At the beginning of the year, Noah wrote what turned out to be a tragically prescient post about “that other Islamic State” which has been running roughshod over Christians and random civilians in Africa. Speaking of Boko Haram, Noah warned of the following:
Recently, the group has adopted a troubling shift in tactics. Boko Haram has pivoted from primarily terrorizing the local population to executing coordinated, military-style raids on Nigerian outposts and using civilian suicide bombers to target populated areas.
This campaign is making headway.
During that same period, while the eyes of the world were turning more toward Europe in general (and France in particular) the excesses of Boko Haram’s barbarism were already being made clear on the border between Nigeria and Chad.
The attackers sped into a Nigerian town with grenade launchers — their gunfire and explosions shattering the early morning calm.
As terrified residents scattered into bushes in Baga town and surrounding villages, the gunmen unloaded motorcycles from their trucks and followed in hot pursuit.
Residents hid under scant brush. Bullets pierced through them.
Some sought refuge in their homes. They were burned alive.
Many who tried to cross into neighboring Chad drowned while trying to swim through Lake Chad.
By the time the weapons went quiet, local officials reported death tolls ranging from hundreds to as many as 2,000 people.
On Saturday, in the city of Maiduguri, Nigeria, more horror unfolded.
Explosives strapped to a girl detonated at a crowded marketplace in Nigeria, killing at least 20 people and injuring 18 others, according to police.
The police estimate differed from the local hospital’s estimate, which counted 51 people with blast injuries.
The girl was described by witnesses as appearing to be 17 or 18 years old.
Nigeria is a mess. The southern, mostly Christian region of the nation is under attack. Even the Muslims in the north are dying in droves at the hands of Boko Haram. The government is going on the air and blatantly lying to the rest of the world about it, as President Goodluck Jonathan prepares for his upcoming election. They released statements saying that their troops “have responded rapidly” and are in pursuit of the terrorists. But when locals were contacted they said that not a single security force operative has been seen in the vicinity of Baga and that it was still not safe for relief workers to try to collect the bodies because “militants are still running amok.”
As Islamic terrorists continue to spread, more nations are in danger of simply collapsing as their citizens lose faith in their ability to keep them safe. We’re in serious danger of having an increasing pile of failed states which will serve as a breeding ground for more of the same. Unfortunately, as bad as Boko Haram is, attacks like this are never going to capture the media’s attention the way an attack in France (or America) will.
So what can we do about Boko Haram realistically? I have absolutely no idea. Launching a major military offensive against them (given how much else we have on our plate) seems unlikely in the extreme, even if the will existed in the White House to do so. And I doubt we have any allies left who have the resources and the interest to do it in our stead.