Today in Terrorism: November 25, 2014 – Suicide bombing in Nigeria

The Islamist extremist group Boko Haram in Nigeria is known for kidnapping girls and forcing them to become suicide bombers

One of the most heart-wrenching scenes in recent history was the agony suffered by Nigerians over the fate of the ‘Chibok’ girls. On the night of April 14, 2014 members of the Boko Haram terrorist group seized 276 schoolgirls from a government facility in the town of Chibok. Five years later 112 are still missing.

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out what fate awaited these girls. Islamist terrorist groups are highly misogynist and see women (or girls) as sexual partners. One need only think of the Yazidi women raped and ‘married off’ by Islamic State (ISIS) in recent years.

On this day in 2014, two girls detonated bombs at a market in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, killing 78 people.

Some of the young women seized in Chibok became wives. Others were forced to cook for the terrorist group. A few radicalised to violence and became terrorists themselves, although in light of their circumstance it would be hard to hold them accountable.

In some cases these girls were used as suicide bombers. Boko Haram has made great use of this tactic, more than any other terrorist group I can think of.

Boko Haram released several girls after years of tense negotiations but more than 100 are still missing [Reuters]
Some of the Chibok girls: that is a Boko Haram flag in the back (Photo: Reuters)

Suicide bombing in Nigeria

On this day in 2014, two girls detonated bombs at a market in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, killing 78 people. The girls, dressed in full hijab, entered the busy market and detonated their explosives: after the first one carried out her act the second waited for more people to gather before setting off her device.

As heinous as these tactics are it is not difficult to see why Boko Haram uses them. Young girls can be coerced and threatened to don suicide vests. Passersby would not normally see girls as a threat. These unwilling terrorists can get to places adults may not be able to. All in all an effective way to execute terrorist attacks.

People stand by the wreckage of a car that has been blown up by suspected Boko Haram militants in Nigeria's troubled north-eastern city of Maiduguri on 25 March 2014
Photo: Getty Images

Some see terrorist as ‘freedom fighters’ or ‘noble lions’. They are nothing of the sort. Those fighting for justice or to resolve grievances do not target civilians.

And they sure as hell do not get 9-year olds to act as suicide bombers.