Nigeria: Islamic Terrorists Seem Unstoppable


June 9, 2011: Most of the violence is now in the north, caused by Islamic radicals. Heavily influenced by the Taliban, Boko Haram has been trying to establish a religious dictatorship in the north for several years, but without much success. Nevertheless, Boko Haram keeps attracting new recruits, and has consistently increased the number of attacks they carry out. Many Moslems in the north believe that only the adoption of Sharia (Islamic law) will solve the problems caused by corruption and bad government. Police have arrested hundreds of suspects, but the violence continues.

Although anti-corruption arrests and prosecutions increase, politicians still plunder the public purse with impunity. This is because only a small percentage of corrupt politicians are being prosecuted. The others can do the math and calculate that the risk of getting punished is still quite small.

Four months ago, the police and military made a major effort to shut down the oil stealing operations in the Niger River delta. These were seemingly successful, with hundreds of illegal mini-refineries shut down and dozens of barges and small coastal tankers (for moving stolen oil to neighboring countries for sale to brokers) seized. But most of the oil thieves, especially the gang leaders, got away. Now many are getting back in business. It will take a while for the security forces to organize another major operation. Aware of that, the oil stealing gangs are out to make what they can in the meantime.

June 8, 2011: The government is willing to negotiate with Boko Haram over the demand that Sharia (Islamic law) be enforced more vigorously in the north. The problem with such negotiations is that the more radical members of Boko Haram want more (turning the country into a religious dictatorship) than the government can afford to give. Boko Haram has been waging a terror campaign for eight months now.

Since the April 15th national elections, political violence has left 520 dead, nearly all of them in north central Kaduna state. Property damage was also extensive, with 157 churches, 46 mosques and 1435 houses destroyed, along with over 650 vehicles. The politically motivated violence was largely carried out by Moslems angry that they did not gain the presidency. When attacked, local Christians often retaliated.

June 7, 2011: In the northeastern town of Maiduguri, Boko Haram members attacked three police stations, leaving at least ten police and attackers dead.  

June 6, 2011: : In the northwest, a imam of a large mosque was assassinated for preaching against Boko Haram.

June 5, 2011: Anti-corruption officials arrested the former speaker of parliament, who just left office and lost his immunity. It was feared that the former speaker, who is accused of stealing more than $60 million over four years, would flee the country.

May 29, 2011: Hours after president Goodluck Johnson was sworn in, five bombs went off in the north, killing 16 people and wounding many more. Islamic radical group Boko Haram took credit.

May 28, 2011: In northern Borno state, Boko Haram Islamic terrorists attacked two police bases and a bank, leaving four policemen and nine civilians dead.

May 26, 2011: In the northeast, Boko Haram members murdered a prison guard.

May 24, 2011: In the northeast, Boko Haram members murdered a policeman.

In the south (Lagos) angry soldiers, seeking revenge for one of their own killed by police the day before, killed ten policemen, including two commanders.

May 23, 2011: In the south (Lagos) a soldier refused to let police search his vehicle at a checkpoint, and was shot dead. Police are seen as much more corrupt than soldiers, and often demand bribes before letting vehicles through roadblocks.

May 19, 2011: In the northeast, three soldiers and two policemen were injured by  bombs. Boko Haram was suspected.



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