The Abducted Children of Boko Haram: A Terrorist Group Fighting for Control of Nigeria

The Abducted Children of Boko Haram: A Terrorist Group Fighting for Control of Nigeria

On March 25th, more than 130 Nigerian schoolchildren were finally able to return home after being abducted on March 7th. Unfortunately, incidents like this have become commonplace in the northwest region of Africa. All of these attacks on education within the region have been caused by the terrorist group Boko Haram, an Islamic group active in much of western Africa. Their treatment of women’s education and other Western ideals has drawn scrutiny from the international community. Much like other terrorist groups, Boko Haram has focused on spread-out and horrific stunts to gain attention to their cause. 

Boko Haram was founded in 2002 to spread the Sunni Islamic tradition and “destroy” all Sh’ia beliefs in northwestern Nigeria, showing its desire for radicalization from the beginning of its existence. However, the terrorist group has not just stopped its treatment of other “unpurified Muslims.” The leaders of Boko Haram have made many public claims calling out the infidelity and corrupted nature of the Western world, focusing on bringing down the current world order. Their ideals are not far off from other largely known terrorist groups such as ISIS. 

Some of the methods used by Boko Haram in their quest for the removal of Western influence over Nigeria have been nothing short of horrendous. In 2020, the group used “apparent child suicide bombers in an unlawful attack on a site for displaced people,” violating many international laws. Attacking civilians has also become a key tactic for Boko Haram, in which they hope to gain an advantage over the entire population. 

These methods are ultimately to overthrow the existing Nigerian government because of the terrorist group’s belief that “the state is being run by non-believers,” in violation of their value system. While having just started with the Nigerian government, the group has also become heavily active in overthrowing governments in Cameroon and others. Efforts to destroy the strongholds of the group have seemingly become increasingly futile, as the members of Boko Haram continue to have heavy influence over much of the region. 

The most famous attack done by Boko Haram was in 2014. In the village of Chibok in the Borno State, more than 200 schoolgirls were captured, and some were brutally beaten and raped by members of the terrorist group. 

Jihadist belief is also at the foundation of Boko Haram’s identity. In Islamic belief, the Jihad is known to be the “holy war” for Muslims against the influence of non-muslim tradition. Many in the United States as well as other Western powers fear that Boko Haram may be in cohorts with other Islamic extremist groups like ISIS and Al-Queda to enact an attempt at Jihad in the future. 


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About the Contributor
Ciaran Greer
Ciaran Greer, Editor in Chief
Runner, Singer, Writer, and believer in God.  A strong belief in supporting the working class and the Average American.