As the US government continues to debate whether to add Boko Haram to its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists, the Nigerian terror group has launched yet another suicide attack. Today’s attack killed four people outside a police station in Maiduguri. From Reuters [emphasis added]:
A suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into the entrance of the police headquarters of northeast Nigeria’s Borno state on Friday, killing four people, including a policeman, and wounding seven, the police commissioner said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Islamist sect Boko Haram has been blamed for hundreds of bomb and gun attacks on security forces and civilians over the past two years, mostly in Borno state.
Borno police commissioner Bala Hassan told Reuters by phone from the city of Maiduguri that one policeman and three civilians were killed, and seven police officers were wounded by the car bomber.
“He was driving a Toyota Camry, which he tried to drive right into the station. When he couldn’t do this, he detonated the bomb,” Hassan said. He declined to speculate on who was behind the attack.
Boko Haram has not only been blamed for many of these attacks, it has claimed credit for them in numerous propaganda statements released on jihadist Internet forums and to the media. When it comes to suicide attacks in Nigeria, Boko Haram is the only terror group that has conducted such attacks.
So far this year, Boko Haram has carried out at least eight suicide attacks [see list below]. The targets have included churches, newspapers, government officials, and security forces. The terror group has also conducted several other attacks in previous years; the most high-profile suicide attack targeted the United Nations headquarters in the Nigerian capital of Abuja in August 2011.
Boko Haram suicide attacks in 2012:
- June 8, 2012 – A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed four people an attack outside a police station in Maiduguri.
- June 3, 2012 – A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed 15 people an attack on a church in Bauchi.
- April 30, 2012 – A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed 11 people and wounded more than 20 in an attack on a police convoy in Jalingo, the capital of Taraba state.
- April 26, 2012 – The editor of ThisDay confirmed that a suicide bomber drove a jeep into the newspaper’s office in Abuja, killing two people.
- April 8, 2012 – Boko Haram killed 36 people and wounded dozens more in several bombings outside of a church in Kaduna on Easter day.
- March 11, 2012 – A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed three civilians in a bombing outside of a church in Jos. The suicide bomber was stopped before he could enter the compound.
- Feb. 26, 2012 – A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed six Christians during an attack at a church in Jos.
- Jan. 21, 2012 – Boko Haram killed more than 140 people during a series of blasts, including a suicide bombing, and shootings in Kano. Boko Haram claimed credit for the attacks, which targeted police and immigration buildings.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.