Boko Haram Defends Killings in Nigeria

The group's leader says that the killings of Christians were justifiable revenge attacks.

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Nigerian police try to quell fear. (YouTube)

Al-Jazeera is reporting that the leader of Boko Haram in Nigeria claims that the recent killings of Christians were justifiable revenge attacks and that President Goodluck Jonathan does not have the power to stop the radical group's attacks. The message came in the first video of the leader that was posted online.

Boko Haram, whose name translates from the northern Hausa language as "Western education is sinful," has been behind almost daily killings in its home base in the largely Muslim northeast, most recently targeting Christians.

"Christians, everyone knows what they have done to us and Muslims ... we were attacked and we decided to defend ourselves and, because we were on the right path, Allah has made us stronger," Abubakar Shekau says in Hausa in a 15-minute video posted on YouTube, [sitting] in front of two Kalashnikov rifles and wearing a camouflage bullet proof jacket.

"Jonathan, (you) know full well that this thing is beyond your powers," he added, referring to the president.

Shekau is understood to have taken over control of Boko Haram, which wants sharia law more widely applied across Africa's most populous nation, after the sect's founder Mohammed Yusuf was killed in police custody in 2009 following an uprising in which 700 people were killed.

Watch footage of the video here:

Nothing is justifiable about killing innocent people and spreading fear throughout a country. Promulgating an atmosphere of terror is indefensible.

Read more at Al-Jazeera.

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