A suspected suicide bomber who surrendered to authorities in Cameroon has identified herself as one of over 250 girls kidnapped by Islamic extremist group Boko Haram in 2014. According to an NBC News report, the girl, who was found along with another girl, is estimated to be about 15 years old. If her declaration is determined to be true, this would be the first contact with one of the missing Chibok girls in a long time.
Idrissou Yacoubou, head of the Cameroon self-defense organization that apprehended the two girls near the border in Limani, said the adolescent turned herself in before detonating the explosives secured to her body.
“The girl looked tired, malnourished, and psychologically tortured and could not give us more details about her stay in the forest and how her other mates were treated,” he added.
Midjiyawa Bakari, governor of the Far North region, states Nigerian officials are joining efforts with the Cameroon to investigate whether the suspect is indeed one of the Boko Haram Chibok detainees. Her parents will also travel to the area where she is being held to identify her. Names are being withheld at this time due to the girl’s status as a minor.
Extreme Islamists have reportedly escalated the number of cross-border attacks and suicide bombings, with most carried out by young girls. Because of these increased terrorist attempts targeting the area, heightened security has remained in place.
Nigeria is nearly divided in half by its dominant religious cultures — with the North primarily dedicated to Islam and the South to Christianity. Boko Haram, meaning “Western education is forbidden,” is a militant group that operates out of Nigeria to spread Islamic law. In a report released by CNN, the group was recognized as the deadliest terrorist group — beating out ISIS.
In April 2014, the organization gained international media when they took 276 young ladies from their boarding school in Chibok of Bono. Even First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama joined efforts to #BringBackOurGirls. Although some of the girls were able to escape, the majority remained in Boko Haram custody and have not been found.
The Chibok girls taken by the Boko Haram regime are only a small representation of the estimated 2,000 total people supposedly kidnapped. In 2014, Boko Haram also claimed the lives of over 6,500 people according to the Global Terrorism Index. As recent as February of 2016, the group was determined responsible for attacks on two northeast Nigerian farming villages that claimed the lives of at least 30 people. The attackers were witnessed taking women, children and supplies after killing villagers in Yakshari and Kachifa.
Additionally, around this time, two female suicide bombers killed almost 60 Nigerian residents and injured 78 when they detonated explosives attached to themselves near a shelter camp for Borno refugees. The third bomber refused to blow herself up when she discovered her family was housed at the same camp. The suspect claimed they were sent by Boko Haram.
— काले बहादुर सारङ्गी (@KBS_PG) March 25, 2016
Terrorism continues to be a global issue plaguing the Eastern territories more so than the West, according to a 2015 terrorism report. Since the United States’ 9/11 terror attacks, terrorist attacks have taken the lives of less than one percent in the West since 2000. On the other hand, Iraq continues to be most affected by terrorism with record-setting fatalities, close to 10,000, in 2014. Following behind Iraq are Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria. Almost 80 percent of terrorist related deaths happened in these countries, based on the report’s findings.
If the suspected suicide bomber is found to be a survivor of the Boko Haram attackers, she can assist authorities in finding the remaining prisoners that have been held by the Nigerian organization for months.
[Photo By Medina Dauda (VOA) | Public domain |Wikimedia Commons]