A shadowy Islamist insurgency that has haunted northern Nigeria — surviving repeated, bloody efforts to eliminate it — appears to be branching out and collaborating with Al Qaeda’s affiliates, alarming Western officials and analysts who had previously viewed the militants here as a largely isolated, if deadly, menace.
Just two years ago, the Islamist group stalking police officers in this bustling city seemed on the verge of extinction. In a heavy-handed assault, Nigerian soldiers shelled its headquarters and killed its leader, leaving a grisly tableau of charred ruins, hundreds dead and outmatched members of the group, known as Boko Haram, struggling to fight back, sometimes with little more than bows and arrows.
Now, insurgents strike at the Nigerian military, the police and opponents of Islamic law in near-daily assaults and bombings, using improvised explosive devices that can be detonated remotely and bear the hallmarks of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Western officials and analysts say. Beyond the immediate devastation, the fear is that extremists bent on jihad are spreading their reach across the continent and planting roots in a major, Western-allied state that had not been seen as a hotbed of global terrorism.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Globalization Religion & Culture Science & Technology Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * International News & Commentary Africa Nigeria * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam
To comment on this article: To article and comments
© 2014 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.
For original material from Titusonenine (such as articles and commentary by Dr. Harmon) permission to copy and distribute free of charge is granted, provided this notice, the logo, and the web site address are visible on all copies. For permission for use in for-profit publications, please email KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com