There are very few people who have not seen the image at the top of this article, and countless hundreds of similar celebrity-heavy images in the mainstream media and all over the Internet.
The article reproduced below was published on Theaustralian.com website on the 17th of April.
Almost a month ago.
So can questions now be asked?
Are Boko Haram the new version of the non-existant Al Queda, the Islamic Militant Terrorist Organisation that never really was?
Is this just another distraction in a long line of recent distractions?
What purpose would it serve to continue running the story?
Legitimising the use of Drones perhaps, or getting boots on the ground to survey the land ready for the extraction of billions of dollars worth of oil and minerals?
ISLAMISTS FREE KIDNAPPED NIGERIAN SCHOOLGIRLS
SCORES of female students kidnapped by Islamic militants from a north-eastern Nigerian school are free, Nigeria’s military says.
Only eight of more than 100 students are unaccounted for, Major General Chris Olukolade said in a statement that gave no details.
“The others have been freed this evening,” he said.
The government had reported that security forces were in hot pursuit of militants who abducted more than 100 females from a high school yesterday.
Borno state Governor Kashim Shettima told reporters that 129 students were kidnapped and at least 14 freed themselves: four of the students – aged between 16 and 18 – jumped off the back of a truck and 10 escaped into the bush when the extremists asked them to cook and were not paying attention.
The abductions came hours after an explosion blamed on extremists killed 75 people in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, angering citizens who are questioning government and military claims that they are containing a 5-year-old Islamic uprising. Two more attacks killed 20 people on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in north-eastern Nigerian villages.
While the military claims that they have cornered insurgents in a remote northeast corner of the West African nation, attacks have increased in frequency and are becoming more deadly. More than 1500 people have been killed this year, compared to an estimated 3600 between 2010 and 2013.
Mr Shettima told reporters that the insurgents arrived at Chibok government Secondary School for Girls wearing military fatigues and posing as soldiers – a common tactic used by the insurgents. His information came from the school principal, who believed the men were soldiers removing the young women – aged between 16 and 18 – for their own safety. So the principal made no fuss as the students were loaded onto the back of a truck.
It was only as the armed men were leaving, and started shooting, that he realised his mistake, Mr Shettima said. The militants killed a soldier and a police officer guarding the school, officials said.
Such attacks are typical of the Boko Haram terrorist network – the name means “Western education is sinful” – which has vowed to force an Islamic state on Nigeria – Africa’s most populous nation of some 180 million people divided almost equally between mainly Muslims in the north and a predominantly Christian south.
The extremists have been kidnapping girls and young women but in one horrendous attack – some of the 59 students killed were burned alive in a dorm – first went to the girl’s residence and told them all to leave, go home and forget about education because it was un-Islamic.
Nigeria has Africa’s biggest economy. Almost 70 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line and the northeast suffers the most poverty. Only 5 per cent of children get to high school, and only a small percentage of those are girls. The government closed all schools in Borno three weeks ago, but those who were kidnapped were recalled so that they could write their final exams.