Northern Nigerias Boko Haram: The Prize in al-Qaedas Africa Strategy

Local militias and vigilantes [4]. Ansaru [b] Supported by: Unknown, several tens of thousands [51]. The Boko Haram insurgency began in , [64] when the jihadist rebel group Boko Haram started an armed rebellion against the government of Nigeria. In , over 1, people died as a result of the conflict. The violence escalated dramatically in , with 10, deaths. In , a coalition offensive forced Boko Haram to retreat into the Sambisa Forest.

The insurgency took place within the context of long-standing issues of religious violence between Nigeria's Muslim and Christian communities. Boko Haram has been called the world's deadliest terrorist group, in terms of the number of people it has killed. Nigeria was amalgamated both the Northern and Southern protectorate in , only about a decade after the defeat of the Sokoto Caliphate and other Islamic states by the British which were to constitute much of Northern Nigeria. Sir Frederick Lugard, assumed office as governor of both protectorates in Cameroon was divided in French and British parts , the latter of which was further subdivided into southern and northern parts.

Following a plebiscite in , the Southern Cameroons elected to rejoin French Cameroon, while the Northern Cameroons opted to join Nigeria, a move which added to Nigeria's already large Northern Muslim population. Religious conflict in Nigeria goes as far back as The Igbo massacre of in the North that followed the counter-coup of the same year had as a dual cause the Igbo officers' coup and pre-existing sectarian tensions between the Igbos and the local Muslims.

This was a major factor in the Biafran secession and the resulting civil war. In the late s and early s, there was a major Islamic uprising led by Maitatsine Mohammed Marwa and his followers, Yan Tatsine that led to several thousand deaths. After Maitatsine's death in , the movement continued some five years more. This was a move which aggravated religious tensions in the country, particularly among the Christian community. Since the return of democracy to Nigeria in , Sharia has been instituted as a main body of civil and criminal law in 9 Muslim-majority and in some parts of 3 Muslim-plurality states, when then- Zamfara State governor Ahmad Rufai Sani [76] began the push for the institution of Sharia at the state level of government.

This was followed by controversy as to the would-be legal status of the non-Muslims in the Sharia system. A spate of Muslim-Christian riots soon emerged. In the primarily Islamic northern states of Nigeria, a variety of Muslim groups and populations exist, who favour the nationwide introduction of Sharia Law.

The implementation has been widely attributed as being due to the insistence of Zamfara State governor Ahmad Rufai Sani. The death sentences of Amina Lawal and Safiya Hussaini attracted international attention to what many saw as the harsh regime of these laws. These sentences were later overturned; [78] the first execution was carried out in Twelve out of Nigeria's thirty-six states have Sunni Islam as the dominant religion. In , those states chose to have Sharia courts as well as Customary courts. According to a Nigerian study on demographics and religion , Muslims make up Muslims mainly live in the north of the country; the majority of the Nigerian Muslims are Sunnis.

Christians are the second-largest religious group and make up They predominate in the central and southern part of the country. For reasons of avoiding political controversy, questions of religion were forgone in the Nigerian census. Boko Haram conducted its operations more or less peacefully during the first seven years of its existence.

When the government came into action, several members of the group were arrested in Bauchi , sparking deadly clashes with Nigerian security forces which led to the deaths of an estimated people. During the fighting with the security forces Boko Haram fighters reportedly "used fuel-laden motorcycles" and "bows with poison arrows" to attack a police station. After the killing of M. Yusuf, the group carried out its first terrorist attack in Borno in January It resulted in the killing of four people.

In September , a Bauchi prison break freed more than Boko Haram militants, replenishing their force. On 29 May , a few hours after Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as president, several bombings purportedly by Boko Haram killed 15 and injured On 16 June, Boko Haram claimed to have conducted the Abuja police headquarters bombing , the first known suicide attack in Nigeria. Two months later the United Nations building in Abuja was bombed , signifying the first time that Boko Haram attacked an international organisation.

In December, it carried out attacks in Damaturu killing over a hundred people, subsequently clashing with security forces in December , resulting in at least 68 deaths. Two days later on Christmas Day, Boko Haram attacked several Christian churches with bomb blasts and shootings. The campaign has gone through several phases and has greatly escalated in scale, capacity, components and stakeholders, since that time. According to Reuters , Shekau took control of the group after Yusuf's death in The two hostages were killed before or during the rescue attempt. All the hostage takers were reportedly killed.

In May , Nigerian government forces launched an offensive in the Borno region in an attempt to dislodge Boko Haram fighters after a state of emergency was called on 14 May. The state of emergency, which was still in force in May , applied to the states of Borno , Yobe , and Adamawa in northeastern Nigeria. In July, Boko Haram massacred 42 students in Yobe , [99] bringing the school year to an early end in the state.

