What we know now is that the bombing in Abuja appears to have been a suicide car bombing, a tactic synonymous with jihadist attacks. What remains to be seen is the exact assessment of responsibility. Suspicion immediately falls on Boko Haram as the most active jihadist group by far inside Nigeria, and this attack would fit its focused targeting of institutions and practices that go against the group’s vision of a “pure” Islamic state. As “Boko Haram” itself stands for “Western Education is Sin,” (among other translations) the UN’s educational initiatives, as well as its involvement in the country as a foreign entity would make it an inevitable target.
That said, the bombing also comes at a time during which we have seen several reports of al-Qaeda inroads into Nigeria, and possible cooperation between the two groups.
“Abuja attack: Car bomb hits Nigeria UN building,” from BBC News, August 26:
At least 18 people have been killed in an apparent suicide car bombing at the United Nations headquarters in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.
The powerful blast destroyed the lower floors of the building. Dozens have been injured, some critically.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the attack was “an assault on those who devote their lives to helping others”.
A UN official told the BBC the UN had had intelligence that it could be targeted by Islamist group Boko Haram.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity in Nigeria, said the information was received last month.
The official said security had been stepped up at all UN offices in Nigeria in response.
A car bombing at police headquarters in June was blamed on Boko Haram, a group which wants the establishment of Sharia law in Nigeria….