Boko Haram, the radical Islamist terror group that has been linked to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb as well as Shabaab, al Qaeda’s affiliate in East Africa, is intent on turning its insurgency in the north of Nigeria into a full-fledged war between Christans and Muslims. The terror group has bombed numerous churches in the country in the past two years, including a suicide attack at a church in Jos at the end of February. Leadership, a Nigerian news outlet, interviewed a Boko Haram spokesman who said that the group will “eradicate Christians from certain parts of the country” while fighting to establish “a proper Islamic state.”
A Nigerian spokesman for the Islamic militant group Boko Haram told Bikyamasr.com on Sunday that they are planning a “war” on Christians in the next few weeks.
According to the spokesman, speaking via telephone from northern Nigeria, the group “will launch a number of attacks, coordinated and part of the plan to eradicate Christians from certain parts of the country.”
Boko Haram have taken responsibility for a number of bomb attacks on Christian churches across the country since a Christmas Day bombing left dozens of people killed.
The government has promised to crackdown on the group and has deployed military units across the country in an attempt to curtail the Islamic group’s activities, arresting and killing a number of members in recent weeks.
But the spokesman said the government “cannot be prepared for what is to come.”
He said, without giving specific details, “we will create so much effort to end the Christian presence in our push to have a proper Islamic state that the Christians won’t be able to stay.”
On Friday, the group reportedly killed three of its own members late on Friday in the northeastern state of Maiduguri, police and military sources confirmed.
“This was part of our planning and it is unfortunate,” said the spokesman.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.