On 15 April , terrorists abducted about female students from a college in Chibok in Borno state. The abduction of another eight girls was also reported later. These kidnappings raised public protests, with some protesters holding placards bearing the Twitter tag BringBackOurGirls which had caught international attention. On 20 May , a total of two bombs in the city of Jos , Plateau State , Nigeria , were detonated, resulting in the deaths of at least people and the injury of more than 56 others. The bombs detonated 30 minutes apart, one at a local market place at approximately 3: First responders were unable to reach the scenes of the accidents, as "thousands of people were fleeing the scene in the opposite direction".

The bombs had been positioned to kill as many people as possible, regardless of religion, which differed from previous attacks in which non-Muslims were targeted. The bombers were reported to have used a "back-to-back blast" tactic, in which an initial bomb explodes at a central location and another explodes a short time later with intent to kill rescue workers working to rescue the wounded. Starting in late , Boko Haram militants attacked several Nigerian towns in the North and captured them. This prompted the Nigerian government to launch an offensive, and with the help of Chad, Niger, and Cameroon, they have recaptured many areas that were formerly under the control of Boko Haram.

In late , Boko Haram seized control of Bama , according to the town's residents. Between 3 January and 7 January , Boko Haram attacked the town of Baga and killed up to 2, people , [] perhaps the largest massacre by Boko Haram. On 10 January a bomb attack took place at the Monday Market in Maiduguri, killing 19 people.

The city is considered to be at the heart of the Boko Haram insurgency. Starting in late January , a coalition of military forces from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger began a counter-insurgency campaign against Boko Haram. For example, ISIL's central leadership attempted to reduce Boko Haram's brutality toward civilians and internal critics, as Shekau's ideology was "too extreme even for the Islamic State". On 24 March , residents of Damasak , Nigeria said that Boko Haram had taken more than women and children from the town as they fled from coalition forces.

In March , Boko Haram lost control of the Northern Nigerian towns of Bama [] and Gwoza believed to be their headquarters [] to the Nigerian army. The Nigerian authorities said that they had taken back 11 of the 14 districts previously controlled by Boko Haram.

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By April , the Nigerian military was reported to have retaken most of the areas previously controlled by Boko Haram in Northeastern Nigeria, except for the Sambisa Forest. In May , the Nigerian military announced that they had released about women from camps in Sambisa Forest. In August , it was reported that over one thousand deaths had occurred since the inauguration of the new administration. On 28 October , it was announced that Nigerian troops have rescued people from Boko Haram near the group's Sambisa Forest stronghold. Of those rescued, were children and were women. In December Muhammadu Buhari , the President of Nigeria, claimed that Boko Haram was "technically defeated" [70] and it was reported that 1, women had been rescued from Boko Haram in January In early October , the US military deployed troops to Cameroon, with the approval of the Cameroonian government, with the primary mission of providing intelligence support to local forces, and conducting reconnaissance flights.

The troops are also overseeing a program to transfer American military vehicles to the Cameroonian Army to aid in their fight against Islamist militants. As of May , U. There are additional drone operations based out of Niger. These elements repeatedly attempted to convince Shekau to change his tactics or his extreme ideas such as considering everyone an apostate who has not openly sided with him, including all Muslims. This event resulted in an open split among the Nigerian insurgents.

Shekau refused to accept his dismissal, rallied a large number of supporters and violently opposed Barnawi and ISIL's central command. In turn, Barnawi and those who were loyal to him declared Shekau's group Khawarij. Since then, the two Boko Haram factions no longer cooperate and have even clashed with each other. On 31 August , Major General Lucky Irabor stated that the militants now only controlled a few villages and towns near Lake Chad and in Sambisa forest.

He further stated that the military expected recapturing the final strongholds of the group within weeks. On 24 December , President Muhammadu Buhari declared that Boko Haram had been ousted from their last stronghold in the Sambisa Forest, effectively reducing Boko Haram to an insurgent force.

UN lists Nigeria's Boko Haram as terrorist group

On 7 January , a group of Boko Haram militants attacked a Nigerian army base in Yobe State , killing five soldiers. In response, the Nigerian Army launched retaliatory strikes and killed 15 militants.

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On 18 March , at least six people were killed and 16 wounded after four female suicide bombers blew themselves up on the outskirts of Maiduguri city. The suspect confessed details of a plot to attack the American and British embassies, and other western targets in Abuja. The DSS also later announced that between 25 and 26 March , five suspected members of Boko Haram had been arrested, thus thwarting the plot.

