ANYONE with eyes to see will know that this can be a shockingly cruel world. They know there are many terrorists and despots who regard others’ lives as cheaply as we regard a late-night yawn.
However, the UN’s child agency report showing that Islamic jihadists Boko Haram’s use of child bombers has increased over the last year highlights a new depravity. One-in-five attacks now use captive children, often drugged, sent to die as the deadliest of Trojan horses.
Girls were used in three-quarters of such attacks committed by the militant Islamist group in Cameroon, Nigeria or Chad. The change in tactics reflects the loss of territory in Nigeria by the group. The seven-year insurgency has cost some 17,000 lives.
Though there can never be a hierarchy of terror this tactic suggests we have to review our attitude to confronting religious extremism. Any organisation prepared to kill in the name of religion must be defeated but one happy to use captive children as drones shows the huge scale of that task.
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