The Islamic State in West Africa (abbreviated as ISWA or ISWAP), formerly known as Jamā'at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da'wah wa'l-Jihād (Arabic: جماعة أهل السنة للدعوة والجهاد, "Group of the People of Sunnah for Preaching and Jihad") and commonly known as Boko Haram until March 2015, is a Jihadist militant organization based in northeastern Nigeria, also active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon.
|جماعة أهل السنة للدعوة والجهاد
Group of the People of Sunnah for Preaching and Jihad
Participant in the Boko Haram insurgency
and the War on Terror
The black standard of ISIL
|Founder||Mohammed Yusuf †|
|Area of operations||Northeast Nigeria, Northern Cameroon, Niger, Chad|
|Size||At least 15,000 (Amnesty International claimed, January 2015)
20,000 (Chad claimed, March 2015)
4,000–6,000 (United States claimed, February 2015)
200-300 (Sahara Reporters claimed, February 2018)
|Battles and wars|
|Former logo (2002–15)|
Founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002, the group has been led by Abubakar Shekau since 2009. From March 2015 to August 2016, the group was briefly aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Since the current insurgency started in 2009, Boko Haram has killed tens of thousands and displaced 2.3 million from their homes and was ranked as the world's deadliest terror group by the Global Terrorism Index in 2015.
After its founding in 2002, Boko Haram's increasing radicalization led to a violent uprising in July 2009 in which its leader was summarily executed. Its unexpected resurgence, following a mass prison break in September 2010, was accompanied by increasingly sophisticated attacks, initially against soft targets, but progressing in 2011 to include suicide bombings of police buildings and the United Nations office in Abuja. The government's establishment of a state of emergency at the beginning of 2012, extended in the following year to cover the entire northeast of Nigeria, led to an increase in both security force abuses and militant attacks.
Of the 2.3 million people displaced by the conflict since May 2013, at least 250,000 have left Nigeria and fled into Cameroon, Chad or Niger. Boko Haram killed over 6,600 in 2014. The group have carried out mass abductions including the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in April 2014. Corruption in the security services and human rights abuses committed by them have hampered efforts to counter the unrest.
In mid-2014, the militants gained control of swathes of territory in and around their home state of Borno, estimated at 50,000 square kilometres (20,000 sq mi) in January 2015, but did not capture the state capital, Maiduguri, where the group was originally based. In September 2015, the Director of Information at the Defence Headquarters of Nigeria announced that all Boko Haram camps had been destroyed.
The group's name has always been Jamā'atu Ahli is-Sunnah lid-Da'wati wal-Jihād (جماعة أهل السنة للدعوة والجهاد), meaning "Group of the People of Sunnah for Dawa and Jihad". It was briefly known as Wilayat Garb Ifrqiya, meaning "West African Province", between March 2015 and August 2016 while it was a part of the Islamic State.
The name "Boko Haram" is usually translated as "Western education is forbidden". Haram is from the Arabic حَرَام (ḥarām, "forbidden"); and the Hausa word boko (the first vowel is long, the second pronounced in a low tone), meaning "fake", which is used to refer to secular Western education. Boko Haram has also been translated as "Western influence is a sin" and "Westernization is sacrilege". Until the death of its founder Mohammed Yusuf, the group was also reportedly known as Yusifiyya. Northern Nigerians have commonly dismissed Western education as ilimin boko ("fake education") and secular schools as makaranta boko.
Boko Haram was founded upon the principles of the Khawaarij advocating Sharia law. It developed into a Jihadist group in 2009. The movement is diffuse, and fighters associated with it do not follow Salafi doctrine. The group has denounced the members of the Sufi, the Shiite and the Izala sects as infidels. Boko Haram seeks the establishment of an Islamic state in Nigeria. It opposes the Westernization of Nigerian society and the concentration of the wealth of the country among members of a small political elite, mainly in the Christian south of the country. Nigeria is Africa's biggest economy, but 60% of its population of 173 million (as of 2013) live on less than $1 a day. The sharia law imposed by local authorities, beginning with Zamfara in January 2000 and covering 12 northern states by late 2002, may have promoted links between Boko Haram and political leaders, but was considered by the group to have been corrupted.:101
According to Borno Sufi Imam Sheik Fatahi, Yusuf was trained by Kano Salafi Izala Sheik Ja'afar Mahmud Adamu, who called him the "leader of young people"; the two split some time in 2002–2004. They both preached in Maiduguri's Indimi Mosque, which was attended by the deputy governor of Borno. Many of the group were reportedly inspired by Mohammed Marwa, known as Maitatsine ("He who curses others"), a self-proclaimed prophet (annabi, a Hausa word usually used only to describe the founder of Islam) born in Northern Cameroon who condemned the reading of books other than the Quran. In a 2009 BBC interview, Yusuf, described by analysts as being well-educated, reaffirmed his opposition to Western education. He rejected the theory of evolution, said that rain is not "an evaporation caused by the sun", and that the Earth is not a sphere.
Before colonization and subsequent annexation into the British Empire in 1900 as Colonial Nigeria, the Bornu Empire ruled the territory where Boko Haram is currently active. It was a sovereign sultanate run according to the principles of the Constitution of Medina, with a majority Kanuri Muslim population. In 1903, both the Borno Emirate and Sokoto Caliphate came under the control of the British. Christian missionaries at this time spread the Christian message in the region and had many converts. British occupation ended with Nigerian independence in 1960.
Except for a brief period of civilian rule between 1979 and 1983, Nigeria was governed by a series of military dictatorships from 1966 until the advent of democracy in 1999. Ethnic militancy is thought to have been one of the causes of the 1967–1970 civil war; religious violence reached a new height in 1980 in Kano, the largest city in the north of the country, where the Muslim fundamentalist sect Yan Tatsine ("followers of Maitatsine") instigated riots that resulted in four or five thousand deaths. In the ensuing military crackdown, Maitatsine was killed, fuelling a backlash of increased violence that spread across other northern cities over the next twenty years. Social inequality and poverty contributed both to the Maitatsine and Boko Haram uprisings.:97–98
In the decades since the end of British occupation, politicians and academics from the mainly Islamic North have expressed their fundamental opposition to Western education. Political ethno-religious interest groups, whose membership includes influential political, military and religious leaders, have thrived in Nigeria, though they were largely suppressed under military rule. Their paramilitary wings, formed since the country's return to civilian rule, have been implicated in much of the sectarian violence in the years following. The Arewa People's Congress, the militia wing of the Arewa Consultative Forum, the main political group representing the interests of northern Nigeria, is a well-funded group with military and intelligence expertise, and is considered capable of engaging in military action, including covert bombing.
Mohammed Yusuf founded the sect that became known as Boko Haram in 2002 in Maiduguri, the capital of the north-eastern state of Borno. He established a religious complex and school that attracted poor Muslim families from across Nigeria and neighbouring countries. The center had the political goal of creating an Islamic state, and became a recruiting ground for jihadis. By denouncing the police and state corruption, Yusuf attracted followers from unemployed youth. It has been speculated that the reason Yusuf founded Boko Haram appears to be that he saw an opportunity to exploit public outrage at government corruption by linking it to Western influence in governance. He is reported to have used the existing infrastructure in Borno of the Izala Society (Jama'at Izalatil Bidiawa Iqamatus Sunnah), a popular conservative Islamic sect, to recruit members, before breaking away to form his own faction. The Izala were originally welcomed into government, along with people sympathetic to Yusuf. Boko Haram conducted its operations more or less peacefully during the first seven years of its existence, withdrawing from society into remote north-eastern areas. The government repeatedly ignored warnings about the increasingly militant character of the organization. The Council of Ulama advised the government and the Nigerian Television Authority not to broadcast Yusuf's preaching, but their warnings were ignored. Yusuf's arrest elevated him to hero status. Borno's Deputy Governor Alhaji Dibal has reportedly claimed that al-Qaeda had ties with Boko Haram, but broke them when they decided that Yusuf was an unreliable person. Stephen Davis, a former Anglican clergyman who has negotiated with Boko Haram many times blames local Nigerian politicians who support local bandits like Boko Haram in order for them to make life difficult for their political opponents. In particular Davis has blamed the former governor of Borno State Ali Modu Sheriff, who initially supported Boko Haram, but no longer needed them after the 2007 elections and stopped funding them. Sheriff denies the accusations.
