The bloody siege on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall on Sept. 21 was carried out by a Somali-based group called al-Shabab. The militant group was previously in decline and had largely gone unnoticed as a major threat. But by tying up the Kenyan security forces for four days in the nation’s capitol and leaving 63 dead, including diplomats and a prominent Ghanaian poet, al-Shabab, which means, “the youth,” put themselves on the global terror map.
Boko Haram – “Western education is sinful” – that is the direct translation of the name of Nigerian Islamic extremist group, according to thenationonelineng.net. The group has handcuffed the northern half of the region with increasingly violent attacks and is on the brink of being declared as a terrorist organization by the United States. Since 2010, Boko Haram has become a legitimate threat to the most populated country in Africa, and it is forcing the world to take notice.
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Over 1,000 deaths have been linked to Boko Haram’s activities since the beginning of 2011, as the group continues its efforts to overthrow the Nigerian government and establish Islamic law in the nation. Suicide bombings have become a regular method of attack for the group, including a car bombing that struck a United Nations building in the Nigerian capital of Abuja last August, leaving 25 dead. The group recently kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls at night in Nigeria. It is believed they are forcing the women into marriages. The Nigerian government has been slow to act to bring the young women home.