The majority of suicide bombers used by terror group Boko Haram to kill innocent victims are women and children, a US study reveals.
Researchers at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point and Yale University analyzed the 434 suicide bombings carried out by Nigeria-based militants Boko Haram since 2011, and found that at least 244 of the 338 attacks in which the bomber’s gender could be identified were carried out by women.
The ISIS-affiliated insurgent group has sent 80 women to their deaths in 2017 alone.
Boko Haram’s use of women as bombers increased following the abduction of 276 female students aged between 16 and 18 from their school dormitories in April 2014. The Chibok Girls’ abduction prompted the global “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign.
“Almost immediately after the Chibok kidnappings … Boko Haram’s use of women suicide bombers skyrocketed,” says Jason Warner, assistant professor at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, the United States’ elite military academy.
The report suggests “that Boko Haram started using women suicide bombers after it realized the potency that gender and youth offer in raising its global profile after the Chibok kidnappings,” he says.
Youngest bomber aged just 7
As well as regularly employing women to carry deadly explosives, Boko Haram is also “at the forefront of normalizing the use of children as suicide bombers,” according to the report.
“Boko Haram has shattered demographic stereotypes as to what a suicide bomber looks like,” says Warner. “It is the first terrorist group in history to use more…
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