudice.
Attacks on Mankind
- 2009: The Boko Haram staged an uprising in the states of Borno, Kano, and Yobe, and killed a number of police officers. The military response left 700 Boko Haram affiliates dead. The capture of Mohammed Yusuf ended the uprising. It was reported by CNN News that Yusuf died in the custody of the police while trying to escape.
- 2010: In July, the Boko Haram disclosed a video from Yusuf’s deputy, claiming he is now the leader of the Boko Haram.
- In September, according to CNN News, the group attacked a prison freeing 700 prisoners and killed five people.
- 2011: Boko Haram detonated three bombs close to the military barracks in the city of Bauchi killing at least 10 people.
- In May, the Boko Haram also attacked the United Nations compound in Abuja with a car bomb that killed 23 and injured more than 75. The group used IEDs in vehicles to target security and their offices. They also targeted 11 churches.
- In August, the group attacked a police station and two banks in Gombi, Adamawa, and killed 12 people.
- 2012: A new coalition is formed and called themselves Ansaru. They dubbed Abu Usmatul Al-Ansari as their leader.
- In January, CNN News reported, the Boko Haram sect killed more than 200 when they attacked police, military, a prison and other places targeted in Kano. The media reported peace had begun, however, a spokesperson for the group, Abu Qa’Qa’ is quoted to say this in a warning to media:
We are telling the government to understand that if it is not ready to embrace Sharia and the Quran as the guiding book from which the laws of the land derive, there shall be no peace… [and media agencies] should understand that for us there is no difference between those fighting with guns and with the pen.
- 2013: Boko Haram fought several different national security forces in Niger, as well as Chad in Borno state. They left 200 dead which included quite a few civilians, they claimed they were not responsible for the civilian deaths with a released video from Shekau.
- In June, the group also targeted churches in different states which all happened on three Sundays consecutively. More than 50 people were killed.
- In September, the Boko Haram impersonated military personal and stage a false checkpoint nearby Benisheik, Borno. They killed travelers and set vehicles on fire and left them to burn, they killed 143 people.
- 2014: It was suspected, Boko Haram had killed, at the very least, 23 people in a village of Konduga.
- In February, the group kidnapped approximately 276 teenage girls from their boarding schools dormitory in Chibok, Borno. Abubakar Shekau stated the following in a video:
I have abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah… there is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell woman.
- In May, villagers resisted the Boko Haram sect who stormed three of their villages in the state of Borno, in doing so 200 of the Boko Haram fighters were killed.
- In June, the United States sent troops to Chad to the aid in the search for the kidnapped girls.
- Hundreds were killed in attacks by the Boko Haram Islamic militants in Borno according to CNN News. The death count was upward of 500 people.
- In June, they abducted over 60 women and children, during the raid at the village of Kummabza, Borno. They killed 30 men.
- In July, the Boko Haram again kidnapped women and girls. Sources from the CNN News say it was 63 in total. Fortunately, they were able to escape. The group also infiltrated the Nigerian town of Damboa killing 66. Fearful for their lives, more than 15,000 villagers fled.
- 2015: The Boko Haram launched an attack that lasted several days, where their gunmen seized Baga and surrounding villages in Northern Nigeria. The result was bodies scattered across the ground and 2,000 people were thought to be dead.
- In January, the Boko Haram strapped a bomb to a girl that killed 20, or more, and injured 18 in Maiduguri at a marketplace screening checkpoint. Also, there were 43 dead in the aftermath of two girls who were strapped with bombs and sent to a mobile phone market in Potiskum.
- In March, Boko Haram decapitated two men in a video, because they were suspected of being spies.
- In July, Boko Haram again raided three different villages in the NE state of Borno, killing 145 people.
- 2016: The group attacked more villages in NE Nigeria, and killed 30 people. Also, they sent in two girl suicide bombers, which killed 58 villagers in a refugee camp who were trying to escape terrorism.
This is only a portion of the list of their deeds. It serves to bring light to the hatred these so-called followers of their god hold within their hearts toward anyone who do not concede to their will. They do all of these violent acts in the name of Allah. They also say it is Allah who wants them to kill, rape, murder, and sell humans on the market like they are cattle. The death toll in this article alone is staggering. An astonishing 4,316 innocent people were killed in the name of Allah, as far as the world knows.
By Tracy Blake
Edited by Cathy Milne
CNN: Boko Haram Fast Facts
Africa Check: FACTSHEET: Explaining Nigeria’s Boko Haram and its violent insurgency
BBC NEWS: What is ‘Islamic State’?
BBC NEWS: Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists?
All Images Courtesy of Surian Soosay’s Flick Page – Creative Commons License