UNICEF: Female Suicide Bombings Spike in Nigeria

The UNICEF has reported an alarming increase in the use of female suicide bombers by the Nigerian militant group, the Boko Haram.

Known for using suicide bombers to attack public places such as markets and transportation stations, UNICEF claims this practice has taken an especially alarming turn with the increased use of women and children carrying out the deadly attacks. The agency has recorded 27 suicide attacks through mid-May of this year; 26 suicide attacks were reported for all of last year. UNICEF child protection specialist Laurent Dutordoir said women and children reportedly were used as suicide bombers in at least three-fourths of these horrific incidents. Since last July, girls between the ages of 7 and 17 have been involved in nine suicide incidents, he said.

The usage of the term ␣suicide bombing␣ dates back to at least 1940. A New York Times article (August 10, 1940) mentions the term in relation to German tactics. Modern suicide bombings was introduced by Hezbullah in 1983 in Lebanon. From then till date, over 16,000 people are claimed to have been killed in suicide bomb attacks all over the world.

Women have been involved in terrorism since the 19th century, and it is said that most of the female bombers don’t usually know that they are carrying explosives. Suicide bombing is a popular tactic among Palestinian militant organizations like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Al- Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.

Boko Haram’s use of girls or women for suicide bombing was adopted from the Palestinian model of Jihadism, while their first suicide bombing was on June 2011 when it attacked the police headquarters in Abuja. A few months later another bomber rammed his car into the UN building killing 23 people.

Islamist militant organisations (including al-Qaeda, Hamas and Islamic Jihad) argue that suicide operations are justified according to Islamic law, despite what some Muslims claim is Islam’s strict prohibition of suicide and murder.

The holy Quran condemns suicide bombing: ␣O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only (in lawful) business by mutual consent. And do not killyourselves.Indeed,AllahistoyoueverMerciful.␣

Dutordoir said women and girls are increasingly being used as suicide bombers because, for cultural reasons, it is easier for them to slip through security than is the case with men and boys.

Also, the organisation estimated the number of unaccompanied and separated children in North- eastern Nigeria could be as high as 10,000.

The United Nations said more than 1.3 million Nigerians have been displaced by the vicious war Boko Haram has waged in the northeast since 2009.

Factfile

  • The usage of the term ␣suicide bombing␣ dates back to at least 1940. A New York Times article (August 10, 1940) mentions the term in relation to German tactics. Modern suicide bombings was introduced by Hezbullah in 1983 in Lebanon. From then till date, over 16,000 people are claimed to have been killed in suicide bomb attacks all over the world.
  • Women have been involved in terrorism since the 19th century, and it is said that most of the female bombers don’t usually know that they are carrying explosives. Suicide bombing is a popular tactic among Palestinian militant organizations like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Al- Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.
  • Boko Haram’s use of girls or women for suicide bombing was adopted from the Palestinian model of Jihadism, while their first suicide bombing was on June 2011 when it attacked the police headquarters in Abuja. A few months later another bomber rammed his car into the UN building killing 23 people.
  • Islamist militant organisations (including al-Qaeda, Hamas and Islamic Jihad) argue that suicide operations are justified according to Islamic law, despite what some Muslims claim is Islam’s strict prohibition of suicide and murder.
  • The holy Quran condemns suicide bombing: ␣O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only (in lawful) business by mutual consent. And do not killyourselves.Indeed,AllahistoyoueverMerciful.␣