Nigeria under attack by Islamists
A radical Islamist sect dedicated to bringing Sharia law to Nigeria carried out dozens of lethal attacks over the weekend threatening one of Afirica's fastest growing economies and most populous nations.
Boko Haram-which seeks to spread Islamic law throughout Nigeria's impoverished, majority Muslim north-claimed responsibility in a newspaper interview for the attacks, which started Friday and continued through Saturday, in the towns of Damaturu and Patiskum. The group bombed mosques and churches, then staged gunbattles with police, said an aide to President Goodluck Jonathan.
The death toll had climbed above 100 people on Sunday, the Associated Press said, citing the Red Cross. The aide to President Jonathan estimated that at least 69 had been killed.
Violence in Nigeria's north has intensified in recent months despite government efforts. The weekend hostilities follow the Aug. 26 bombing of a United Nations headquarters in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, that killed 24. Last Tuesday, a special unit of the country's armed forces began door-to-door inspections to find and seize weapons in Maiduguri, a city that serves as Boko Haram's base.
"They seem to be one step ahead of us," said the presidential aide, who asked not to be identified because he isn't authorized to discuss terrorism. He added: "Security agencies are gathering information that will enable them to catch up."
Boko Harum means "Western Education is a Sin."
And then there's this:
Nigerian officials and some analysts have speculated that Boko Haram is securing supplies and training from African branches of al Qaeda, pointing to the Nigerian group's increasing sophistication in using car bombs. Boko Haram members have also received training in making improvised explosive devices, analysts say.
A few months ago, the administration was ready to declare "victory" against al-Qaeda. But with al-Shabbab a huge threat in Somalia and AQ of the Arabian Peninsula very active in Yemen, they might want to rethink that pie in the skie notion.