Terror: Will Nigeria produce another "underwear bomber"

Aviation authorities in Nigeria have been beefing up security at Nigerian airports following an attack at a UN building in Abuja that killed some 18 people when a Boko Haram suicide bomber rammed a truck full of explosives into the UN building.

Nigeria's Boko Haram is thought to be getting training from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb(AQIM) and getting more sophisticated in its attacks with the use of suicide bombers. In 2009, by all appearances, it seemed the movement had been permanently crushed when the late President Umar Yar Adua ordered the security forces to crush the terror group "by all means possible" that led to the killing of hundreds of fighters some of whom were executed publicly by the roadside.

But it seems the movement is live and well, and with its growing sophistication, airlines operating in Nigeria, particularly domestic airline operations, might be targets for Boko Haram in new "underwear" bombing plots like the one attempted by Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab in December 2009. Nigerian aviation authorities need to beef up airport security to forestall such an eventuality.

Nigeria has a terror problem from the North East. The recent fall of Gaddafi at the hands of NATO forces and NATO-backed rebels and subsequent deployment of Western military advisers and equipment in Libya will give AQIM and other smaller terror forces a new cause to launch newer attacks on Western targets and on their supposed sympathisers in the country.

The UN, post Libyan conflict, was widely viewed as having colluded with NATO to effect regime change in the North African country, perhaps this explains why UN was the first target in this "revenge" attack.

At any rate, Nigerian authorities  will have to deploy more stringent measures to ensure travellers are safe from terror attacks. The authorities can effect US style TSA heightened security measures althouh this is likely to draw outrage from Nigerian travellers. There is reason to believe this is already happening. In a tweet yesterday, Nigerian aviation Minister Stella Oduah hinted at this when she said "We are putting in additional security measures at the airports in light of the recent news. Please bear with us on the inconveniences."

Nigerian aviation already ails from many illness, terrorism, if unchecked will put the final nail on the coffin of Nigerria's aviation industry.
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