Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/17/2014 (6 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 (6 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 October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Africa

Nigerian ceasefire intended to free abducted schoolgirls broken with two attacks by Muslim Jihadists Watch

Image of he recent attacks have squelched hopes for an easing of the Northeast's violence although Nigerian officials are confident they can negotiate the release of schoolgirls.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Boko Haram militants are blamed in two separate attacks on Nigerian villages following a ceasefire intended to free 200 abducted schoolgirls. Suspected insurgents attacked the village of Abadam which led to the death of one person while the second assault on ... continue reading


Hopes for saving the species die with northern white rhino Watch

Image of Suni, the 34-year-old northern white Rhino who was key to potentially keep the species alive, has died of natural causes in Kenya.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Another of the nearly extinct northern white rhino has died in Kenya, leaving just six of these animals in the entire world. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Rangers found the rhino, named Suni, on October 17 in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, located 150 miles north of ... continue reading


Algerian police engage in widespread protest Watch

Image of Police tried to push their way into the president's headquarters on Wednesday of last week to express that

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

While security becomes a serious issue in Algeria, especially with the size taken by the Islamic State, a wave of protests began last week by police officers, followed by an orderly march throughout the country is of great concern to citizens. It's the first ... continue reading


A despicable act! Islamists butcher 23 people in Democratic Republic of Congo Watch

Image of The U.N. is calling for renewed military action against insurgents and rebels in the eastern border provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the town of Beni in the Democratic Republic of Congo, suspected Ugandan rebels are believed to have killed at least 23 people, in their second attack within two days. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The attacks, and calls for assistance from the local ... continue reading


Fifteen African countries prioritized to stem Ebola crisis Watch

Image of The World Health Organization is pledging to

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The World Health Organization is pledging to "ramp up" efforts in order to prevent Ebola from spreading. Fifteen African countries are being prioritized, WHO official Isabelle Nuttall told reporters. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In related news, former ... continue reading


Obianuju Ekeocha: Open Letter to A Synod Father - Listen to the African Bishops! Watch

Image of Obianuju Ekeocha- Our heart-felt appeal for Gospel values to be upheld is indeed a cry for survival for our people. Because in this year alone many African nations and leaders have been terrorized and threatened by powerful and well funded homosexual lobbying groups who have tried to bend us or break us into acceptance of their lifestyle.We have seen humanitarian aid withdrawn by Western nations at the insistence of these totalitarian groups. We have seen a new brand of

By Obianuju Ekeocha

Imagine my shock as I read the words of one of the most prominent Synod Fathers who implied that the views and values that our African Synod Fathers have expressed on certain issues will not or have not been listened to (probably by the synod fathers from the ... continue reading


Algerian authorities keep vigilant eye on Ebola virus Watch

Image of Algeria is taking special steps to insure that Ebola does not become a problem.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Although no cases of Ebola have been reported -- and there are no suspected cases of it within the nation of Algeria, local authorities remain vigilant with the Ebola virus pandemic. Ministry of Health Spokesman Belkessam Salim has confirmed this. ALGIERS, ... continue reading


Nigeria and Senegal may be Ebola free, WHO says Watch

Image of Nigeria is set to be declared Ebola free on October 20. Eight people died in the Ebola outbreak that occurred there after a Liberian man infected with the disease entered the country.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Nigeria and Senegal could be declared Ebola-free within just days, as the two countries near the 42-day period without any new cases. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "If the active surveillance for new cases ... continue reading


Tunisian authorities work with Algerian forces to combat terrorism Watch

Image of Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa has proclaimed that

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

With the approach of parliamentary elections in Tunisia, scheduled for this coming October 26, local authorities are coordinating efforts with their Algerian counterparts to maintain the borders under surveillance. ALGIERS, ALGIERIA (Catholic Online) - Both ... continue reading


Ancient ritual of female child abuse must end, activists say Watch

Image of In Kenya, 27 percent of women undergo FGM, although it reaches 98 percent in some communities, such as the Somali.

By Katy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Africa can end female genital mutilation (FGM) in 20 years, activists said on Friday as they launched a continent-wide campaign, calling the ancient ritual a form of child abuse aimed at controlling women's sexuality. NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - FGM, a ... 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, Ephesians 2:1-10
1 And you were dead, through the crimes and the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:13-21
13 A man in the crowd said to him, 'Master, tell my ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 20th, 2014 Image

St. Paul of the Cross
October 20: St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of ... 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