Campaign of violenceEdit
Boko Haram's attacks consist of suicide bombers as well as conventional armed assaults on both civilian and military targets. Following the 2014 kidnapping, a majority of Boko Haram's suicide bombers are female; some are as young as seven years old. Boko Haram jihadists rely on stealth, blending into local communities or hiding in the vast countryside. Critics accuse the Nigerian military of not properly equipping its soldiers to fight Boko Haram.
In 2008, police began an investigation into the group code-named Operation Flush. On July 26, security forces arrested nine Boko Haram members and confiscated weapons and bomb-making equipment. Either this or a clash with police during a funeral procession led to revenge attacks on police and widespread rioting. A joint military task force operation was launched in response and by 30 July more than 700 people had been killed, mostly Boko Haram members, and police stations, prisons, government offices, schools and churches had been destroyed.:98–102 Yusuf was arrested, and died in custody "while trying to escape". As had been the case decades earlier in the wake of the 1980 Kano riots, the killing of the leader of an extremist group would have unintended consequences. He was succeeded by Abubakar Shekau, formerly his second-in-command. A classified cable apparently sent from the U.S. Embassy in Abuja in November 2009, has been published on WikiLeaks:
[Borno political and religious leaders] ... asserted that the state and federal government responded appropriately and, apart from the opposition party, overwhelmingly supported Yusuf's death without misgivings over the extrajudicial killing. Security remained a concern in Borno, with residents expressing concern about importation of arms and exchanges of religious messages across porous international borders.
According to the leaked document, there were reports that Yusuf's deputy had survived, and audio tapes were believed to be in circulation in which Boko Haram threatened future attacks. Nevertheless, many observers did not anticipate imminent bloodshed. Security in Borno was downgraded. Borno government official Alhaji Boguma believed that the state deserved praise from the international community for ending the conflict in such a short time, and that the "wave of fundamentalism" had been "crushed".
In September 2010, having regrouped under their new leader, Boko Haram broke 105 of its members out of prison in Bauchi along with over 600 other prisoners and went on to launch attacks in several areas of northern Nigeria.
Under Shekau's leadership, the group continuously improved its operational capabilities. After launching a string of IED attacks against soft targets and its first vehicle-borne IED attack in June 2011, killing 6 at the Abuja police headquarters, in August Boko Haram bombed the United Nations (UN) headquarters in Abuja, the first time they had struck a Western target. A spokesman claiming responsibility for the attack, in which 11 UN staff members died as well as 12 others, with more than 100 injured, warned of future planned attacks on U.S. and Nigerian government interests. Speaking soon after the U.S. embassy's announcement of the arrival in the country of the FBI, he went on to announce Boko Haram's terms for negotiation, i.e. the release of all imprisoned members. The increased sophistication of the group led observers to speculate that Boko Haram was affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which was active in Niger.
Boko Haram has maintained a steady rate of attacks since 2011, striking a wide range of targets, multiple times per week. They have attacked politicians, religious leaders, security forces and civilian targets. The tactic of suicide bombing, used in the two attacks in the capital on the police and UN headquarters, was new to Nigeria. In Africa as a whole, it had only been used by al-Shabaab in Somalia and to a lesser extent AQIM.
Within hours of Goodluck Jonathan's presidential inauguration in May 2011, Boko Haram carried out a series of bombings in Bauchi, Zaria and Abuja. The most successful of these was the attack on the army barracks in Bauchi. A spokesman for the group told BBC Hausa that the attack had been carried out, as a test of loyalty, by serving members of the military hoping to join the group. This charge was later refuted by an army spokesman who claimed: "This is not a banana republic". However, on 8 January 2012 the president would announce that Boko Haram had in reality infiltrated both the army and the police, as well as the executive, parliamentary and legislative branches of government. Boko Haram's spokesman also claimed responsibility for the killing outside his home in Maiduguri of the politician Abba Anas Ibn Umar Garbai, the younger brother of the Shehu of Borno, who was the second most prominent Muslim in the country after the Sultan of Sokoto. He added: "We are doing what we are doing to fight injustice, if they stop their satanic ways of doing things and the injustices, we would stop what we are doing".
This was one of several political and religious assassinations Boko Haram carried out that year, with the presumed intention of correcting injustices in the group's home state of Borno. Meanwhile, the trail of massacres continued relentlessly, apparently leading the country towards civil war. By the end of 2011, these conflicting strategies led observers to question the group's cohesion; comparisons were drawn with the diverse motivations of the militant factions of the oil-rich Niger Delta. Adding to the confusion, in November the State Security Service announced that four criminal syndicates were operating under the name Boko Haram.
The common theme throughout the north-east was the targeting of police, who were regularly massacred at work or in drive-by shootings at their homes, either in revenge for the killing of Yusuf, or as representatives of the state apparatus, or for no particular reason. Five officers were arrested for Yusuf's murder, which had no noticeable effect on the level of unrest. Opportunities for criminal enterprise flourished. Hundreds of police were dead and more than 60 police stations had been attacked by mid-2012. The government's response to this self-reinforcing trend towards insecurity was to invest heavily in security equipment, spending $5.5 billion, 20 percent of their overall budget, on bomb detection units, communications and transport; and $470 million on a Chinese CCTV system for Abuja, which has failed in its purpose of detecting or deterring acts of terror.
The election defeat of former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari increased ethno-religious political tensions, as it broke the terms of a tacit agreement that the presidency would alternate after two terms of office between candidates from the Christian south and Muslim north of the country. Sectarian riots engulfed the twelve northern states of the country during the three days following the election, leaving more than 800 dead and 65,000 displaced. The subsequent campaign of violence by Boko Haram culminated in a string of bombings across the country on Christmas Day. In the outskirts of Abuja, 37 died in a church that had its roof blown off. One resident commented, "Cars were in flames and bodies littered everywhere", a phrase commonly repeated in international press reports about the bombings. Similar Christmas events had been reported in previous years. Jonathan declared a state of emergency on New Year's Eve in local government areas of Jos, Borno, Yobe and Niger and closed the international border in the north-east.
State of emergencyEdit
Boko Haram carried out 115 attacks in 2011, killing 550. The state of emergency would usher in an intensification of violence. The opening three weeks of 2012 accounted for more than half of the death total of the preceding year. Two days after the state of emergency was declared, Boko Haram released an ultimatum to southern Nigerians living in the north, giving them three days to leave. Three days later they began a series of mostly small-scale attacks on Christians and members of the Igbo ethnic group, causing hundreds to flee. In Kano, on 20 January, they carried out by far their most deadly action yet, an assault on police buildings, killing 190. One of the victims was a TV reporter. The attacks included a combined use of car bombs, suicide bombers and IEDs, supported by uniformed gunmen.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch published reports in 2012 that were widely quoted by government agencies and the media, based on research conducted over the course of the conflict in the worst affected areas of the country. The NGOs were critical of both security forces and Boko Haram. HRW stated "Boko Haram should immediately cease all attacks, and threats of attacks, that cause loss of life, injury, and destruction of property. The Nigerian government should take urgent measures to address the human rights abuses that have helped fuel the violent militancy". According to the 2012 US Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices:
[S]erious human rights problems included extrajudicial killings by security forces, including summary executions; security force torture, rape, and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of prisoners, detainees, and criminal suspects; harsh and life-threatening prison and detention center conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; prolonged pretrial detention; denial of fair public trial; executive influence on the judiciary; infringements on citizens' privacy rights; restrictions on freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion, and movement.
On October 9, witnesses in Maiduguri claimed members of the JTF "Restore Order" [a vigilante group], based in Maiduguri, went on a killing spree after a suspected Boko Haram bomb killed an officer. Media reported the JTF killed 20 to 45 civilians and razed 50 to 100 houses in the neighborhood. The JTF commander in Maiduguri denied the allegations. On November 2, witnesses claimed the JTF shot and killed up to 40 people during raids in Maiduguri. The army claimed it dismissed some officers from the military as a result of alleged abuses committed in Maiduguri, but there were no known formal prosecutions in Maiduguri by year's end.
