Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist terror group that has been linked to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Shabaab, killed five soldiers in an attack today on a church at a military base in Kaduna. The Nigerian terror group has carried out 19 suicide attacks so far this year; many have targeted churches and mosques.
The Boko Haram suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into the church at the Jaji military barracks in Kaduna state, military officers told Reuters. Dozens of people were wounded in the blast.
Boko Haram has intentionally attacked churches on Sundays during services in order to kill as many Christians as possible. Earlier this year, Boko Haram stated that it seeks "to eradicate Christians" from areas in Nigeria. The group has repeatedly targeted Christians at churches, especially on religious holidays.
So far this year, Boko Haram has carried out at least 19 suicide attacks [see list below]. The targets have included churches, mosques, newspapers, government officials, and security forces. The terror group also conducted several other suicide attacks in previous years; the most high-profile suicide attack targeted the United Nations headquarters in the Nigerian capital of Abuja in August 2011.
Today's suicide attack takes place just two days after the Nigerian military offered rewards for information leading to the arrest of Boko Haram's top leaders. The military offered $312,500 for the group's emir, Abubakar Shekau; $156,000 each for four senior leaders; and $62,500 for 14 commanders. In June, the US added Shekau to its list of global terrorists, along with Khalid al Barnawi and Abubakar Adam Kamba, both of whom have ties to Boko Haram and close links to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
SOURCE: BILL ROGGIO
The Long War Journal