The Islamist militant group Boko Haram kidnapped 40 boys and young men — ages 10 to 23 — from a village in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno, some of those fleeing said Saturday.
The terrorists arrived in the village of Malari carrying assault rifles and then preached to them about the group’s extremist ideology before forcibly taking 40 hostages and driving toward the Sambisa forest on December 31, villagers who fled to Maiduguri said.
It took days for information on this mass abduction to emerge due to poor communications stemming from the destruction of cell phone towers in previous Boko Haram attacks.This act, while horrific, is hardly unprecedented. Boko Haram has been blamed for numerous attacks, from assassinations of officials to bombings of crowded markets, in recent years as part of its quest to impose a strict version of Sharia law across Nigeria.
Mass kidnappings have been part of that campaign, most notably the taking of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in April. There was talk of a ceasefire deal that would pave the way for the girls’ release, but Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau laughed it off, claiming that those abducted had converted to Islam and been married off.
Okay, technically not yesterday. We only found out about it yesterday.
The militant group Boko Haram has seized a town and key multinational military base in north-eastern Nigeria, officials and eyewitnesses say.
A senator in Borno state said troops had abandoned the base in the town of Baga after it was attacked on Saturday.
Residents of Baga, who fled by boat to neighbouring Chad, said many people had been killed and the town set ablaze.
Has it really been eight months since the #girls were kidnapped? I just want to salute the resilience of all the American celebrities who posed for selfies with their handwritten signs. They looked so upset, yet they seem to be getting on with their lives. As indeed are the #girls, albeit far differently from what they were used to. I’m sure, as she gazes over the turquoise waters of Hawaii, Michelle Obama spares a thought or two on the fate of those 200 #girls. After all, if she and Barack had 200 more daughters, some of them might look like some of those girls.
We sent troops over there, once upon a time, but our efforts seem to have ended not with a bang but a whimper:
The Nigerian government has ended a U.S. effort to train a battalion of its troops to fight Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group that is responsible for abducting hundreds of schoolgirls earlier this year, according to the State Department.
“We regret premature termination of this training, as it was to be the first in a larger planned project that would have trained additional units with the goal of helping the Nigerian Army build capacity to counter Boko Haram,” State Department spokesman Rodney Ford said in an email to Military Times on Monday.
Ford did not say exactly what prompted Nigeria to end the training mission.
It’s not that I don’t feel sad at the fate of the girls. There’s a video at CNN (which I couldn’t embed) of their families still holding vigil; their pain brought more than one tear to my eye. But I hate as much as I hate anything to see genuine pain exploited for cheap publicity by shallow posers. Raiding parties have raped, pillaged, and kidnapped throughout history. However much as it horrifies us today, the earth stifles a yawn at the thought. I may not be quite so callous, but I refuse to give in in to the trend of public guilt. You want to get serious about the growing threat of Islamofascism, you’ll have no better friend. You want to work on your sad face in front of the mirror, do it on your own time.