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Terrorist group Boko Haram is now virtually eliminated, says Nigeria’s Army Chief

The Nigerian military has been successful in diminishing Boko Haram's capabilities and virtually eliminating them from the face of the land

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FILE PHOTO - Nigerian soldiers hold up a Boko Haram flag that they had seized in the recently retaken town of Damasak, Nigeria. Source: VOA

Africa, Sept 18, 2016: The Nigerian military has made tremendous progress against the Boko Haram terrorist group, the country’s chief of army staff told VOA Daybreak Africa.

Visiting our Washington studio, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai praised the collaboration with troops from neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

“It is interesting to note that the ability of the Boko Haram terrorist group to move freely as they were doing before, the ability to hold ground, the ability to take on territories or ransack large communities and towns has been virtually eliminated,” he said.

Boko Haram released a video this week that shows hundreds of supporters, suggesting the group is still potent.

Buratai dismissed the video as propaganda.

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“Virtually they want to show that they are still around. To the best of our knowledge and all well-meaning Nigerians who know the happenings in the northeast, they know that those are just empty, boastful positions of the Boko Haram terrorists. They have nothing to show and indeed they are just trying to show their prowess in terms of propaganda,” Buratai said.

Boko Haram, which pledged allegiance to Islamic State last year, has been embroiled in an apparent leadership struggle. The military claimed to have wounded the sect’s longtime leader, Abubakar Shekau during an air raid in August.

Buratai said the army continues to receive leads on the whereabouts of people kidnapped by Boko Haram in the northeast, including the more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls still missing more than two years after their abduction.

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The terror group released a video in August that featured as many as 50 of the Chibok girls, prompting renewed pressure on the government to bring the girls home.

The army chief told VOA they are pursuing a “holistic approach” aimed at freeing all those abducted by Boko Haram (VOA)

  • Antara

    Nigerian military performed a great job for the nation!

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People Use Hate Speech While Searching About Terrorism on Social Media

People post hate speech while seeking answers on terrorism

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Social Media terrorism
People often resort to using hate speech when searching about terrorism on a community group social media platform. Pixabay

People often resort to using hate speech when searching about terrorism on a community group social media platform, say researchers.

According to Snehasish Banerjee, lecturer at the York Management School, University of York, it appears seems that people are really curious to know about terrorists, what terrorists think, their ideas, etc.

“While portrayed as a threat to society and human civilisation by mainstream media, terrorists sell terrorism as freedom fighting via social networking sites and private messaging platforms,” said Banerjee.

“However, the actual workings of terrorism are largely shrouded in secrecy. For the curious, a convenient avenue to turn to is the community question answering sites”.

Community question answering sites (CQAs) are social media platforms where users ask questions, answer those submitted by others, and have the option to evaluate responses. Previous studies have mainly looked at terrorism-related data drawn from Facebook and Twitter, this was the first to examine trends on the CQA site, Yahoo! Answers.

Social Media terrorism
While portrayed as a threat to society and human civilisation by mainstream media, terrorists sell terrorism as freedom fighting via social media platforms. Pixabay

The University of York study explored the use of Yahoo! Answers on the topic of terrorism and looked at a dataset of 300 questions that attracted more than 2,000 answers. The questions reflected the community’s information needs, ranging from the life of extremists to counter-terrorism policies. Sensitive questions outnumbered innocuous ones.

A typical innocuous question was: Who exactly created ISIS?, while a more sensitive question was: Do you agree with Donald Trump that we should ban Muslims coming from countries seized by ISIS, Al Qaeda and other terrorists? According to the findings, sensitive questions were significantly more likely to be submitted anonymously than innocuous ones.

While no significant difference arose with respect to answers, the paper found that identities were seldom recognisable. Using names non-traceable to themselves, the community group users become embolden to use provocative, inflammatory or uncivil language. “We found that answers were laden with negative emotions reflecting hate speech and Islamophobia, making claims that were rarely verifiable,” said Banerjee.

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Users who posted sensitive questions and answers generally tended to remain anonymous.

“This paper calls for governments and law enforcement agencies to collaborate with major social media companies, including CQAs, to develop a process for cross-platform blacklisting of users and content, as well as identifying those who are vulnerable,” the authors noted in the Aslib Journal of Information Management. (IANS)