Posts Tagged ‘Boko Haram’

In a move that will be the United States’ first official offensive reaction against the Nigerian radical islamist sect Boko Haram, the US departments of State and Treasury are to officially apply the label of “Foreign Terrorist” to the three main figures of the militant Islamic sect.

The move comes in the wake of constant criticism of the Obama administration’s indecision in taking a definitive action against Boko Haram, which aims to impose an Islamic caliphate of sorts in northern Nigeria, and has been responsible for incessant bombings and violence in the region. On Sunday it attacked 3 churches in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, killing and wounding countless citizens of the state.

The three chief figures at the helm of affairs of the sect as identified by the US government are Abubakar Shekau 43, Abubakar Adam Kambar 35, and Khalid al Barnawi 36 all Nigerian citizens. In a video released not so long ago, Abubakar Shekau allegedly aligned himself with dreaded terrorist organization Al Qaeda which might have heightened the US government’s resolve to finally take a stand. All three will have their US assets frozen and US citizens will be forbidden from having any dealings with them.

The decision however doesn’t go down well with some US lawmakers and the Justice department who are demanding that the US government label the entire group as a foreign terrorist organization and deal with it as such. In January, Lisa Monaco, the Justice Department’s top security official sent a letter to the State department citing that Boko Haram meets the criteria of a “foreign terrorist” being that it engages in terrorist acts that threaten the United States, or that it has the wherewithal to do so.

Interestingly, some US academic experts on Africa are of the opinion that the US should not label the group a terrorist organization. In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in May, they argued that such a label would only serve to enhance the group’s reputation and standing especially among new recruits and apologists.

Since 2011, Boko Haram has been responsible for an increasingly brazen spate of bombings which have claimed close to a thousand lives, and have wounded and displaced countless others with property entering billions of Naira also being destroyed.


adapted from Reuters




There were reports this morning that Igbinedion University, a private tertiary institution in Okada, Edo State, Nigeria was under attack by unknown gunmen. The gunmen suspected to be militant kidnappers were reported to have arrived the school premises since 3am, and had been matcheting people, destroying cars and properties and had allegedly injured a number of students. Gates to the school were said to be blocked by the assailants and as such there were no movements into or outside the school.

Military and police personnel were quick to arrive on the scene, but the superior fire power of the attackers, now identified to be some ex-militants proved too much for the Nigerian security personnel, until more help arrived and the situation was contained. As of this moment, no statement has been released by security
Personnel or the school authorities in respect of who the assailants were, their true motives, or if any casualties or arrests were recorded.

On June 8, 2012, the school authorities reported that four students of the institution had been kidnapped by unknown persons on the road leading to the school. The students, all medical students of the university have since been released.

In another development, bomb blasts went off in three churches this morning in the northern state of Kaduna, Nigeria killing more than 40, and injuring close to 200 persons. The bomb blasts, carried out by suicide bombers suspected to be members of the islamist terror group Boko Haram, left a scene of tears, destruction and chaos in their wake.

On the latest update of the Global Peace Index, Nigeria dropped four places to 146th out of 158 countries, signifying a decline in peace and stability in the country in the past one year. The index, which is published by the Institute of Economics and Peace, measures peacefulness using 23 indicators, including a nation’s level of military expenditure as a percentage of its Gross Domestic Product, its relations with neighbouring countries, the level of perceived criminality, likelihood of violent demonstrations, level of organised conflict, terrorist acts and the level of respect for human rights.

This latest ranking comes on the heels of the Nigerian Government’s insistence that Nigeria was safe for investment, despite incessant bomb attacks that continues to kill and maim many people, especially in the northern parts of the country.

In December 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a make shift and purely suspect State of Emergency in certain parts of northern states identified as being high risk. This move has not to this moment stemmed the flow of these terrorist attacks.