Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/17/2014 (5 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Kidnappings, murders, bombing - nothing could be put past this band of thugs

Boko Haram, whose name means that "Western education is sin" in the native Hausa language of Nigeria, has leaped once again into international headlines with the abduction of more than 100 schoolgirls. The group has bombed schools, churches and mosques; kidnapped women and children and assassinated politicians and religious leaders alike. Where did this vile organization come from? What are their goals?

Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram has escalated the violence. The group murdered and kidnapped Westerners and started a bombing campaign that targeted churches, mosques and government buildings.

Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram has escalated the violence. The group murdered and kidnapped Westerners and started a bombing campaign that targeted churches, mosques and government buildings.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/17/2014 (5 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Boko Haram, insurgency, Nigeria, Abubakar Shekau


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Boko Haram says its aim is to impose a stricter enforcement of Sharia law across Africa's most populous nation. Nigeria is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south. Attacks by the Boko Haram have intensified over the past several years. There are goals have reached as far as to plot the overthrow of the Nigerian government.

The group was founded 12 years ago by Mohammed Yusuf, a fundamentalist Islamist cleric who called for a pure Islamic state in Nigeria. Killed by the police in 2009, the incident was captured on video and posted to the Internet. Some say this only made Boko Haram even more violent and defiant.

Check out our fine selection of Bibles -- by going here!

Abubakar Shekau took control of the group afterwards and escalated the violence. The group murdered and kidnapped Westerners and started a bombing campaign that targeted churches, mosques and government buildings.

Abubakar Shekau remains elusive. It's not known if he's either dead or alive. Even his exact age is remains a mystery. Estimates range between 35 and 44 years of age.

The Nigerian military touted his death, only to retract its claim after he appeared alive and vibrant in propaganda videos.

Using the alias Darul Tawheed, analysts describe him as a ruthless loner and master of disguise. He does not speak directly with members, opting to communicate through a few select confidants.

There's a very good reason as to why the west should be concerned. "Our strength and firepower is bigger than that of Nigeria. Nigeria is no longer a big deal to us, as far as we are concerned. We will now comfortably confront the United States of America," he said in a release last year.

Most curiously, despite its supposed religious fanaticism, Boko Haram does not consider all Muslims as supporters and allies.

The group attacks certain mosques as members have spoken out against them. The group attacks are aimed at striking fear at the heart of the local population to prevent cooperation with the government, analysts say.

Although the northern populace of Nigeria mostly abhors the violence, there is considerable local sympathy and support for Sharia law, seen by many as the only way to end what is widely regarded as a corrupt and inept government.

Poverty is prevalent in the northern region, and as the military struggles to halt Boko Haram's attacks, the militant group is winning perhaps its most important battle: making Nigerians question government competency.

The United States has since put a $7 million bounty on Shekau's head and has also designated Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist network. Although it has provided technical and financial support to the Nigerian teams battling the insurgency, there has been a reluctance to put boots on the ground unless there's a direct national security threat to the West. Boko Haram's attacks have been limited primarily to Nigeria.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Africa

Has Ebola gone airborne? Fears spread that virus could mutate Watch

Image of The World Health Organization has reported that the West African outbreak of Ebola has caused 2,500 deaths since it began in early 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Concerns have been raised that the federal government is anticipating a rapid spread of the Ebola virus, as evidenced by the U.S. State Department ordering 160,000 hazmat suits. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Market Watch posted a press release in which ... continue reading


Obama declares war on Ebola! 3,000 U.S. Marines and soldiers head to Liberia Watch

Image of 3,000 U.S. soldiers and Marines are going to be sent to Liberia to help stop the current Ebola outbreak.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thousands of U.S. troops will arrive in the West African nation of Liberia as part of President Barack Obama's response to the Ebola outbreak that is wreaking havoc in the region. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "U.S. Africa Command will set up a Joint Force ... continue reading


Traditional methods of fighting disease are not working in West Africa Watch

Image of Health workers transport the body of an Ebola victim wrapped in a plastic bag. Ebola victims are burned in the bags they're collected in.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which continues to ravage countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, has so far proved resistant to traditional methods of combating epidemics, notably contact tracing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lt. Rebecca Levine, ... continue reading


STUDY: Ebola outbreak could shortly infect surrounding African nations Watch

Image of Bats are being blamed for the transmission of the Ebola virus -- adding to the urgency is the fact that bats are eaten, frequently raw, in parts of Africa.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The organ-melting virus known as Ebola tearing through West Africa will most likely grow to infect other African nations, according to a worrisome new study. According to research by the University of Oxford, the deadly virus threatens to spread - not necessarily ... continue reading


Some people have all the luck! $13 million diamond found in South Africa Watch

Image of This 232.08-carat  diamond has been unearthed at the Cullinan mine in South Africa and has a possible value of nearly $13 million.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A 232.08-carat D color Type II diamond has been unearthed at a mine in South Africa, with a possible value of nearly $13 million. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The diamond was found at Cullinan mine owned by Petra Diamonds.You can be a light in the darkness ... continue reading


The terror grows: Islamic State created in Maghreb and Sahel region Watch

Image of The chief terrorist leader in the Maghreb and Sahel regions is

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

A version of the dreaded Islamic State - which has seized large sections of both Iraq and Syria, subjecting its citizens to terrorist rule - has now been created in both the Maghreb and the Sahel. A meeting held last month in the Ubira region of Libya laid out ... continue reading


Boko Haram carving out heinous 'caliphate' in Nigeria Watch

Image of Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau declared Gwoza, a town near the Cameroon border an Islamic-ruled enclave last month. He made the proclamation in a video showing his fighters running amok, firing in all directions and killing captives.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group has been following the lead of Islamic State, going from Nigerian village to village to massacre and then preach radical Islam. Survivors from town seized in the northeast part of Nigeria have told horror stories of ... continue reading


African peacekeepers in Somalia routinely rape, pay women for sex Watch

Image of Human Rights Watch has released a shocking new report entitled

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

African Union peacekeepers in Somalia are there to keep people safe and prevent anything untoward from happening, but alas, this is not the case. There are more and more horrific accounts of these peacekeepers raping and paying women for sex. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


WHO warns that Liberia faces extinction by Ebola outbreak Watch

Image of Aid workers in protective clothing treat a woman infected with the Ebola virus.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa-the worst in recorded history-jumped by almost 200 in one day, bringing the total to at least 2,296 deaths the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on September 9. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Gambia passes anti-gay legislation that threatens life imprisonment Watch

Image of Gambia's president Yahya Jammeh, a ruthless autocrat who has made numerous anti-west speeches and threatened to kill all homosexuals within the country, is known for his anti-gay stance.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Gambia has passed a bill that punishes homosexuals by imposing a sentence of life imprisonment, worsening the climate for sexual minorities within Africa's most anti-gay nations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The bill that amended the criminal code was passed ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 12:31--13:13
31 Set your mind on the higher gifts. And now I am ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 12, 22
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:31-35
31 'What comparison, then, can I find for the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 17th, 2014 Image

St. Robert Bellarmine
September 17: Born at Montepulciano, Italy, October 4, 1542, St. Robert ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter