When the car exploded, the same two words occurred to him, and to the ticket taker, and to every other person who saw or heard the blast, which could be heard on the other side of Kano, Nigeria’s second largest city: Boko Haram. That neither they, nor practically anyone else in Nigeria, knew what Boko Haram was exactly or why it would want to bomb a bus station was beside the point. Officially, according to the Nigerian government, Boko Haram is a terrorist group. It began life as a separatist movement led by a northern Nigerian Muslim preacher, Mohammed Yusuf, who decried the country’s misrule. “Boko Haram” is a combination of the Hausa language and Arabic, understood to mean that Western, or un-Islamic, learning is forbidden. In 2009, after Yusuf was killed [BBC, The Guardian]—executed, it’s all but certain, by Nigerian police—his followers vowed revenge.
On Christmas day, a bomb was detonated at St. Theresa's Catholic Church on the outskirts of the Nigerian capital, Abuja, killing at least 35. Two other bombs exploded at Christmas ceremonies across Nigeria, killing five more. Soon after the bombings, a spokesman for Boko Haram, a radical Islamic group based in northern Nigeria, claimed responsibility.Who Are Boko Haram And Why Are They Terrorizing Nigerian Christians?
"By the grace of God, we are responsible for all the attacks," a man known as Abul-Qaqa, who claims to be a spokesman for the group, told a Nigerian newspaper. "There will never be peace until our demands are met. We want all our brothers who have been incarcerated to be released; we want full implementation of the sharia system and we want democracy and the constitution to be suspended.
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