mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Message From Boko Haram: We Are Still Here

The city of Bauchi in northern Nigeria saw another tragedy this Sunday; a suicide car bomber attacked a Catholic church during Mass, killing at least 2 worshipers and wounding 45. The attack comes after several recent police raids and armed clashes raised hopes that Boko Haram, the crazed group of ignorant fanatics responsible for almost 700 deaths in Nigeria since January, had lost some of its ability to strike.

Boko Haram wants to launch a religious war in divided Nigeria (roughly half Christian and half Muslim at this point, though in the past Muslims were a clear majority) in the hopes both of weakening the rising power of the predominantly Christian south and of challenging traditional power brokers and religious authorities in the Muslim north. Attacking churches and murdering Christian worshipers at prayer has been and remains a favorite tactic; they have also struck at government facilities and more recently started destroying cell phone towers as a way of disrupting communications in a country without much of a conventional, land line phone network.

Today’s attack confirms that the hate-filled group is still capable of poisoning minds and murdering innocent people. Nigeria will need more help from outside to control and ultimately eliminate this threat; governments don’t talk much about the kind of cooperation these efforts require, but for our part we certainly hope that the US and other friendly governments respond to any Nigerian requests for help. Boko Haram is a small group with limited capabilities, but a small match can start a big fire.

Newer Post Older Post
Features Icon
© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service