Credible reports also indicated ... uniformed military personnel and paramilitary mobile police carried out summary executions, assaults, torture, and other abuses throughout Bauchi, Borno, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, and Yobe states ... The national police, army, and other security forces committed extrajudicial killings and used lethal and excessive force to apprehend criminals and suspects, as well as to disperse protesters. Authorities generally did not hold police accountable for the use of excessive or deadly force or for the deaths of persons in custody. Security forces generally operated with impunity in the illegal apprehension, detention, and sometimes extrajudicial execution of criminal suspects. The reports of state or federal panels of inquiry investigating suspicious deaths remained unpublished.
There were no new developments in the case of five police officers accused of executing Muhammad Yusuf in 2009 at a state police headquarters. In July 2011 authorities arraigned five police officers in the federal high court in Abuja for the murder of Yusuf. The court granted bail to four of the officers, while one remained in custody.
Police use of excessive force, including use of live ammunition, to disperse demonstrators resulted in numerous killings during the year. For example, although the January fuel subsidy demonstrations generally remained peaceful, security forces reportedly fired on protesters in various states across the country during those demonstrations, resulting in 10 to 15 deaths and an unknown number of wounded.
Despite some improvements resulting from the closure of police checkpoints in many parts of the country, states with an increased security presence due to the activities of Boko Haram experienced a rise in violence and lethal force at police and military roadblocks.
Continuing abductions of civilians by criminal groups occurred in the Niger Delta and Southeast ... Police and other security forces were often implicated in the kidnapping schemes.
Although the constitution and law prohibit such practices and provide for punishment of such abuses, torture is not criminalized, and security service personnel, including police, military, and State Security Service (SSS) officers, regularly tortured, beat, and abused demonstrators, criminal suspects, detainees, and convicted prisoners. Police mistreated civilians to extort money. The law prohibits the introduction into trials of evidence and confessions obtained through torture; however, police often used torture to extract confessions.
Nigeria's Borno State, where Boko Haram is based, adjoins Lake Chad as do Niger, Cameroon and the country of Chad. The conflict and refugees spilled over the national borders to involve all four countries.
In 2013, Boko Haram increased operations in Northern Cameroon, and were involved in skirmishes along the borders of Chad and Niger. They were linked to a number of kidnappings, often reportedly in association with the splinter group Ansaru, drawing towards them a higher level of international attention.
The U.S. Bureau of Counterterrorism provides the following summary of Boko Haram's 2013 foreign operations:
In February 2013, Boko Haram was responsible for kidnapping seven French tourists in the far north of Cameroon. In November 2013, Boko Haram members kidnapped a French priest in Cameroon. In December 2013, Boko Haram gunmen reportedly attacked civilians in several areas of northern Cameroon. Security forces from Chad and Niger also reportedly partook in skirmishes against suspected Boko Haram members along Nigeria's borders. In 2013, the group also kidnapped eight French citizens in northern Cameroon and obtained ransom payments for their release.
Boko Haram has often managed to evade the Nigerian army by retreating into the hills around the border with Cameroon, whose army is apparently unwilling to confront them. Nigeria, Chad and Niger had formed a Multinational Joint Task Force in 1998. In February 2012, Cameroon signed an agreement with Nigeria to establish a Joint Trans-Border Security Committee, which was inaugurated in November 2013, when Cameroon announced plans to conduct "coordinated but separate" border patrols in 2014. It convened again in July 2014 to further improve cooperation between the two countries.
In late 2013, Amnesty International received 'credible' information that over 950 inmates had died in custody, mostly in detention centres in Maiduguri and Damaturu, within the first half of the year. Official state corruption was also documented in December 2013 by the UK Home Office:
The NPF [Nigeria Police Force], SSS, and military report to civilian authorities; however, these security services periodically act outside of civilian control. The government lack effective mechanisms to investigate and punish abuse and corruption. The NPF remain susceptible to corruption, commit human rights abuses, and generally operate with impunity in the apprehension, illegal detention, and sometimes execution of criminal suspects. The SSS also commit human rights abuses, particularly in restricting freedom of speech and press. In some cases private citizens or the government brought charges against perpetrators of human rights abuses in these units. However, most cases lingered in court or went unresolved after an initial investigation.
The state of emergency was extended in May 2013 to cover the whole of the three north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, raising tensions in the region. In the 12 months following the announcement, 250,000 fled the three states, followed by a further 180,000 between May and August 2014. A further 210,000 fled from bordering states, bringing the total displaced by the conflict to 650,000. Many thousands left the country. An August 2014 Amnesty International video showed Army and allied militia executing people, including by slitting their throats, and dumping their corpses in mass graves. According to Human Rights Watch, more than 130 villages and towns were attacked or controlled by the group.
In April 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from Chibok. Shekau announced his intention of selling them into slavery. More than 50 escaped. The incident brought Boko Haram extended global media attention, much of it focused on the pronouncements of the U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama. Faced with condemnation for his perceived incompetence, as well as allegations from Amnesty International of state collusion, President Jonathan responded by hiring a Washington PR firm.
Parents of the missing girls and those who had escaped were kept waiting until July to meet with the president, which caused them concern. In October, the government announced the girls' imminent release, but the information proved unreliable. The announcement to the media of a peace agreement and the imminent release of all the missing girls was followed days later by a video message in which Shekau stated that no such meeting had taken place and that the girls had been "married off". The announcement to the media, unaccompanied by any evidence of the reality of the agreement, was thought by analysts to have been a political ploy by the president to raise his popularity before his confirmation of his candidacy in the 2015 general election. Earlier in the year, the girls' plight had featured on "#BringBackOurGirls" political campaign posters in the streets of the capital, which the president denied knowledge of and soon took down after news of criticism surfaced. These posters, which were interpreted, to the dismay of campaigners for the girls' recapture, as being designed to benefit from the fame of the kidnapping, had also been part of Jonathan's "pre-presidential campaign". In September, "#BringBackGoodluck2015" campaign posters again drew criticism. The official announcement of the president's candidacy was made before cheering crowds in Abuja on 11 November.
In February 2016, the organisations International Alert and UNICEF published a study revealing that girls and women released from Boko Haram captivity often face rejection upon returning to their communities and families, in part due to a culture of stigma around sexual violence.
In 2014, Boko Haram continued to increase its presence in northern Cameroon. On May 16, ten Chinese workers were abducted in a raid on a construction company camp in Waza, near the Nigerian border. Vehicles and explosives were also taken in the raid, and one Cameroon soldier was killed. Cameroon's antiterrorist Rapid Intervention Battalion attempted to intervene but were vastly outnumbered. In July, the deputy prime minister's home village was attacked by around 200 militants; his wife was kidnapped, along with the Sultan of Kolofata and his family. At least 15 people, including soldiers and police, were killed in the raid. The deputy prime minister's wife was subsequently released in October, along with 26 others including the ten Chinese construction workers who had been captured in May; authorities made no comment about any ransom, which the Cameroon government had previously claimed it never pays. In a separate attack, nine bus passengers and a soldier were shot dead and the son of a local chief was kidnapped. Hundreds of local youths are suspected to have been recruited. In August, the remote Nigerian border town of Gwoza was overrun and held by the group. In response to the increased militant activity, the Cameroonian president sacked two senior military officers and sent his army chief with 1000 reinforcements to the northern border region.
Between May and July 2014, 8,000 Nigerian refugees arrived in the country, up to 25 percent suffering from acute malnutrition. Cameroon, which ranked 150 out of 186 on the 2012 UNDP HDI, hosted as of August 2014 107,000 refugees fleeing unrest in the CAR, a number that was expected to increase to 180,000 by the end of the year. A further 11,000 Nigerian refugees crossed the border into Cameroon and Chad during August.
