Nigeria's Boko Haram problem
Nigeria's Boko Haram problemNigerian police gear up to reduce growing security risks of Boko Haram after a recent wave of bombings and attacks.
In response to an August car bombing at the UN headquarters in Abuja, security and civic defence forces have been cracking down on vehicles suspected of criminal activity. Code named “Operation Velvet” the programme is designed to clamp down on bombings in the city carried out by armed groups like Boko Haram.
Boko Haram, an Islamist group based in Maiduguri, Nigeria, took responsibility for the Aug. 26 UN headquarters bombing in Abuja. The blast killed at least 23 people and was the first attack by the group on an international organisation. Boko Haram also claimed responsibility for an attack on Abuja’s police headquarters in June this year.
Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf started the group in 2002 to address the growing concern of some Muslims families that Western thought, dress and politics negatively impacted Nigerian society. He built a school and mosque in Maiduguri serving those who believe in a stricter interpretation of the Koran.
In July 2009, 800 people were killed in a wave of Boko Haram violence occurring in several Nigerian states. Days later, Yusuf was captured by the authorities and died in police custody.
Boko Haram followers consider Nigerian leaders to be unfaithful Muslims and not qualified to govern.
Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, the group’s official name, translates from Arabic to, “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad".
Since the UN bombing, President Goodluck Jonathan has assured citizens and international diplomats that they are safe, though doubts of his ability to reduce Boko Haram’s risk remain.
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