Boko Haram & Al Qaeda….Same Difference?

Boko Haram Leader
Boko Haram Militants Holding A Man Hostage…Doesn’t That Look An Awful Like Al-Qaeda?

On Friday November 29, 2013, Nigerian Islamic extremists militant group Boko Haram was accused by Human Rights Watch (an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights) of abducting countless of women and girls and using children as young as 12 years old as child solders.

The 98 page report entitled “Spiraling Violence: Boko Haram Attacks and Security Force Abuses in Nigeria,” details the brutalities for which Boko Haram has claimed responsibility since it first emerged in 2009 claiming nearly 3,000 lives. The report, which includes a poignant photo essay, was complied using field research in Nigeria between July 2010 and July 2012, in conjunction of the continuous monitoring of media reports of Boko Haram attacks and statements since 2009.

The militant group’s attacks have primarily targeted police and other governmental agencies and both Christians and Muslims who are suspected of cooperating with the government.

This group under the shroud of religion according to the report killed, mutilated, abducted, and raped tons of Nigerian women and girls. The extremist group has been also been accused of terrorist attacks in the past such as burning down schools and bombing both newspaper offices and the United Nations building in the Nigerian capital of Abuja. Boko Haram’s deadliest attack occurred in September 2013 when the organization raided the town of Benisheik and killed at least 142 people. The report cites that the Nigerian government has a role in protecting its citizens and it has not protected them against this treat. Nigeria’s history of poverty, corruption and turning a blind eye to certain crimes has made the nation a playground for this appalling behavior.

Human Rights Watch claims that after interviewing 60 victims of Boko Haram (which translates to “western education is sinful”) that this organization is responsible for the most reprehensible sordid acts to society. The Civilian Joint Task Force rescued 26 abducted Nigerian women and girls who were found pregnant or with babies. The regime adducted these girls while they were selling goods in the street or working in farms in rural villages.

Doesn’t this organization sound a lot like Al-Qaeda? Why aren’t these atrocities broadcasted in mainstream media to the extent that attacks in the Middle East are? Do you think that American intervention could cease the massacre of the Nigerian people?


Human Rights Watch Complaint 

Human Rights Watch Article 


  1. After reading this information, I am surprised that the media has not covered this situation more. I feel that while the intervention of the United States may provide aid in ceasing some of the actions created by this group, it is first important for Nigeria to take action. The country of Nigeria has a responsibility and a duty to protect its people from terrorist threats and attacks to the best of its ability. However, in this situation, it is almost as if the country is giving permission to others to act freely and commit whatever crimes wanted in their land. If the country’s own government will not defend its people, it may seem unfair for the United States to have to put themselves at the threat of potential risk and intervene in a fight that did not involve them from the beginning. I feel that in order to stop these types of events from occurring, that the Nigerian government, perhaps with the aid and support of other countries, must become visible in the game plan to stop this group from committing these crimes not only in Nigeria, but potentially expanding into other countries as well.

  2. I agree with Amanda, and believe that these atrocities must be publicized more and that Nigeria needs to punish the Boko Haram militants, because inaction by the Nigerian government is sure to cause other countries to be reluctant to intrude. The Boko Haram militants so seem very similar to Al-Qaeda, and the fact that nearly 3,000 lives were claimed since their emergence in 2009 is very alarming. Since this group killed, mutilated, abducted, and raped many Nigerian women and girls, and forced children into work as child soldiers, Nigeria must make a big push to seriously reprimand this group. These acts should not go unpunished, and the mainstream media should be more vocal and publicize these reports more frequently so that the rest of the world can try to pressure Nigeria into action. I do not think that the United States should interfere yet; however, I do believe that the government of Nigeria must put better enforcement tactics in place to minimize the occurrence of such horrific acts.

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