By Glynn Cosker
In Homeland Security Editor
The Boko Haram Islamist terrorist organization has reportedly kidnapped 20 women in Nigeria, not far from the village of Chibok where the group abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in April.
According to Reuters, nomads fleeing recent raids that killed more than 200 people in three other villages told Chibok villagers that Boko Haram members were demanding cattle in exchange for the women.
The latest abducted women were probably transported to a remote region within the Borno State, where Boko Haram’s control and influence is growing.
The organization, which is comprised of militants bent on establishing an Islamic state in Nigeria, is pushing to mandate Sharia law across Nigeria by kidnapping, killing and terrorizing the populous. The group is responsible for more than 2,000 deaths in 2014 alone, and they’ve forced more than 750,000 people from their homes.
The northeast section of Nigeria recently became Boko Haram’s hunting ground in its terror campaign. The group bombed bus stations and shops in three towns. Hundreds of villagers were killed in a reported attack last week in three areas within the Gwoza region.
This continuing bloodbath is sure to increase the outrage among the international community. The near daily attacks or abductions will increase pressure on Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan as his government seems unable to counter Boko Haram’s extreme tactics.
Notwithstanding the shocking and horrific human loss involved in Boko Haram’s campaign, their growing worldwide political significance should not be overlooked. Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa. With a gross domestic product of $510 billion, it’s also the eighth-largest exporter of oil. The ongoing struggles between the terrorist group and the Nigerian government will ultimately affect international oil markets.
The Nigerian government recently accepted help from the United States and other world powers (military and intelligence advisers, but no troops on the ground) to help find the kidnapped schoolgirls, but that has seemingly only emboldened the terrorist group—in fact, they’ve merely increased their attacks.
Local officials have ruled out swapping the schoolgirls for militant prisoners and say any attempt at extracting the girls by force would result in massacre.
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