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Today in Terrorism

January 3, 2015: Boko Haram massacre in northern Nigeria

On this day in 2015 Boko Haram terrorists slaughtered as many as 2,000 in Baga, a town on the shores of Lake Chad in NE Nigeria.

BAGA, NIGERIA – Terrorist attacks are usually very limited in scope: a few are not.

We all see 9/11 as the pinnacle of terrorism. And for good reason. Four civilian airliners hijacked and flown into three iconic US landmarks (the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon: the fourth jet that was taken over by passengers and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania was possibly headed for the White House, a fourth landmark).

In all, almost 3,000 were killed. Terrorist attacks almost NEVER kill more than a handful of innocent people. For example, in 2014 43,500 people were killed in 16,800 attacks worldwide; that works out to less than three per incident. To kill THOUSANDS was unheard of.

What if I told you that an attack in Nigeria in 2015 came close?

A fiery blasts rocks the World Trade Center after being hit by two planes.
110 stories: that would be hard to top (Photo: Getty Images)

On this day 2015

On this day that year the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram massacred what are believed to have been more than 2,000 people in the fishing town of Baga on Lake Chad (population 300,000). Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau claimed responsibility for the mass killings and threatened more violence: “We are the ones who fought the people of Baga, and we have killed them with such a killing.”

No one stayed back to count the bodies. We were all running to get out of town ahead of Boko Haram fighters.

Resident of Baga

Not surprisingly, Baga is now a ghost town. The promises of the Nigerian government notwithstanding (see upcoming Perspective on this), Boko Haram is still dominant in that region of the country.

Expect more massacres from these terrorists.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. and Director of the National Security programme at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute (PDI). Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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