Star-Crossed Suicide Bombers

I would not be surprised if the young man who blew himself up at a boys' school in Yobe State and the young female who blew herself up only days later outside a packed lecture hall at a college in the town of Kontagora, Nigeria knew each other.

One undoubtedly killed for the promise of unbridled sex with a bounty of maidens and artificial facsimiles, including the eventual flesh and blood bomber of Kontagora, if and when she joined him in Paradise – the other for the promise of intimacy and companionship.

With age comes skepticism, if not wisdom, which may explain the scarcity of middle-aged and older suicide bombers. Skepticism does not stop the middle-aged and older believers from convincing the gullible generation from doing their god's dirty work. It is not inconceivable, in fact it is likely, if the bombers knew each and she cared for him, that she was convinced she could join him and be intimate with the young man conceivably of her dreams by doing what he did.

Collectively they killed at least 52 mostly young people between the age of 12 and 20, with the young male being the most successful of the two by a wide margin, killing 46. The young female would undoubtedly have matched, if not exceeded her partner's numbers if she too had managed to detonate her bomb inside a packed hall.

Expect more star-crossed bombers if Boko Haram's claim that the girls they kidnapped have proven themselves to be excellent memorizers of the Koran* and shown themselves receptive to the revealed wisdom and promises contained therein by becoming Muslims, according to Abubakar Shekau the leader of the terrorist group.


* In the first six months of captivity, Shekau boasted in a video that the mostly Christian girls had memorized at least two chapters, or surahs as chapters of the Koran are called, of Islam's holiest book. If the girls memorized chapter 2, the longest surah at 286 paragraphs i.e. verses, this is quite an accomplishment.

Don't let the name of the surah fool you. The Cow is a meandering surah, as most surahs are, but in its tortuous way covers much of what Allah will reiterate in later shorter surahs and is an excellent way to quickly get to know Him, and much of what He stands for.

Bernard Payeur, November 16, 2014