At least 21 people were killed and dozens more injured when a suicide bomber from the radical Islamic militant group Boko Haram blew himself up at a gathering of Shia Muslims. The attack happened at a large Shia procession in the city of Kano. Boko Haram—a group that has terrorized Nigeria for years—has pledge allegiance to ISIS and regularly targets Shias, Christians and those who oppose their radical ideology. In the most recent issue of RELEVANT, we looked at how the group has become one of the deadliest terror organizations in the world. Discuss
A disturbing recent report claims that officials in Saudi Arabia plan to execute 50 people by beheading sometime in the coming days. Though the exact numbers are unclear—one outlet put it as high as 55—Amnesty International is taking the reports seriously, noting that each of the individuals was convicted of “terrorist crimes” in trials that were largely secretive. Many of them may have actually been political activists. Six were not even 18 at the time they committed their “crimes,” and Amnesty International says they only “confessed” because they were being tortured.
In a statement, James Lynch, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International said, “Saudi Arabia’s macabre spike in executions this year, coupled with the secretive and arbitrary nature of court decisions and executions in the kingdom, leave us no option but to take these latest warning signs very seriously … It is clear that the Saudi Arabian authorities are using the guise of counter-terrorism to settle political scores.” This year alone, Saudi Arabia has executed 151 people. Lynch is calling for Saudi Arabia to “lift the veil of secrecy around its death penalty cases, as part of a fundamental overhaul of its criminal justice system.” Discuss
Police in Mali have placed two individuals under arrest for their role in a recent terrorist attack on a luxury hotel that left 20 dead. The two gunmen—who stormed the Radisson Blu hotel on Nov. 20 and opened fire on guests—were both killed during a raid a on the building, but may have been working with others to plan the attack. Officials haven’t yet said what role the two individuals played in the terrorist attack, but issued a statement, explaining, “Questioning of these suspects will shed more light on the motivations of the perpetrators of the sordid terrorist attack perpetrated.” Two different groups in the country claimed responsiblity for the mass shooting: a radical Islamic group linked to al-Qaida called the Al-Mourabitoun, as well as, a militant group known as the Macina Liberation Front. Discuss
A non-profit called Carry the Future has raised more than $83,000 through the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to provide refugee families with baby carriers. The group is distributing thousands of the backpack-like carriers to recently arrived families in Greece, that provide parents with a safe, warm way to transport their children. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have escaped to Europe, fleeing a brutal civil war in Syria.
So far, volunteers have distributed more than 3,000 of the carriers to families on the island of Kos, and today, they’ll hand out 2,500 in Athens. Cristal Logothetis, the organization’s founder told Mashable, "Being a mom myself, it was easy to imagine myself in their place, and how hard it would be for me to hold my son while I walked for hundreds of miles.” As their Indiegogo explains, "Kos is only the beginning of a long and [arduous] trip for Syrian refugees, so we want to make sure their lives are a bit easier with baby carriers that will lessen the weight and free their arms." Discuss
A suicide bomber reportedly linked to ISIS killed 13 people, including himself, in Tunisia in an attack targeting a bus carrying members of the presidential guard. Government officials have declared a state of emergency as they increase security measures throughout the country. Discuss