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Why Boko Haram matters to you

A man holds a sign that reads 'Stop Boko Haram' at a rally to support Chadian troops heading to Cameroon to fight Boko Haram, in Ndjamena January 17, 2015 (Credit: Reuters/Emmanuel Braun)Boko Haram made headlines this week with its incursion into Cameroon, where the terrorist group  kidnapped 80 people.  This after they slaughtered 2,000 people in Nigeria recently.  What is Boko Haram?  Where are Nigeria and Cameroon?  Why does any of this matter to you?

Let's begin with some background.

"Boko Haram" means "Western education is forbidden."  The group known by this name is officially Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, Arabic for "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad."  Their organization was founded in 2002, setting up a mosque and Islamic school which have been used to recruit jihadists.  They began military operations in 2009.  Their founder, Mohammed Yusuf, was killed in 2009 and succeeded by Abubakar Shekau.

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Dark day in Paris: where is the light?

'A person holds a candle in front a placard which reads 'I am Charlie' during a gathering at the Place de la Republique in Paris to pay tribute to the victims of Islamic terrorist attack at the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, Paris,  France,  January 7, 2015 (Credit: Reuters/Christian Hartmann)On Wednesday, a group of armed gunmen stormed into a provocative French satirical magazine and caused terror. Dressed in black and with an intent to kill, this group could be heard shouting "Allahu Akbar (God is great)" as they killed 12 people, including the editor of the magazine and four cartoonists. As they exited the building and made their way into the streets, it is reported that they proclaimed, "We have avenged the Prophet!"

The magazine, Charlie Hebdo, has a long history of attracting controversy for its drawings. In November of 2011, in response to caricature of the Prophet Mohammed, a Molotov cocktail attack destroyed the office. In September 2012, the magazine's cover depicted an elderly Orthodox Jew pushing a crippled Muslim man in a wheelchair. Inside of this issue there were a series of pictures of Mohammed in provocative positions, one in which he was depicted naked. And today, renowned French writer Michel Houellebecq, who once called Islam "the dumbest of all religions," released his new book "Soumission" ("Submission").

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Sony cancels movie after N. Korean terror threat

A security guard stands at the entrance of United Artists theater during the premiere of the film The Interview, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, in Los Angeles, California in this December 11, 2014 (Credit: Reuters/Kevork Djansezian)The so-called "Guardians of Peace" who hacked Sony Entertainment in November have now promised not-so-peaceful 9/11 type attacks on theaters that show the movie The Interview. Scheduled for release on Christmas day, Actors Seth Rogan and James Franco play journalists in this controversial action-comedy.  Rogen and Franco's characters are recruited by the C.I.A. to assassinate Kim Jong Un while on a press trip to interview the North Korean dictator

When United States officials confirmed early on Wednesday that the hack was sanctioned by North Korean officials, Sony Entertainment cancelled The Interview's release, removed it from its website and has no plans of releasing in theaters.

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