April 20, 2012
The Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram had been sporadically attacking police stations and people for years, but exploded into violence in 2012 with suicide bombings, car bombs and coordinated assaults soon after al Qaeda began backing the Nigerian radicals. Now, Nigeria could be heading for a civil war as Boko Haram's attacks on Christians have grown increasingly frequent and violent in an attempt to implement sharia law and create an Islamic state in Africa's largest nation. According to USA Today, some experts say this is an emerging strategy by al Qaeda to convert local rebellions across Africa into a global terror front against the West -- a rising danger that many have yet to comprehend. "This new jihadist nexus in Africa" is now being seen in Somalia and Mali, where al Qaeda is banding with local Islamist groups -- such as Somalia's al Shabaab -- to heighten attacks, said Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations. Ultimately, says International Christian Concern, the groups are uniting in an aim to eliminate Christians from their countries.