Expansion of occupied territoryEdit
The attack on Gwoza signalled a change in strategy for Boko Haram, as the group continued to capture territory in north-eastern and eastern areas of Borno, as well as in Adamawa and Yobe. Attacks across the border were repelled by the Cameroon military. The territorial gains were officially denied by the Nigerian military. In a video obtained by the news agency AFP on 24 August 2014, Shekau announced that Gwoza was now part of an Islamic caliphate. The town of Bama, 70 kilometres (45 mi) from the state capital Maiduguri, was reported to have been captured at the beginning of September, resulting in thousands of residents fleeing to Maiduguri, even as residents there were themselves attempting to flee. The military continued to deny Boko Haram's territorial gains, which were, however, confirmed by local vigilantes who had managed to escape. The militants were reportedly killing men and teenage boys in the town of over 250,000 inhabitants. Soldiers refused orders to advance on the occupied town; hundreds fled across the border into Cameroon, but were promptly repatriated. Fifty-four deserters were later sentenced to death by firing squad.
On 17 October, the Chief of the Defence Staff announced that a ceasefire had been brokered, stating: "I have accordingly directed the service chiefs to ensure immediate compliance with this development in the field". Despite a lack of confirmation from the militants, the announcement was publicised in newspaper headlines worldwide. However, within 48 hours the same publications were reporting that Boko Haram attacks had continued unabated. It was reported that factionalisation would make such a deal particularly difficult to achieve.
On 29 October, Mubi, a town of 200,000 in Adamawa, fell to the militants, further undermining confidence in the peace talks. Thousands fled south to Adamawa's capital city, Yola. Amid media speculation that the ceasefire announcement had been part of President Jonathan's re-election campaign, a video statement released by Boko Haram through the normal communication channels via AFP on 31 October stated that no negotiations had in fact taken place. Mubi was said to have been recaptured by the army on 13 November. On the same day, Boko Haram seized Chibok, but two days later the army recaptured the largely deserted town. As of 16 November it was estimated that more than twenty towns and villages had been taken control of by the militants. On 28 November, 120 died in an attack at the central mosque in Kano during Friday prayers. There were 27 Boko Haram attacks during the month of November, killing at least 786.
On 3 December, it was reported that several towns in North Adamawa had been recovered by the Nigerian military with the help of local vigilantes and Bala Nggilari, the governor of Adamawa state, said that the military were aiming to recruit 4,000 vigilantes. On 13 December, Boko Haram attacked the village of Gumsuri in Borno, killing over 30 and kidnapping over 100 women and children.
Attacks in CameroonEdit
In the second half of December, the focus of activity switched to the Far North Region of Cameroon, beginning on the morning of 17 December when an army convoy was attacked with an IED and ambushed by hundreds of militants near the border town of Amchide, 60 kilometres (40 mi) north of the state capital Maroua. One soldier was confirmed dead, and an estimated 116 militants were killed in the attack, which was followed by another attack overnight with unknown casualties. On 22 December, the Rapid Intervention Battalion followed up with an attack on a Boko Haram training camp near Guirdivig, arresting 45 militants and seizing 84 children aged 7–15 who were undergoing training, according to a statement from Cameroon's Ministry of Defense. The militants fled in pick-up trucks carrying an unknown number of their dead; no information on army casualties was released. On 27–28 December, five villages were simultaneously attacked, and for the first time the Cameroon military launched air attacks when Boko Haram briefly occupied an army camp. Casualty figures were not released. According to Information Minister Issa Tchiroma:
Units of the group attacked Makari, Amchide, Limani and Achigachia in a change of strategy which consists of distracting Cameroonian troops on different fronts, making them more vulnerable in the face of the mobility and unpredictability of their attacks.
On 3 January 2015, Boko Haram attacked Baga, seizing it and the multinational joint task force military base. As the militants advanced the army fled. Some residents managed to escape to Chad. Although the death toll of the massacre was earlier estimated by western media to be upwards of 2000, the Defence Ministry dismissed these claims as "speculation and conjecture", estimating the figure to be closer to 150. On 25 January, the militants advanced to Monguno, capturing the town and a nearby military base. Their advance on Maiduguri and Konduga, 40 km to the southeast, was repelled. After retaking Monguno, the army expelled the militants from Baga on 21 February.
The Baga massacre was one of the Nigerian army's biggest defeats in terms of loss of equipment and civilian casualties. Several officers were court-martialed. In October 2015, General Enitan Ransome-Kuti was dismissed from the army and sentenced to six months imprisonment. It was determined that he had failed in his duty to launch a counter-attack after retreating from the town.
West African offensiveEdit
Starting in late January 2015, a coalition of military forces from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger began a campaign against Boko Haram. On 4 February, the Chad Army killed over 200 Boko Haram militants. Soon afterwards, Boko Haram launched an attack on the Cameroonian town of Fotokol, killing 81 civilians, 13 Chadian soldiers and 6 Cameroonian soldiers.
On 7 March 2015, Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau pledged allegiance to ISIL via an audio message posted on the organisation's Twitter account. Nigerian army spokesperson Sami Usman Kukasheka said the pledge was a sign of weakness and that Shekau was like a "drowning man". On 12 March 2015, ISIL's spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani released an audiotape in which he welcomed the pledge of allegiance, and described it as an expansion of the group's caliphate to West Africa.
On 24 March 2015, residents of Damasak, Nigeria said that Boko Haram had taken more than 400 women and children from the town as they fled from coalition forces. On March 27, the Nigerian army captured Gwoza, which was believed to be the location of Boko Haram headquarters. On election day 28 March 2015, Boko Haram extremists killed 41 people, including a legislator, to discourage hundreds from voting.
In March 2015, Boko Haram lost control of the Northern Nigerian towns of Bama and Gwoza to the Nigerian army. The Nigerian authorities said that they had taken back 11 of the 14 districts previously controlled by Boko Haram. In April, four Boko Haram camps in the Sambisa Forest were overrun by the Nigerian military who freed nearly 300 females. Boko Haram forces were believed to have retreated to the Mandara Mountains, along the Nigeria-Cameroon border.
Attrition of Catholic diocese of MaiduguriEdit
A report by the Catholic diocese of Maiduguri estimated that as of May 2015 over 5,000 Nigerian Catholics had been killed by Boko Haram. The diocese also reported 7,000 widows and 10,000 orphans among its laity. Furthermore, Boko Haram militants had taken over several parish centres within the diocese.
July mosques massacresEdit
Boko Haram militants attacked multiple mosques between 1 and 2 July. Forty-eight men and boys were killed on the 1st at one mosque in Kukawa. Seventeen were wounded in the attack. Ninety-seven others, mostly men, were killed in numerous mosques on the 2nd with a number of women and young girls killed in their homes. An unknown number were wounded.
Suicide bombings in ChadEdit
On 15 June 2015, two suicide bombings of police sites in N'Djamena, the capital and largest city of Chad, killed 38 people. Boko Haram later claimed responsibility for these attacks. On 11 July, a male suicide bomber disguised in a woman's burqa detonated his explosives belt in the main market of N'Djamena, next to the main mosque, killing 15 people and injuring 80. Several days after the bombing, Boko Haram claimed responsibility via Twitter, signing as "Islamic State, West Africa province".
Claims of defeatEdit
The March 2015 general election was won by Buhari, who had vowed to remove inefficiency and corruption in the military. On 9 September 2015, the Director of Information at the Defence Headquarters, Colonel Rabe Abubakar announced that all known Boko Haram camps and cells had been destroyed, and that the group was so weakened that they could no longer hold any territory:
These terrorists have been subdued, even if they are adopting other means and as they are re-strategising, we are also doing the same and pre-empting them. We have coordinated the air and ground assaults to make sure that these terrorists' hideouts are completely decimated. As I am speaking to you, all the terrorists’ camps have completely been wiped out. So right now they are completely in disarray, have no command and control of where to plan. We have even taken over their camps that most of them abandoned and are attempting to blend into towns and communities. We have also apprehended some of them and very soon innocent Nigerians can move back to their communities. We are making a lot of headway, so people should know that Boko Haram is no longer strong enough to hold grounds. Very soon this issue of whether they are in control of any territory in Nigeria or not will come to the open. I am assuring you that they will never again recapture the territory taken from them because what is happening right now with the deployment of troops, equipment and morale will ensure that.
