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Sports Fans Targeted For Attack

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At least one person was killed and more than 10 others injured recently when militants detonated explosive devices at venues packed with sports fans watching a soccer game in the Nigerian city of Jos.

According to investigators four improvised explosive devices (IED) were planted near outdoor bars called "viewing centers" packed with fans in the predominantly Christian area of the city, watching the Real Madrid-Barcelona soccer game. Three of the lethal IED’s exploded causing the injuries but a fourth failed to detonate.

Although there has been no claim of responsibility for these cowardly acts the, Islamist sect Boko Haram is the lead suspect. Over the past year as part of their campaign to implement strict Islamic “Shariah law” across the central African country's northern sector, Boko Haram has launched a wave of deadly attacks, including a string of bomb blasts in the same city of Jos on Christmas Eve 2010.

According to police the Nigerian radical Islamist group is now becoming increasingly more violent. Their attacks have included the bombing of police stations, churches, banks, and army bases, which analysts say suggest is a result of the group's associations with other al-Qaeda-linked jihadist groups in Africa. These groups include the Algeria based Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Al Shabaab in Somalia which the analysts believe has led to a significant escalation in the group’s scope and methods.

Be aware that in this era of global terror the incident above is not just a regional problem. Remember that terrorists seek to use violence to generate fear, and thereby to achieve their political goals, experts say that terrorists target two types of targets: symbolic items or places, and places with large numbers of people. Sporting events should be considered significant targets of terrorism because they have both of those characteristics, having the potential for mass casualties and are so strongly connected with a countries economy and culture, which would reap huge national and international media attention.

Consider that a 2006 posting on a jihadist message board, carried information detailing how to conduct an attack on a sporting event and during a 1998 search British police found an Arabic-language document titled “Declaration of Jihad Against the Country’s Tyrants, Military Series.” The document laid out the organization's missions. Many of its 18 chapters contain extended citations from the Quran, the Muslim holy book, in an effort to justify their actions. In addition undercover cell members are given 22 rules of conduct, but topping the list is "blasting and destroying the places of amusement, immorality and sin.

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Guest Sunday, 09 August 2020