Five Shocking Facts About Nigeria’s Boko Haram That Are Really Hard To Believe

What does Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram want?

Five Shocking Facts About Nigeria’s Boko Haram That Are Really Hard To Believe
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Nigeria, a West African country, has been facing Islamist terrorist threat for long. The most prominent among the groups has been Boko Haram, which means Western education is Sin. The outfit has carried out several terrorist attacks inside Nigeria and is now planning to move beyond.

This year, April 14-15 is the third anniversary of the most dreadful incident when Boko Haram militants kidnapped 276 chibok female students. Some of them were released, otehr smanaged to escape and the whereabout of 200 others are still unknown.

Boko Haram militants shouting anti-West slogans

Boko Haram militants shouting anti-West slogans

As we enter the third year of this incident, let us take a look at some  important facts about Boko Haram and its terrorist operations in the  country. Does Boko Haram threaten other countries in Africa? What are the  basic tactics of this group?

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1. Kidnapping of Girls

The group's official name is Jam'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, meaning "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Holy War".  The 'western' practices that the terrorist outfit despises include elections, wearing western attire shirts and trousers and most importantly, receiving a secular education.     


One of the most horrifying tactics of Boko Haram is the kidnapping of girls and treating them as sex slaves. Creating havoc in the country, the terrorist group on the night of April-14-15, 2014, kidnapped 276 female students from the Government Secondary School in Chibok town of Borno State. It has been three years since militants kidnapped the girls. Some of them managed to escape from their clutches, while others were later freed. Still, there are 200 others whose fate is not known.


According to Amnesty International Report, at least 2,000 women and girls were abducted by Boko Haram since the beginning of 2014. Many have of them been forced into sexual slavery and trained to fight for the terrorist outfit.

Women cry after the abduction of the girls from school

Women cry after the abduction of the girls from school
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According to Amnesty International Report,  at least 2,000 women and girls were abducted by Boko Haram since the  beginning of 2014. Many have of them been forced into sexual slavery and  trained to fight for the terrorist outfit.

2. Assassination

2. Assassination
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Boko Haram's main objective is the overthrow of the state. It promotes to establish its own version of Islam by replacing the present system of governance.  In an attempt to achieve their aims, Boko Haram has been involved in the assassination of important religious leaders in the country.


In September 2016, Boko Haram had released a video giving out violent threats to the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant Geneal Tukur Yusuf Buratai, and other top officials.

Boko Haram in Nigeria

Boko Haram in Nigeria
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The anti-state terrorist outfit in one such incident of targeted elimination of important individuals,on May 30, 2014, killed two Policemen and a traditional Muslim emir (chief),  identified as Alhaji Idrissa Timta, from Gwoza in northeastern Nigeria  in a targeted attack. Boko Haram has killed any voice that is against what it preaches.

Children in refugee camps

Children in refugee camps
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Boko Haram has been involved in the killing of tens of thousands of people and this has led to the displacement of millions of people in the country. The region today faces serious refugee  and security crisis. 

Life is no easier for the captives after escaping from Boko Haram. More than 1,200 people reportedly died out of starvation at Nigerian Refugee Camp.

3. Employing child suicide bombers

3. Employing child suicide bombers
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According to a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Report, "Boko Haram militants used 27 children to carry out suicide bombing attacks in the first three months of 2017 in countries like Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon," thus marking an increase in child recruitment in the terrorist outfit. At least 30 children were used in bombings in 2016 in those four countries.                


Child suicide bombers in Nigeria

Child suicide bombers in Nigeria
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The UNICEF report says 117 children have been used in suicide attacks  since 2014. Almost 80 percent of them were girls. "The insurgency has  changed its tactics over the course of the conflict, from holding towns  and territory to a guerrilla-style insurgency that uses hit and run  attacks and improvised explosive devices," said the UNICEF Report.

4. Boko Haram collaborating with ISIS

4. Boko Haram collaborating with ISIS
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Boko Haram has collaboration with ISIS. The Director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center Nicholas Rasmussen noted in a February 2015 hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee that the authorities should be aware of "the increased intercommunication between Boko Haram and other terrorist groups in the northern part of, the northwestern part of Africa, and even with ISIL."


He said that the two are functioning together, at least in part, as "an interconnected terrorist network with the ability to share resources, personnel, expertise and trade-craft in a way that serves as a multiplier to their own capabilities, and that's a disturbing trend."

Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIS, March 2015

Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIS, March 2015
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Boko Haram in March 2015 pledged allegiance to ISIS. An audio message featuring Boko Haram's leader, Abubakar Shekau was posted online and circulated, in which Shekau is heard announcing its allegiance to the Caliph and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In response to Shekau's allegiance, ISIS also released an audio-tape welcome the pledge of allegiance.

5. Expanding beyond Nigeria

5. Expanding beyond Nigeria
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There have been reports indicating the expansion of Boko Haram beyond Nigeria in Western Africa. Although the Boko Haram militants have never expressed their desire to rule outside Nigeria, the group is now reportedly seizing territory in Cameroon, Niger, and Chad in an effort to expand its so-called "Caliphate" internationally.

Boko Haram torched villages in Nigeria

Boko Haram torched villages in Nigeria
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The terrorist outfit has torched several villages in the country and killed ten and thousands of people in its war with the state.  


On February 12, 2017, Boko Haram terrorists in convoy of vehicles, laden with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), attacked Mussa village in Askira council area of Borno State, setting the houses of villages ablaze. Following the incident, the villagers ran for safety into nearby farmlands and bushes.


US designated Boko Haram Terrorist Organisation, 2010

US designated Boko Haram Terrorist Organisation, 2010
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Designated as a terrorist group by the US in 2010, Boko Haram controls Borno state of Nigeria and a vast area in the northeast of Nigeria. According to Nigeria Watch Project, fatalities related to violence perpetrated by Boko Haram stood at 3,147 in 2016 alone. The Report further states that in the last 10 years, from June 1, 2006 to May 31, 2016, at least 32,842 people have been killed in terrorist violence.