Buhari later reiterated in December 2015 that Boko Haram was "technically defeated" and declared in December 2016 that the group had been entirely ousted from its last stronghold of Sambisa Forest.
On 20 September, a series of bombings occurred in Maiduguri and Monguno and the attacks followed an announcement by Shekau refuting the army's claims of defeat. A military spokesman stated that the event showed the "high level of desperation" of Boko Haram. The Arewa Consultative Forum released a statement condemning the bombings and commending the military offensive:
The ACF condemns in strong terms the continued use of suicide bombers by Boko Haram terrorists to kill innocent people in the name of a religious war, as no religion condones such cruel and barbaric act. The ACF wishes to commend the military and other security agencies for the continued onslaught on the terrorists’ enclaves and hideouts, thereby dislodging them from their strong holds. The ACF urges the military not to be deterred by the cowardly act of the Boko Haram terrorists, as their renewed effort and determination will soon end the insurgency. The ACF also appeals to the military to intensify its synergy of sharing intelligence with the community.
On 21 October in Nganzai, Borno, according to a civilian vigilante, fleeing militants shot at four cars, killing the passengers, and burnt and looted the nearby village. On 23 October, a suicide bombing occurred in a pre dawn attack at a mosque in Maiduguri. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) put the death toll at 6 while hospital sources reported 19 deaths and a vigilante claimed to have counted 28 corpses and two suicide bombers. On the following day, four female suicide bombers claimed one victim after they were intercepted by the JTF in Maiduguri, according to a NEMA spokesman.
On 27 October, a military operation freed 192 children and 138 women being held captive in two camps in the Sambisa forest and 30 militants were killed, according to a social media statement from the Defense HQ. None of the captives were those taken in Chibok in April 2014.
On 25 December, gunmen set fire to the village of Kimba, killing at least 14, according to vigilantes. On 27 December, gunmen armed with RPGs battled with troops for two hours in Aldawari village in the outskirts of Maiduguri, according to NEMA. On the following morning, a bombing at a nearby mosque killed around 20, according to NEMA.
Federal Capital Territory/NasarawaEdit
On 1 October, villagers in Kirchinga, Adamawa complained of a lack of security personnel after 5 residents had their throats slit during an unchallenged early morning attack. The village borders Cameroon and the Sambisa forest. On 18 October the village of Dar, Adamawe was attacked. Maina Ularamu, a former Chairman of Madagali Local Government Area, stated: "A large number of gunmen invaded the village, forcing residents to flee to a nearby bush. Two female suicide bombers disguised as fleeing villagers detonated explosives in the bush where many people were hiding, killing 12 persons". On 20 October, there were reports of a military ambush in Madagali, assisted by vigilantes, in which over 30 militants were killed. On 21 October, according to vigilante reports a joint operation in Madagali and Gwoza killed 150 militants and rescued 36 captives. On 23 October, a suicide bomb at a crowded mosque killed 27 in Yola, Adamawa's capital. On 17 November, an explosion at a food market in Yola killed 32, in the first Nigerian bombing since the 23 October attacks in Maiduguri and Yola. On the morning of 28 December, two female suicide bombers detonated their explosives at a crowded market in Madagali. According to a local resident, at least 28 were killed.
On 7 October in Damaturu, Yobe at least 15 people were killed by 3 suicide bombers. In Goniri, Yobe 7 soldiers and over 100 militants were killed, and a large arms cache was found, according to an army spokesman, who said that the recent apparent rise in suicide bombings was an indication of the success of military operations.
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a procession of Shi'ite Muslims killing at least 21, on 30 November near the village of Dakozoye. A week earlier two bombers had killed at least 14 in Kano city.
On 12 January, Boko Haram attacked a Cameroon military base in Kolofata. Government forces report killing 143 militants, while one Cameroon soldier was killed. On 18 January, Boko Haram raided two Tourou Cameroon area villages, torching houses, killing some residents and kidnapping between 60 and 80 people including an estimated 50 young children between the ages of 10 and 15.
On 11 October, in the far north region of Cameroon two female suicide bombers killed nine people in the town of Mora. On 18 October, 10 militants were killed when they attacked a Cameroon military anti-terrorist division convoy close to the border, after a military vehicle became stuck in mud. One army commander later died of his wounds. On 12 October, the first 90 of a proposed deployment of 300 US troops arrived in the region to assist with training, reconnaissance and airborne intelligence using Predator drones. On 16 October, more than six security vehicles were transferred to the Cameroon military. An AFRICOM spokesman said that increased cooperation had led them "to study the viability of ISR flights from a temporary location in Cameroon". The deployment is "totally separate and distinct" from operations in Chad and Niger, where 250 and 85 personnel, respectively, are conducting missions including ISR and training.
On 23 October, Boko Haram fighters were driven out of Kerawa, a village of 50,000 in Kolofata, a commune in the far north region. They had briefly occupied the village until the arrival of security forces. Reports of civilian casualties ranged from eight to eleven. An army spokesman claimed the militants suffered heavy casualties. The village's military base had previously been targeted by suicide bombers on 3 September, when 30 were killed.
On 9 November, two female suicide bombers killed three Nigerians during a security check in a truck full of Nigerian refugees. On 21 November, a suicide attack in a suburb of Fotokol town killed four. An anonymous military official said: "The first kamikaze detonated his bomb in the house of the traditional chief of Leymarie. Five people died including the bomber. Several minutes later, three female bombers exploded their bombs close to the initial site but they didn't kill anyone else because they acted too quickly".
On 28 November, two suicide bombers killed six near the military base in Dabanga, and in an attack in Gouzoudou five people were killed, according to a military spokesman. On 1 December, two suicide bombers killed three, and a third bomber was killed before detonating explosives. On 2 December, Cameroon's Defense Minister claimed that, at the end of November, 100 Boko Haram members had been killed and 900 hostages freed, and that a large stockpile of arms and munitions, and black-and-white ISIL flags had been seized. Information Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakari said that "[t]he people that were freed are just villagers. The [Chibok] schoolgirls who are missing are not amongst the group".
On 6 October, the Chadian army reported an attack in the border region of Lake Chad. 11 soldiers were killed and 14 wounded in the pre dawn cross-border infiltration, and 17 militants were also killed, according to an army spokesman. On 10 October, 5 suicide bombers killed 33 in the market in Baga Sola, a camp for Nigerian refugees. On 1 November, two dawn attacks on army posts occurred. Eleven militants and two soldiers were killed at Kaika, and in an attempted suicide bombing at Bougouma, "Two members of Boko Haram were neutralised and a third blew himself up, wounding 11 civilians", according to a government statement. A state of emergency was imposed in the western Lake Chad region on 9 November, initially for 12 days, but extended by Chad's national assembly on 18 November to four months.
On 5 December 2015, three female suicide bombers killed about 30 at a crowded market on the island of Koulfoua in Lake Chad.
On 25 September, at least 15 civilians were massacred and stores were looted in a cross-border raid on a Niger village, according to anonymous military sources. On 2 October two soldiers died and four were wounded in a Boko Haram attack on a village near the Nigerian border in Niger's Diffa province. The militants also looted stores, according to Niger army officers. On 4 October, according to an aid worker, a policeman and five civilians were killed by 4 suicide bombers near the Nigerian border. On 6 October, three suspected Boko Haram militants accidentally blew themselves up while transporting explosives to Bosso town in Diffa. On 21 October near Diffa town two soldiers were killed by explosives while intercepting an attack. Diffa region hosts over 150,000 Nigerian refugees. It is under a state of emergency. On 14 October a curfew and movement restrictions were imposed. At least 57 attacks occurred there from February to October 2015. More than 1,100 Boko Haram suspects were arrested in Niger during 2015.
