Boko Haram ranked ahead of ISIS for deadliest terror group
As much of the world remains focused on the Islamic State
and its horrific attacks in Paris, another radical band of
extremists has, by one account, captured the infamous title
of the world’s deadliest terrorist group: Boko Haram.
Boko Haram, the militant group that has tortured Nigeria
and its neighbors for years, was responsible for 6,664
deaths last year, more than any other terrorist group in the
world, including the Islamic State, which killed 6,073 people
in 2014, according to a report released Wednesday tracking
terrorist attacks globally.
The death toll in Nigeria mounted on Wednesday, with a
bombing in Kano State in northern Nigeria, not even a full
day after Boko Haram was suspected in an explosion that
killed and injured dozens in another nearby region.
bombers detonated vests at a cellphone market at about 4
p.m., killing at least 12 people and wounding dozens.
Witnesses and Red Cross officials said that as many as 50
or 60 people died, though the number could not be
independently confirmed. Officials accused Boko Haram in
In a statement Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari
called for Nigerians to stay vigilant, saying that even his
recently intensified military operation against Boko Haram
could not prevent every attack.
“President Buhari reassures Nigerians that his
administration is very much determined to wipe out Boko
Haram in Nigeria and bring all perpetrators of these heinous
crimes against humanity to justice,” the release said.
eliminating Boko Haram, which he has pledged to do by the
end of December, as well as cutting back on corruption that
has dogged the nation.
This week, Pres. Buhari accused the previous
administration’s national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki, of
pocketing more than $2 billion that had been allocated for
warplanes, helicopters and other military gear to fight Boko
Haram. Mr. Dasuki has denied the allegations.
Pres. Buhari has announced recent victories against Boko
Haram, including seizing bomb-making materials and
winning battles in the forest.
But still the bombings have come at a rapid clip in recent
weeks, bringing death to a food market in Kano, areas of
Niger and Cameroon and a village in Chad, prompting
officials to call a state of emergency there.
Boko Haram has pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State,
but it is unclear what support the group is giving Boko
Haram beyond assisting with publicity.
The report released Wednesday, from the Institute of
Economics & Peace, said the Islamic State and Boko Haram
were responsible for half of all global deaths attributed to
Last year, the deaths attributed to Boko Haram alone
increased by more than 300 percent, the report said.
The report found a drastic increase in terrorist attacks last
year, with the majority occurring in three countries: Iraq,
Syria and Nigeria, where other militant groups besides Boko
“In Nigeria, private citizens are overwhelmingly targeted,
most often with firearms resulting in very high levels of
deaths per attack,” according to the report.
Security experts, regional authorities and Western military
officials have credited Pres. Buhari’s renewed push against
Boko Haram for scattering the group, which gained
notoriety in the United States when it kidnapped scores of
schoolgirls and seized entire towns in northern Nigeria.
They say the string of recent attacks on various public
places is evidence that the group is grasping to gain real
ground and is no longer as capable of holding territory. Still,
attacks in crowded spots like schools and markets, long a
staple of Boko Haram’s mayhem, can be extremely deadly.
This is the third year the economics and peace institute has
released its Global Terrorism Index, a study of terrorist
activity around the world. The index is based on data
collected as part of a program run by the University of
Maryland dedicated to the study of terrorism around the
In Cameroon, the report said Boko Haram had expanded its
reach into the country with bombings.