Boko Haram is the deadly al-Qaeda affiliate operating in Nigeria.

Suspected Muslim terrorists ambushed a Nigerian college's students as they slept in their dorm rooms early Sunday morning. Nigerian officials say at least 50 students, all males, were killed by the armed gunmen.

The marauders are believed to be members of the radical Muslim terrorist organization, Boko Haram, which is affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghrab (AQIM).

The terrorists attacked sleeping college students at Yobe State's College of Agriculture and brought some of them outside of the dormitory before killing them execution-style. The Islamists also shot students who attempted to flee, according to counterterrorism analyst Steven Hodges, who has followed the group's jihad for at least three years.

As with other radical Muslim groups, Boko Haram seeks the creation of an Islamist-controlled section of Nigeria's north. And, as with other al-Qaeda affiliates, Boko Haram has increased the frequency and severity of their terrorist attacks, according to Hodges, a former member of a police terrorism task force.

Several schools, seen as the focus of Western-style education and culture, have been targeted this year in Nigeria by the same terrorist group, he noted.

President Goodluck Jonathan said that the attack was "the creation of the devil" and he alluded to the fact that his security forces may need to revise their counterterrorism tactics.

Boko Haram and its Islamist groups such as the al-Qaeda-linked Ansaru are Nigeria's biggest threat especially to its oil exports.

The United States and European Union are fast becoming more and more concerned over the African jihadists throughout the continent. Last week's al-Shabaab attack on a Kenyan shopping mall shocked the world with the terrorists' brutality. Al-Shabaab is also an ally of al-Qaeda and a radical Muslim organization based in Somalia, according to an Examiner news story.

The Islamic jihad in Nigeria started as a riot in 2009 by members of Boko Haram. That first encounter turned into a full-blown gun-fight between Boko Haram and its supporters and the police and the military.

Since 2010, Islamists have perpetrated drive-by shootings and suicide bombings that have killed 1,548 people. Boko Haram, which means "Western education is sacrilege," has said it wants its imprisoned Islamists released and for the current Nigerian government to institute Sharia law throughout the nation.

The Examiner
By: Jim Kouri
September 29, 2013


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