Boko Haram: How powerful is this Islamic extremist organization

Boko Haram: How powerful is this Islamic extremist organization
Boko Haram has once again shocked the world by kidnapping schoolchildren. In 2014, this Islamic extremist group became notorious after the abduction of more than 200 girls.

Now on Friday, there were reports that more than 300 children went missing after an attack on the school in the northwestern state of Katsina, Nigeria. This time the school Boko Haram has targeted is a boys' boarding school.

The names of 800 children are registered in this school. Many children survived during the attack, but many are still missing, who are believed to have been kidnapped.

The government blamed criminal gangs for the attack on the school, but on Tuesday the powerful Islamic extremist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for it.

The dreaded business of Boko Haram in Nigeria has been flourishing for more than a decade. Incidents of kidnappings and attacks on the army and common people continue unabated.

Ever since the conflict between the army and Boko Haram has started in Nigeria, thousands of people have died in this fight and millions have to leave their homes and seek refuge elsewhere.

The government insists that it has weakened Boko Haram's strength to a great extent, but many people in Nigeria are hesitant to believe this government claim. For them, Boko Haram is a very powerful organization even today.

According to Amnesty International, more than 1100 people have died at the hands of 'bandits' in the northern part of the country in the first six months of the year 2020. However, it cannot be said with certainty that Boko Haram is behind all these crimes.

Chris Ewok of BBC Africa says, "The army in Nigeria says it has destroyed Boko Haram, but despite this the extremist organization's attacks on soldiers and civilians continue."

This Sunni jihadist group was born in northern Nigeria in the year 2002. This region of Northern Nigeria is the Muslim populated area of ​​the country. It is the poorest region in Nigeria, which is counted among the wealthiest countries in Africa.

Many also see the rise of Boko Haram by linking the disarray between southern and northern regions within Nigeria.

The Muslim religious leader Mohammed Yusuf is said to have formed this organization with the intention of forming a government adhering to Sharia law in Nigeria.

In the form of Boko Haram which promotes Islam, Muslims are not allowed to participate in any type of political or social activities influenced by Western living values ​​and style such as voting or secular education.

Yusuf built a mosque and a madrasa for this. But his organization's interests began to spread beyond the field of education. Their political objective was the establishment of an Islamic state and this madrasa soon turned into a jihadist recruitment center.

In 2009, Boko Haram carried out several attacks on police stations and government buildings in Bornugo state capital Maiduguri in northwestern Nigeria. Many Boko Haram supporters were killed in this attack and thousands of extremists fled the city.

The security forces of Nigeria took Boko Haram's headquarters under their control. Many extremist fighters were arrested and their leader Maulvi Yusuf was killed.

Subsequently, security forces showed Maulvi Yusuf's body on television and said that Boko Haram had been destroyed.

But the Boko Haram fighters regrouped under the leadership of their new leader Abu Bakr Shekhu.

The attacks of this extremist organization started increasing. In view of the escalating violence in 2013, Nigeria announced the imposition of emergency in Boko Haram-affected states.

In the same year, Boko Haram was declared an extremist organization by the United Nations. The brutal methods of Boko Haram became more notorious under the leadership of Abu Bakr Shekhu.

Bombing of common people, use of children as suicide bombers, kidnapping from schools were part of this sequence. The Friday incident in Katsina province was similar.

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