Nigerian Universities on Alert after Threats from Boko Haram

Posted September 14th, 2011 at 6:36 am (UTC-5)
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Police in Nigeria have increased security measures at multiple universities after receiving a threat from a radical Islamist sect responsible for several deadly attacks in recent months.

Authorities say that Boko Haram, whose name translates from the Hausa language as “Western education is sinful,” recently threatened to attack several universities across the country.

Security has been stepped up at the University of Ibadan and the University of Benin, both of which are located in the southern half of the country.

Threats from Boko Haram are difficult to verify because of the group's decentralized leadership and multiple spokespersons.

On Tuesday, a Nigerian court charged eight suspected members of Boko Haram with allegedly taking part in a string of deadly bombings and shootings around the capital between March and July that left 25 people dead.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for last month's bombing of the Abuja U.N. headquarters and a June bombing outside Nigeria's national police headquarters.

The group wants to see a strict version of Islamic law applied more widely across Africa's most populous nation, but is not supported by the majority of Nigeria's Muslim community.