On 11 November, two Niger military officials described an attack on a village in Bosso district in which five civilians and 20 militants were killed. A senior government official later denied that the attack had occurred, according to Reuters. On 26 November, Boko Haram launched a cross-border night raid on Wogom village in Diffa province. A government spokesman, Justice Minister Marou Amadou stated: "Eighteen villagers were killed, including the chief imam for the village whose throat was slit by his own nephew". On 13 March 2018 the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDP), Cecilia Jimenez-Damary said "Since the first attacks in Niger by Boko Haram in 2015, the Diffa region, in the south-eastern part of the country, has been confronted with a continuing security crisis which has uprooted more than 129,000 internally from their homes, in addition to the arrival of 108,000 refugees from Nigeria, and has triggered a humanitarian crisis.He said that IDPs in Niger are posing huge challenges to the country and “and require a strong and comprehensive response". He also said situation in the regions bordering Mali has led to the displacement of some 1,540 persons.
On 30 January 2016, at least 86 people were killed and at least 62 more injured in an attack by Boko Haram militants on Dalori Village which is located 4 kilometers from Maiduguri, Nigeria. The Nigerian Army was unable to fight the militants until reinforcements arrived, causing Boko Haram to retreat.
Weakening and splitEdit
In early August 2016, ISIL announced that it had appointed Abu-Musab al-Barnawi as the new leader of the group. In a video released a few days later, Shekau refused to accept al-Barnawi's appointment as leader and vowed to fight him while stating that he was still loyal to ISIL's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The group has since split into pro-Barnawi and pro-Shekau factions, with reports of armed clashes breaking out between them. Shekau has released videos since the split in which he refers to his group by its previous name of Jamatu Ahlis Sunna Lidawatti wal Jihad.
On 31 August 2016, 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.
Rise in child suicide bombingEdit
UNICEF reported an increase in child suicide bombers with 27 incidents occurring in the first three months of 2017 in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad, compared to 30 in the entire previous year, 56 in 2015 and 4 in 2014. Kidnapped children who escape from Boko Haram are often held in custody or ostracized by their community or family. Patrick Rose, a UNICEF regional coordinator, stated: "They are held in military barracks, separated from their parents, without medical follow-up, without psychological support, without education, under conditions and for durations that are unknown". According to the NGO: "Society's rejection of these children, and their sense of isolation and desperation, could be making them more vulnerable to promises of martyrdom through acceptance of dangerous and deadly missions".
Dozens of school girls were kidnapped from the Government Technical Girls College in Dapchi, located in the Yobe state, Nigeria on Monday, February 19, 2018. Although the number of the victims has not been ascertained, the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has assured parents and citizens that the girls will return safely and the abductors arrested. 110 girls have disappeared.
Boko Haram was founded by Mohammed Yusuf who led the group from 2002 until his death in 2009. After his death, his deputy Abubakar Shekau took control of the group and has led it until the present day.
Although Boko Haram is organized in a hierarchical structure with one overall leader, the group also operates as a clandestine cell system using a network structure, with units having between 300 and 500 fighters each. Estimates of the total number of fighters range between 500 and 9,000.
Kidnap for ransomEdit
Boko Haram is said to have raised substantial sums from kidnap for ransom. In 2013, Boko Haram kidnapped a family of seven French tourists on vacation in Cameroon and two months later released the hostages along with 16 others in exchange for a ransom of $3.15 million.
As well as extortion from local residents, Boko Haram has claimed to extort money from local state governments. A spokesman of Boko Haram claimed that Kano state governor Ibrahim Shekarau and Bauchi state governor Isa Yuguda had paid them monthly.
Ties to other militant groupsEdit
It has long been alleged that Boko Haram had a relationship with al-Qaeda. In 2011, letters from Boko Haram were reportedly found in bin Laden's compound.
Three weeks after the 2009 Boko Haram uprising began, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb expressed sympathy for Boko Haram. Speaking by phone to reporters in November 2012, group spokesman Abu Qaqa said: "We are together with al-Qaeda, they are promoting the cause of Islam, just as we are doing. Therefore they help us in our struggle and we help them, too." The 2012 Reuters special report details how fighters have trained with al-Qaeda affiliates in small groups over at least 6 years.
According to the UN Security Council listing of Boko Haram under the al-Qaeda sanctions regime in May 2014, the group "has maintained a relationship with AQIM for training and material support purposes", and "gained valuable knowledge on the construction of improvised explosive devices from AQIM". The UN found that a "number of Boko Haram members fought alongside al Qaeda affiliated groups in Mali in 2012 and 2013 before returning to Nigeria with terrorist expertise". AQIM is one of al-Qaeda's regional branches, whose leader, Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud, has sworn an oath of allegiance to al-Qaeda's senior leadership.
Despite historic ties, al-Qaeda central has never officially accepted Boko Haram as an affiliate. The issues between AQ and Boko Haram related to the extremism of Abubakar Shekau with respect to him declaring the entire general population of Muslims in Nigeria to be non-Muslims. Shekau argues that due to the widespread apostasy of Muslims through voting in elections that it is legitimate to kill Muslim civilians. Al-Qaeda takes the view that the general population should be viewed as Muslim and thus killing civilians is not acceptable.
In July 2014, Shekau released a 16-minute video where he voiced support for ISIL's head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, al-Qaeda's head Ayman al-Zawahiri and Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar. In March 2015, Shekau formally pledged allegiance to ISIL, which was accepted by the group's spokesman several days later. The group was nominally renamed 'Wilayat Garb Ifriqiyah' or the Islamic State's 'West African province' and was led by Shekau.
In August 2016, ISIL attempted to remove Shekau from his leadership role and replace him with Abu Musab al-Barnawi. The reason behind this was that Shekau had disobeyed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's order to cease targeting Muslim civilians. Shekau rejected the move, leading to a split between the groups.
The Nigerian military is, in the words of a former British military attaché speaking in 2014, "a shadow of what it's reputed to have once been. It's fallen apart". They are short of basic equipment, including radios and armoured vehicles. Morale is said to be low. Senior officers are alleged to be skimming military procurement budget funds that are intended to pay for the standard issue equipment of soldiers. The country's defense budget accounts for more than a third of the security budget of $5.8 billion, but only 10 percent is allocated to capital spending. In a 2014 United States Department of Defense assessment, funds are being "skimmed off the top", troops are "showing signs of real fear" and are "afraid to even engage".:9
In the summer of 2013, the Nigerian military shut down mobile phone coverage in the three north-eastern states to disrupt the group's communication and ability to detonate IEDs. Accounts from military insiders and data of Boko Haram incidences before, during and after the mobile phone blackout suggest that the shut down was 'successful' from a military- tactical point of view. However it angered citizens in the region (owing to negative social and economic consequences of the mobile shutdown) and engendered negative opinions toward the state and new emergency policies. While citizens and organizations developed various coping and circumventing strategies, Boko Haram evolved from an open network model of insurgency to a closed centralized system, shifting the center of its operations to the Sambisa Forest. This fundamentally changed the dynamics of the conflict.
In July 2014, Nigeria was estimated to have had the highest number of terrorist killings in the world over the past year, 3477, killed in 146 attacks. The governor of Borno, Kashim Shettima, of the opposition ANPP, said in February 2014:
Boko Haram are better armed and are better motivated than our own troops. Given the present state of affairs, it is absolutely impossible for us to defeat Boko Haram.
In March 2015, it was reported that Nigeria had employed hundreds of mercenaries from South Africa and the former Soviet Union to assist in making gains against Boko Haram before the March 28 election.
In October 2015, General David M. Rodriguez, head of U.S. Africa Command, reported that Boko Haram has lost territory, directly contradicting statements made by Boko Haram. U.S. efforts to train and share intelligence with regional military forces is credited with helping to push back against Boko Haram, but officials warn that the group remains a grave threat.
Dates of designation as a terrorist organizationEdit
|New Zealand||20 August 2012|
|United Kingdom||10 July 2013|
|United States||14 November 2013|
|Canada||24 December 2013|
|United Nations||22 May 2014|
|Australia||26 June 2014|
|United Arab Emirates||15 November 2014|
United States responsesEdit
In 2012, the U.S. Department of State had an internal debate on whether to place Boko Haram on its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The Bureau of Counterterrorism leaned towards designation while the Bureau of African Affairs urged caution. Officials from the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, and a number of members of Congress urged the State Department to designate Boko Haram as an FTO. The Nigerian government voiced its opposition to an FTO designation, citing concerns that it would raise Boko Haram's stature and have implications for humanitarian aid in the region where Boko Haram operated. Twenty academic experts on Nigeria signed a letter to the State Department urging it not to designate Boko Haram as an FTO, saying that it would hinder NGO efforts in the region and might legitimize the Nigerian Army's human rights abuses in its efforts to fight Boko Haram.
