Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamist Terrorist group?
What is Boko Haram: Militant Islamist organization Boko Haram refers itself as Islamic State West Africa Province (al-Wilāya al-Islāmiyya Gharb Afrīqiyyah) and has been a reason of massive devastation in Africa’s most populous nation Nigeria through a wave of bombardments, brutal assassinations, rapes, and abductions – is battling to topple the government and create an Islamic state.
Who is Boko Haram Leader: Boko Haram’s founder, Muhammad Yusuf, died in police custody in July 2009, and hundreds of others were murdered during that huge crackdown – which many blame for coercing the group even more violent. The militant group Boko Haram was headed by Abubakar Shekau until August 2016, when he was replaced by Abu Musab al-Barnawi.
In 2014, a shocking video clip of Abubakar Muhammad Shekau was surfaced that showed him grinning as he admitted the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls, promising to sell them. The Islamic State (IS) militant group has announced that its West African affiliate Boko Haram has a new leader as Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi. Little is known about Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi, who appeared in a Boko Haram video in January 2015 as the group’s spokesman.
Agenda of Boko Haram: Boko Haram advocates a fanatical version of Islam that makes it “haram”, or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any partisan or friendly activity affiliated with Western society. This entails voting in polls, wearing shirts and trousers or getting a secular pedagogy.
Boko Haram sees the Nigerian country as being governed by non-believers, notwithstanding of whether the president is Muslim or not – and it has stretched its military campaign by targeting bordering states.
Since the prevailing insurgency began in 2009, Boko Haram has killed tens of thousands and uprooted 2.3 million people from their shelters and was ranked as the world’s deadliest terror organization by the Global Terrorism Index in 2015.
Boko Haram’s alliance with ISIS: Boko Haram had alleged links to al-Qaeda, but in March 2015, it declared its loyalty to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Most of the analysts that have been keeping an eye on Nigerian crisis foretell that Boko Haram will soon be beaten, but the militant group’s allegiance with ISIS means that would presumably push the militants further into bordering countries.
Quick Facts About Boko Haram
- Founded in 2002, initially concentrated on opposing Western-style education.
- Propelled military operations in 2009.
- Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria, hundreds abducted, including at least 200 schoolgirls.
- Joined Islamic State, calls itself IS’s “West African province.”
- Seized large area in north-east, where it declared caliphate.
- Regional force has retaken most territory last year.
- Boko Haram was widely covered in the Western media in 2014 after the group kidnapped 219 schoolgirls.
- At least 17,000 have been killed since Boko Haram launched an insurgency in 2009 to carve out an Islamic state in northeast Nigeria.
- More than 2.6 million people have fled their homes since the start of the violence, but some of the internally displaced have returned home after troops began a fight-back last year and recaptured territory.
Why #PrayForNigeria was trending on Twitter
#PrayForNigeria was started recently because there was a suicide bombing on a mosque that killed 24 people, now you can see a lot of stuff about it on Interwebs, including torture of hostages, kidnapping of women and kids burned alive.
But most of the stuff that is being shared by Twitterati dates back to February, when Boko Haram extremists raged a series of assaults against innocent people in refugee camps.
Way back in February, members of the radical Islamist group Boko Haram killed 86 people, including children in a series of attacks on a village, near a refugee camp in northern Nigeria. But we only cared about it, when a Twitter hashtag started trending worldwide.
Right, Black lives matter! Yes, we should pray for Nigeria, we should pray for the world, we should pray for the peace, but what we should not do is to spread baseless things, as spreading needless negativity makes our world more vulnerable to negative elements.
Also read: Terrorist Attacks and Islamophobia