Saturday, February 27, 2016

Boko Haram

Readers are probably familiar with the Islamist terror group Boko Haram which operates in Nigeria and other parts of Africa, kidnapping young girls to serve as sex slaves, burning down churches, and murdering Christians. It appears, however, that these fine devotees of the religion of peace are falling on hard times as Strategy Page explains:
Captured Boko Haram men report growing morale problems. Many members oppose the current strategy of carrying out bombing attacks against any target that can be reached. Until late 2015 the Boko Haram mainly attacked security forces, government officials, non-Moslems and non-religious schools. All those targets are now much better protected and Boko Haram leadership goes after targets it can reach rather than suffer a lot of failed attacks. Now the victims tend to be Moslem women and children and that has caused more Boko Haram men to criticize their leadership (a dangerous move) or desert (also dangerous but less so).

Going after the corrupt government and non-Moslems attracted a lot of recruits, and still does. But over a year of defeats and much improved security around acceptable targets has left Boko Haram with few alternatives to targeting whatever victims they could hit. This often includes market places or refugee camps and a disproportionate number of victims are women and children. The raiding and looting is one thing, because even Holy Warriors have to live. But killing Moslem women and children has always been a hard sell for Islamic terrorist leaders and is usually a warning sign that a particular Islamic terrorist group is on its way out.

That’s because this mindless mayhem means it can no longer get enough new recruits to replace losses and also turns helpful civilian populations into hostile ones. This is what happened to al Qaeda in Iraq during 2005-7 and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan a little later.

Another source of plunging morale is how Boko Haram recruits a lot of its current suicide bombers. These are often kidnapped teenage girls who are brainwashed into believing that God wants them to be suicide bombers and that this will get them right into the afterlife paradise. Those who resist this indoctrination are killed, often in front of other young women. It is one thing for a young Moslem man or woman volunteering to be a suicide bomber, but this brutal method of coercing and using girls who remind many young men of their sisters or cousins has backfired within Boko Haram.
There's more at the link. No doubt American military assets - special ops people and surveillance platforms - are also taking a toll on this despicable organization. Few civilized people will be sorry to hear of their impending and condign demise.