Female Suicide Bombers

In 2009 citizens of Maiduguri, Borno suffered a multitude of devastating losses. Police stations, churches, jails, and homes were set on fire by the Boko Haram organization (CNN, 2018). The government of Maiduguri arrested or killed over 500 known members of the Boko Haram and destroyed their sacred mosque causing a backlash from the sect. Members of the Boko Haram started mindlessly and aimlessly killing whomever crossed their path, mostly law enforcement, and for no other reason than retaliation to the government (CNN, 2018). To end the killings and terrorism, a Joint Military Task Force was formed between Chad, Niger, Nigeria, and Cameroon (Campbell, 2018). With the help of local police, the Joint Military Task Force killed many of its members including their founder, Mohammed Yusuf, and other leaders of the organization (CNN, 2018). Since its beginning, the Boko Haram members have caused pain and terror in the lives of those who will not join in their religious beliefs, ideologies, or shared hope.

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Hoping for an Islamic state in Nigeria and completely implementing Shari’ah Law, Islamist and Salafist educated Mohammed Yusuf started a sect in Borno, a state in northeastern Nigeria in 2002 (Sergie & Johnson, 2014). The name of that group was “Jama’at Ahl al-Sunna lil-Da’awah wa al-Jihad” which translates to “Association of the People of the Sunnah for Preaching and Jihad” (McKenna, 2014)”. Oddly enough, it was not originally intended to be a vicious group. Yes, attacks occurred for religious reasons, because Sheri’ah Law wasn’t being followed, but the violence didn’t really come full force until the death of Mohammed Yusuf in 2009. The remaining members needed to take revenge for their leaders’ death.

In 2010, the right-hand man to Yusuf, Abubaker Shekau, whom was previously assumed dead in the 2009 Joint Military Task Force raid, produced a video declaration stating that he was the new frontrunner of Boko Haram (CNN, 2018). When Yusuf was alive, he did not have complete power over the members of the group; there was no true structure or guidelines for them to follow (Sergie & Johnson, 2014). At the wake of his death, the members scattered into a myriad of sects or groups, one such resulting in what we now know of as Boko Harem.

The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations defines “terrorism” as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons and property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherness of political or social objectives” (Criss, 2017). That is the very definition of what Boko Harams purpose is.

April 2014 turned out to be a time over 200 families would never forget; over 200 girls were kidnapped from school by the Boko Haram (McKenna, 2014). During that year, there were a multitude of suicide bombings, three of those being by female suicide bombers. The fear is that the terrorists are forcing these young girls to be suicide bombers. If that is the case, there are over 200 bombs still out there. Abubaker Shekau takes responsibility for kidnapping the girls stating that he will sell them in the market and marry them off (Campbell, 2018). In 2015, Abubaker Shekau, declared allegiance with ISIS (McKenna, 2014). 

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Female Suicide Bombers. (2022, Apr 13). Retrieved December 8, 2022 , from

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