The Global Consciousness Project

What is the nature of Global Consciousness?

Suicide School Bombing Nigeria

Standard analysis

At about 08:00am [07:00 GMT], a suicide bomber disguised himself as one of the male students and while the school was holding its normal assembly, the bomb went off. Students reportedly questioned the bomber as he tried to blend in with them before the attack.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan issued a statement offering his "heartfelt commiserations" to those affected in Yobe state. Though he admitted that Nigeria had seen setbacks in its fight against terror, the president maintained that those responsible would be "brought to justice and made to pay for their atrocious crimes".

One student told the BBC he saw the mutilated bodies of fellow students at the scene. A resident reported seeing parents wailing at the sight of their children's bodies at the hospital. Police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu: "We are working round the clock" Soldiers who attended the site of the explosion were met with fury by the assembled crowds who pelted them with stones and accused them of not doing enough to halt Boko Haram's insurgency. A grieving relative told the BBC: "My brother, a student in the school, died in the blast. He was about 16 years old... We buried him at about 11:00am [10:00 GMT] today." "The government needs to be more serious about the fight against Boko Haram because it is getting out of control," he added. Schools in Yobe state have been frequently attacked by Boko Haram militants. The state is one of three in Nigeria that have been placed under a state of emergency as a result of the group's activities. Potiskum, one of the largest towns in Yobe, has been targeted before by Boko Haram. Last week, a suicide bombing killed 15 people in the town. The bomber joined a religious procession of the rival Shia Muslim sect, before blowing himself up.

Nigeria's police spokesperson told the BBC officers were making progress against the terrorists. "Our mandate is to secure safety and security," he said. "By and large we are making good successes." The BBC's Will Ross says the authorities are unwilling to admit that the crisis in north-east Nigeria is worsening. The jihadists have taken over towns and villages and there have been some reports of the army fleeing rather than fighting. In April, Boko Haram sparked global outrage by abducting more than 200 girls from a boarding school in Chibok town in Borno state.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has dismissed government claims to have agreed a ceasefire, under which the girls would be released. He says the children have converted to Islam, are learning to memorise the Koran and have been married off. Founded in 2002, initially focused on opposing Western education - Boko Haram means "Western education is forbidden" in the Hausa language

Specific hypothesis and results

The GCP hypothesis was set for 6 hours beginning at 8:00 local time (07:00 GMT) to cover the bombing and several hours during which the news spread. The result is Chisquare 21322.342 on 21600 df, for p = 0.909 and Z = -1.338.


The following graph is a visual display of the statistical result. It shows the second-by-second accumulation of small deviations of the data from what's expected. Our prediction is that deviations will tend to be positive, and if this is so, the jagged line will tend to go upward. If the endpoint is positive, this is evidence for the general hypothesis and adds to the bottome line. If the endpoint is outside the smooth curve showing 0.05 probability, the deviation is nominally significant. If the trend of the cumulative deviation is downward, this is evidence against the hypothesis, and is subtracted from the bottom line. For more detail on how to interpret the results, see The science and related pages.

Nigeria School Bombing
Nigeria School Bombing
(click for larger image)

Standard caveat

It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every “success” might be largely driven by chance, and every “null” might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.