The abduction of more than 200 school girls in Nigeria has put the group behind the attacks — Boko Haram — at the forefront of the discussion about international terrorism. The group, which dragged hundreds of innocent girls into unknown territory about a month ago and has yet to release them, has also been attacking towns where individuals have been organizing rescue efforts for the abducted girls.
According to the New York Times, Boko Haram’s actions are even too much for the terror group that has been in the international spotlight for the last several years. Not even Al Qaeda can support the senseless brutalism perpetuated for years in Nigeria by Boko Haram, as commenters on radical Islamic sites criticized the group’s recent actions.
“The violence most of the African rebel groups practice makes Al Qaeda look like a bunch of school girls. And Al Qaeda at this point is a brand — and pretty much only a brand — so you have to ask yourself how they are going to deal with the people who are doing things so hideous even the leaders of Al Qaeda are unwilling to condone them,” said Bronwyn Bruton, Africa scholar at the Atlantic Council in Washington, to the New York Times.
According to the Wire, however, Al-Qaeda has a history of supporting Boko Haram. Al-Qaeda is suspected of housing and possibly training Boko Haram insurgents in the past, although the former group tends to have a broader, international vision while the latter focuses more on local Nigerian politics. Boko Haram also has a tendency to carry out violent attacks on civilians, a tactic which Al Qaeda has utilized less in recent years in an effort to attract more members.
Boko Haram’s current attacks in Nigeria remain largely unchallenged by outsiders, despite public outcries against the group both within Nigeria and on social media. The search for the abducted girls will likely continue, but how to deal with Boko Haram’s continued, senseless violence is just as pertinent of an issue at hand for the international community.