A lot of terrorist groups are heinous but Nigeria’s Boko Haram is even more so, as seen in its use of little girls as suicide bombers.
I doubt there is anything approaching an honour code with jihadis these days. This is unfortunate as the original mujahedin, those who fought their way out of Arabia in the 7th and 8th centuries, did actually have a set of targets that were not permissible, a rarity in the ‘rules of war’ way back then.
Among those people and things which were off limits, as determined by the first Caliph (Abu Bakr), were:
- The elderly;
- Trees, especially fruit trees;
- Flocks and;
- Religious men and women.
There were also rules on how to divide spoils and on why it was not ok to deny water to the enemy. All in all fairly civilised for the time.
Modern day jihadis are clearly not paying attention
Not only do terrorists target for killing and/or maiming all of the above but they also use women and children to further their aims. In many cases the women make conscious choices to join and perpetrate horrendous crimes, but can a child make a similar decision? Most legal canons would say no and that is why we treat juveniles differently under the law.
Boko Haram is clearly a case where none of this applies.
The terrorist group in northeast Nigeria, although it is also active in Cameroon, Chad and possibly Benin, has been carrying out terrible attacks for over a decade. Despite recent Nigerian army successes according to the 2019 Global Terrorism Index, Boko Haram remains active (they killed four humanitarian workers the other day).
On this day in 2015, four female suicide bombers were killed at a checkpoint in Nigeria’s northeast Borno state after one of them detonated her explosives.
One particularly disgusting practice by Boko Haram is their use of little girls as suicide bombers. On this day in 2015 four female suicide bombers were killed at a checkpoint in Nigeria’s northeast Borno state after one of them detonated her explosives. Four girls between the ages of nine and 12 were stopped at the checkpoint, after they had been abducted from villages and brainwashed before being sent for suicide missions.
War and terrorism is no place for a child
UNICEF reported that Boko Haram had recruited more than 3,500 children between 2013 and 2017. Many became suicide bombers. The terrorist group’s tactic is logical, even if it is damnatory: people don’t see little girls as terrorists and are thus less vigilant. In addition, they can get to places men can’t (schools, markets, etc.).
Boko Haram has promised to stop using children and some have been rescued: 900 were freed in May 2019. I don’t trust these terrorists any more than I trust any terrorists (are you listening Donald Trump as the Taliban ‘promises’ not to allow terrorist groups on Afghan soil after a US military withdrawal?).
Jihadis like to portray themselves as ideal Muslims. In fact they always say that those who do not agree with their tactics and beliefs are not true Muslims.
The point is that these children should never have been recruited in the first place. War and terrorism is no place for a child. Ever.
Jihadis like to portray themselves as ideal Muslims
In fact they always say that those who do not agree with their tactics and beliefs are not true Muslims. The use of child bombers demonstrates quite clearly that they have a poor to non-existent grasp of Islam.
Perhaps it is too much to expect any honour from a terrorist after all. Maybe it is best, to cite Captain Hook in the 1991 film Hook, to “Kill them. Kill them all.”