The Islamic sect known as Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria killed 69, at least today. Northern Nigeria is about 50% Sunni Muslim with slightly less being Christian. The official name of the jihadists is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad (“People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad.”)
The founder of Boko Haram, Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf, was reportedly killed by police in 2009 – that from a couple of online articles, with a wiki repeating the death as a rumor, but not evidence. Aliyu Tishau is rumored to have taken over for the founder. I see that he was jailed this summer, then handed over to some “sister security” who then said they had never had possession of him. Leadership is unclear.
Boko Haram wants to implement strict Shariah law across Nigeria, an oil-rich nation of more than 160 million which has a predominantly Christian south and a Muslim north. Its name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the local Hausa language, but instead of schooling, it rejects Western ideals like Nigeria’s U.S.-styled democracy that followers believe have destroyed the country with corrupt politicians.
A radical Muslim sect known locally as Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attacks in Borno and Yobe states, with the worst damage done in and around the city of Damaturu. The group also promised to continue its bloody sectarian fight against Nigeria’s weak central government, with residents nervously moving through empty streets, waiting for the next attack.
In Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state, a car bomb exploded Friday afternoon outside a three-story building used as a military office and barracks, killing many uniformed security agents, Bulama said.
Gunmen then went through the town, blowing up a bank and attacking at least three police stations and five churches, leaving them in rubble, officials said. Gunfire continued through the night and gunmen raided the village of Potiskum near the capital as well, witnesses said, leaving at least two people dead there…
In August, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing at the United Nations headquarters in Nigeria’s capital, which killed 24 people and left another 116 wounded.
Boko Haram was founded in Maiduguri. The locals named it “Boko Haram” meaning loosely “western education is forbidden.” In Arabic, “Haram” means “sin.” Some information says Boko Haram has broken into three separate sects, one more moderate, one radical.