Abuja, Feb 6 (ANI): Al-Qaeda operatives in North Africa have reportedly helped to transform Boko Haram into a terrorist group capable of killing hundreds in sophisticated attacks.
The northern Nigeria based radical Islamist group that once specialised in robbing banks and attacking defenceless Christian congregations, has now become a terror organization after its gunmen or suicide bombers carried out 21 attacks, killing at least 253 people, The Telegraph reports.
The paper also said that this transformation has come about partly because of the help Boko Haram has received from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a branch of the international terrorist network based in the Saharan states of Mali, Niger and Algeria.
On January 20, 100 of the movement's fighters executed eight assaults in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, overwhelming the security forces and killing 185 people.
This operation bore all the hallmarks of al-Qaeda, a mixture of suicide bombers and gunmen, some in police or army uniform, carried out multiple, carefully coordinated attacks on hard targets. Boko Haram destroyed two police stations and the regional police headquarters, and damaged the local office of the State Security Service, Nigeria's version of the MI5.
The kind of weapons they used also reportedly revealed that they were being helped by al-Qaeda.
Officials and experts in Abuja believe Boko Haram has learnt its new capabilities from AQIM. (ANI)
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