On 2 April , the Nigerian military began what it said was its "final offensive" to retake Boko Haram's last strongholds. By March , two main Boko Haram factions were still active, and continued to wage an insurgency campaign against the government: On 26 April , Boko Haram bombers killed at least four civilians in the outskirts of Maiduguri, the largest city in Borno State. A subsequent gun battle and tear gas launched by security forces repelled the attackers, but left two officers wounded and several others injured. On 15 July , hundreds of Nigerian soldiers went missing after the Boko Haram faction led by Abu Musab al-Barnawi overran a Nigerian army base in the northeastern part of Nigeria.

Less than Nigerian soldiers returned after the attack, the attack came 24 hours after ISIL ambushed a military convoy in the neighboring Borno state. The attack on the base resulted in a battle that lasted over an hour, it is unknown if there were any casualties in the assault, a local pro-government militia said the military had sustained some casualties, this attack marks Boko Haram's first major gain since On 8 September , Boko Haram fighters managed to overun and capture the town of Gudumbali in Borno State , marking their first major gain in nearly two years.

The North consisted of Sahelian states that had long Islamic character. These were feudal and conservative, with rigid caste and class systems and large slave populations. Due to the system of indirect rule , the British were happy to pursue a limited course of engagement with the Emirs. In time, a considerable developmental and educational gap grew between the South and the North. Chris Kwaja, a Nigerian university lecturer and researcher, asserted in that "religious dimensions of the conflict have been misconstrued as the primary driver of violence when, in fact, disenfranchisement and inequality are the root causes".

Nigeria, he pointed out, has laws giving regional political leaders the power to qualify people as 'indigenes' original inhabitants or not. It determines whether citizens can participate in politics, own land, obtain a job, or attend school. The system is abused widely to ensure political support and to exclude others.

Muslims have been denied indigene-ship certificates disproportionately often. Nigerian opposition leader Buba Galadima said in The conflict has seen numerous human rights abuses conducted by the Nigerian security forces, in an effort to control the violence, [] as well as their encouragement of the formation of numerous vigilante groups for example, the Civilian Joint Task Force.

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The insurgence can be seen in the context of other conflicts nearby, for example in the North of Mali. It should also be noted there are combatants from neighboring Chad and Niger. Western nations, including Britain, France, Israel, and the United States had also pledged support including technical expertise and training. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Religious violence in Nigeria. Refugee camp bombing 5th Maiduguri 2nd Mubi. Maitatsine and Yan Tatsine. Sharia applies in full, including criminal law.

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Sharia applies only in personal status issues. Blasphemy law in Nigeria. Timeline of the Islamist insurgency in Nigeria. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.

Boko Haram insurgency

Human rights in Nigeria. Global War on Terrorism. Nigeria portal Islam portal. Though Abubakar Shekau eventually became the preeminent commander of the movement, he never really controlled all Boko Haram groups. Although the top Ansaru commander, Khalid al-Barnawi, was arrested earlier this year, there are still key figures within the splinter group who maintain high-level contacts with AQIM and al-Shabaab, such as Mamman Nur, who masterminded the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Abuja. Should Boko Haram ultimately turn its back on the Islamic State, it would send an enormous shockwave through the global jihadi movement.

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Northern Nigeria's Boko Haram: The Prize in al-Qaeda's Africa Strategy [Jacob Zenn] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This report. The Occasional Paper, entitled “Northern Nigeria's Boko Haram: The Prize in Al- Qaeda's Africa Strategy” is now available for purchase on our website.

The Nigerian militant group is by far the highest-profile organization to leave an existing terrorist network to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State. If it were to suddenly cut ties with the Iraq- and Syria-based caliphate, it would send a powerful message to other al Qaeda affiliates toying with the idea of Islamic State membership: On the contrary, it would underscore that an even thornier problem remains: Al Qaeda, during its time under the radar, has become an even more formidable foe. Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola. Sign up for free access to 3 articles per month and weekly email updates from expert policy analysts.

Create a Foreign Policy account to access 3 articles per month and free newsletters developed by policy experts. Soldiers of the Chadian army guard on January 21, , at the border between Nigeria and Cameroon, some 40 km from Maltam, as part of a military contingent against the armed Islamist group Boko Haram.

Chad, seen as having the most capable military in the region, sent on January , a convoy of troops and military vehicles into neighbouring Cameroon to battle Boko Haram. Zenn was strategic communication component leader for an EU-supported countering violent extremism program in Nigeria from to Africa , Argument , boko haram , Terrorism.

Northern Nigeria’s Boko Haram The Prize in al-Qaeda’s Africa Strategy

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