The U.S. State Department designated Boko Haram and its offshoot Ansaru as terrorist organizations in November 2013, citing Boko Haram's links with AQIM and its responsibility for "thousands of deaths in northeast and central Nigeria over the last several years including targeted killings of civilians". The State Department also cited Ansaru's 2013 kidnapping and execution of seven international construction workers. In the statement it was noted, however, "These designations are an important and appropriate step, but only one tool in what must be a comprehensive approach by the Nigerian government to counter these groups through a combination of law enforcement, political, and development efforts." The State Department had resisted earlier calls to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist group after the 2011 Abuja United Nations bombing. The U.S. government does not believe Boko Haram is currently (2014) affiliated with al Qaeda Central, despite regular periodic pledges of support and solidarity from its leadership for al-Qaeda, but is particularly concerned about ties between Boko Haram and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) (including "likely sharing funds, training, and explosive materials").
Efforts to cooperate in freeing the Chibok schoolgirls had faltered, largely due to mutual distrust; the infiltration of the military by Boko Haram meant that U.S. officials were wary of sharing raw intelligence data, and the Nigerian military had failed to supply information that might have aided U.S. drone flights in locating the kidnapped girls. The Nigerian government claims that Boko Haram is "the West Africa branch of the world-wide Al-Qaida movement" with connections to al-Shabaab in Somalia and AQIM in Mali. The Nigerian government denies having committed human rights abuses in the conflict, and therefore oppose U.S. restrictions on arms sales, which they see as being based on the U.S. mis-application of the Leahy Law due to concerns over human rights in Nigeria. The U.S. had supplied the Nigerian army with trucks and equipment but had blocked the sale of Cobra helicopters. In November 2014 the U.S. State department again refused to supply Cobras, citing concerns over the Nigerian military's ability to maintain and use them without endangering civilians.
On 1 December 2014, the U.S. embassy in Abuja announced that the U.S. had discontinued training a Nigerian battalion at the request of the Nigerian government. A spokesman for the U.S. state department said: "We regret premature termination of this training, as it was to be the first in a larger planned project that would have trained additional units with the goal of helping the Nigerian Army build capacity to counter Boko Haram. The U.S. government will continue other aspects of the extensive bilateral security relationship, as well as all other assistance programs, with Nigeria. The U.S. government is committed to the long tradition of partnership with Nigeria and will continue to engage future requests for cooperation and training".
On 24 September 2015, the White House announced a military aid package for African allies fighting Boko Haram. The package included up to $45 million for training and other support for Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. On 14 October, the White House released a statement, in accordance with the War Powers Resolution, announcing the deployment of 300 troops to Cameroon to conduct airborne ISR: "These forces are equipped with weapons for the purpose of providing their own force protection and security, and they will remain in Cameroon until their support is no longer needed."
African Coalition forceEdit
After a series of meetings over many months, Cameroon's foreign minister announced on 30 November 2014 that a coalition force to fight terrorism, including Boko Haram, would soon be operational. The force would include 3,500 soldiers from Benin, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria. Discussions between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) about a broader based military force have been scheduled.[when?]
French and British assistanceEdit
France and the United Kingdom, in coordination with the United States, have sent trainers and material assistance to Nigeria to assist in the fight against Boko Haram. France planned to use 3,000 troops in the region for counter-terrorism operations. Israel and Canada also pledged support.
In May 2014, China offered Nigeria assistance that included satellite data, and possibly military equipment.
In October 2015, Colombia sent a delegation of security experts to assist the Nigerian authorities and share expertise on security and counter terrorism. In January 2016, a delegation led by Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai also visited Colombia to exchange information in regards to the war against Boko Haram.
- Morgan Winsor (17 April 2015). "Boko Haram In Nigeria: President Goodluck Jonathan Rejects Help From UN Forces To Fight Insurgency". International Business Times. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- "With Help From ISIS, a More Deadly Boko Haram Makes a Comeback". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "We have restricted Boko Haram to Sambisa Forest – Buhari". Retrieved 21 May 2016.
- "Boko Haram at a glance". Amnesty International. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- "Boko Haram HQ Gwoza in Nigeria 'retaken'".
- "Nigeria's Boko Haram has up to 6,000 hardcore militants: U.S. officials".
- "Boko Haram leader escapes".
- Bureau of Counterterrorism. "Country Reports on Terrorism 2013". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- "Jonathan tasks Defence, Foreign Ministers of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Benin on Boko Haram's defeat". sunnewsonline.com. Archived from the original on 19 January 2015.
- Martin Williams. "African leaders pledge 'total war' on Boko Haram after Nigeria kidnap". The Guardian.
- "Chadian Forces Deploy Against Boko Haram". VOA. 16 January 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
- "Islamic State recognizes oath of allegiance from jihadists in Mali". Long War Journal. 31 October 2017.
- "Islamic State West Africa (ISWA / ISWAP)". Terrorism Research Analysis Consortium.
- "Boko Haram renames itself Islamic State's West Africa Province (Iswap) as militants launch new offensive against government forces". the Independent. 25 April 2015.
- "Islamic State West African province (ISWAP)/Boko Haram". Globalsecurity.org.
- "Is Islamic State shaping Boko Haram media?". bbc. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- "Nigeria's Boko Haram pledges allegiance to Islamic State". BBC news. BBC. 7 March 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- Adam Chandler (9 March 2015). "The Islamic State of Boko Haram? :The terrorist group has pledged its allegiance to ISIS. But what does that really mean?". The Atlantic.
- "IS welcomes Boko Haram allegiance: tape". AFP. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Nigeria's Boko Haram pledges allegiance to Islamic State". BBC news. BBC. 7 March 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- "NYT". The New York Times. ASSOCIATED PRESS. 18 November 2015. Archived from the original on 21 November 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- Pisa, Katie; Hume, Tim (19 November 2015). "Boko Haram overtakes ISIS as world's deadliest terror group, report says". CNN. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- "Global Terrorism Index 2015" (PDF). Institute for Economics and Peace. November 2015. p. 41. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- Jack Moore (23 April 2015). "Nigerian Military Enter 'Final Stages' of Boko Haram Offensive". Newsweek. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
- "Boko Haram". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- "Nigerian army frees hundreds more women and girls from Boko Haram". The Guardian. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
- "Boko Haram crisis: Nigerian military chiefs given deadline". BBC News. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- MICHELLE NICHOLS (25 September 2015). "U.N. appeals for help for Boko Haram displaced; Nigeria a no-show". Reuters. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
- "Nigerian troops were denied guns to fight Boko Haram – Buhari". Vanguard. 18 November 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- Rose Troup Buchanan (18 November 2015). "Isis overtaken by Boko Haram as world's deadliest terror organisation". The Independent. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- Glenn Kessler (19 May 2014). "Boko Haram: Inside the State Department debate over the 'terrorist' label". The Washington Post. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- "Nigeria: Boko Haram Attacks Likely Crimes Against Humanity". Human Rights Watch. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "Boko Haram is now a mini-Islamic State, with its own territory". The Telegraph. 10 January 2015.
- Nnenna Ibeh (9 September 2015). "Boko Haram camps 'wiped out' – Nigerian military". Premium Times. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
- "Nigeria's Boko Haram pledges allegiance to Islamic State". BBC news. BBC. 7 March 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- Department of Public Information • News and Media Division (22 May 2014). "Security Council Al-qaida Sanctions Committee Adds Boko Haram to its Sanctions List". New York: UN Security Council. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Monday Discourse With Dr". Gamji.com. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
- George Percy Bargery (1934). "Hausa-English dictionary". Lexilogos. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
- Paul Newman (2013). "The Etymology of Hausa boko" (PDF). Mega-Chad Research Network. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "Nigeria committing 'war crimes' to defeat Boko Haram". The Independent. 17 August 2014. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- U.S. Embassy, Abuja (4 November 2009). "Nigeria: Borno State Residents Not Yet Recovered From Boko Haram Violence". Wikileaks. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- William F. S. Miles (9 May 2014). "Breaking Down 'Boko Haram'". cognoscenti.
- Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde. "An in-house Survey into the Cultural Origins of Boko Haram Movement in Nigeria". Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- Lauren Ploch Blanchard (10 June 2014). "Nigeria's Boko Haram: Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- Johnson, Toni (27 December 2011). "Backgrounder — Boko Haram". www.cfr.org. Council of Foreign Relations. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- Cook, David (26 September 2011). "The Rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria". Combating Terrorism Centre. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "The Diffusion of Intra-islamic Violence and Terrorism: the Impact of the Proliferation of Salafi/Wahhabi Ideologies". Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- Onuoha, Freedom (2014). "Boko Haram and the evolving Salafi Jihadist threat in Nigeria". In Pérouse de Montclos, Marc-Antoine. Boko Haram: Islamism, politics, security and the state in Nigeria (PDF). Leiden: African Studies Centre. pp. 158–191. ISBN 978-90-5448-135-5. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- Tolu Ogunlesi, "Nigeria's Internal Struggles", The New York Times, 23 March 2015.
- "African Arguments Editorial – Boko Haram in Nigeria : another consequence of unequal development". African Arguments. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- Bartolotta, Christopher (23 September 2011). "Terrorism in Nigeria: the Rise of Boko Haram". The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- Zainab Usman (1 May 2014). "Nigeria's Economic Transition Reveals Deep Structural Distortions". African Arguments. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "Data". The World Bank. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- "Nigerians living in poverty rise to nearly 61%". BBC. 13 February 2012. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- Adesoji, Abimbola (2010). "The Boko Haram Uprising and Islamic Revivalism in Nigeria". Africa Spectrum. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "USCIRF Annual Report 2013 – Thematic Issues: Severe religious freedom violations by non-state actors". UNHCR. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- Barnaby Phillips (20 January 2000). "Islamic law raises tension in Nigeria". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- "Article 7: Right to equal protection by the law". BBC World Service. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- Gérard L. F. Chouin, Religion and bodycount in the Boko Haram crisis: evidence from the Nigeria Watch database, p. 214. ISBN 978-90-5448-135-5.
- Adebayo, Akanmu G, ed. (2012). Managing Conflicts in Africa's Democratic Transitions. Lexington Books. p. 176. ISBN 978-0739172636.
- West African Studies Conflict over Resources and Terrorism. OECD. 2013.
- J. Peter Pham (19 October 2006). "In Nigeria False Prophets Are Real Problems". World Defense Review. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "Nigeria's 'Taliban' enigma". BBC News. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
- Helen Chapin Metz, ed. "Influence of Christian Missions", Nigeria: A Country Study, Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1991. Retrievaed 18 April 2012.
- Chothia, Farouk (11 January 2012). "Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists?". BBC News. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
- Martin Meredith (2011). "5. Winds of Change". The State of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence (illustrated ed.). Simon and Schuster. p. 77. ISBN 9780857203892.
- Martin Ewi (24 June 2013). "Why Nigeria needs a criminal tribunal and not amnesty for Boko Haram". Institute for Security Studies. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Kirk Ross (19 May 2014). "Revolt in the North: Interpreting Boko Haram's war on western education". African Arguments. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "Analysis: Understanding Nigeria's Boko Haram radicals". www.irinnews.org. 18 July 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- "Whose faith, whose girls?". The Economist.
- Owolade, Femi (27 March 2014). "Boko Haram: How a Militant Islamist Group Emerged in Nigeria". Gatestone Institute. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- "Nigeria accused of ignoring sect warnings before wave of killings". The Guardian. London. 2 August 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
- Lamb, Christina (20 March 2016). "A fight for the soul of the world". Sunday Times. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- Wilson, Mark (2018). "Why January is Boko Haram's deadliest month". BBC News. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
- CNN, Robyn Kriel, (2018). "Boko Haram favors women, children as bombers: Study". CNN. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
- Joe Bavier (15 January 2012). "Nigeria: Boko Haram 101". Pulitzercenter.org.
- Nossiter, Adam (27 July 2009). "Scores Die as Fighters Battle Nigerian Police". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- "Nigeria sect head dies in custody". BBC. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- "Nigeria killings caught on video – Africa". Al Jazeera English. 10 February 2010.
- "Boko Haram attacks – timeline". The Guardian. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Peace and Security Council Report" (PDF). ISS. February 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Ndahi Marama (30 July 2014). "UN House bombing: Why we struck-Boko Haram". Vanguard. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Counterterrorism 2014 Calendar". The National Counterterrorism Center. 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Ibrahim Mshelizza (29 August 2011). "Islamist sect Boko Haram claims Nigerian U.N. bombing". Reuters. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Joe Brock (31 January 2012). "Special Report: Boko Haram — between rebellion and jihad". Reuters. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- "Special Report: Boko Haram – between rebellion and jihad". Reuters.
- Richard Dowden (9 March 2012). "Boko Haram – More Complicated Than You Think". Africa Arguments. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- David Cook (26 September 2011). "The Rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria". Combating Terrorism Center. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- "Boko Haram attacks an air base in Nigeria". Aljazeera. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Boko Haram claims responsibility for bomb blasts in Bauchi, Maiduguri". Vanguard News. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- Olalekan Adetayo (9 January 2012). "Boko Haram has infiltrated my govt –Jonathan". Punch. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- David Cook (26 September 2011). "The Rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria". Combating Terrorism Center. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- Jean Herskovits (2 January 2012). "In Nigeria, Boko Haram Is Not the Problem". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- Olly Owen (19 January 2012). "Boko Haram: Answering Terror With More Meaningful Human Security". African Arguments. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- Olly Owen (19 January 2012). "Boko Haram: Answering Terror With More Meaningful Human Security". African Arguments. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- Gernot Klantschnig (February 2012). "Review of the January 2012 UK Border Information Service Nigeria Country of Origin Information Report" (PDF). Independent Advisory Group on Country Information. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- "Nigeria: Boko Haram Attacks Likely Crimes Against Humanity". Human Rights Watch. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- Ibanga Isine (27 June 2014). "High-level corruption rocks $470million CCTV project that could secure Abuja". Premium Times. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- Duncan Gardham; Laura Heaton (25 December 2011). "Coordinated bomb attacks across Nigeria kill at least 40". The Telegraph. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "Five bombs explode across Nigeria killing dozens". Buenos Aires Herald. 25 December 2011. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- Adam Nossiter (25 December 2011). "Nigerian Group Escalates Violence With Church Attacks". The New York Times. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- Tina Moore (25 December 2011). "Christmas Day bombings in Nigeria kill at least 39, radical Muslim sect claims responsibility". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "Nigeria churches hit by blasts". Aljazeera. 26 December 2011. Archived from the original on 18 September 2014. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "Christmas bombings kill many near Jos, Nigeria". BBC. 25 December 2010. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- Felix Onuah; Tim Cocks (31 December 2011). "Nigeria's Jonathan declares state of emergency". Reuters. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- "Nigerian fuel subsidy: Strike suspended". BBC. 16 January 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- "Nigeria: Post-Election Violence Killed 800". Human Rights Watch. 17 May 2011. Retrieved November 2014. Check date values in:
- Toyin Falola; Matthew M. Heaton (24 April 2008). A History of Nigeria. Cambridge University Press. p. 277. ISBN 978-1-139-47203-6.
- David Blair (5 February 2012). "Al-Qaeda's hand in Boko Haram's deadly Nigerian attacks". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- Mike Oboh (22 January 2012). "Islamist insurgents kill over 178 in Nigeria's Kano". Reuters. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- "Nigerians offer prayers in Kano for suicide bombers' victims". The Guardian. Associated Press. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- "Nigeria's Kano rocked by multiple explosions". BBC. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- Taye Obateru; Grateful Dakat (22 January 2012). "Boko Haram: Fleeing Yobe Christians". Vanguard. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- "Nigeria: Boko Haram Widens Terror Campaign". Human Rights Watch. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (2012). "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012". US Department of State. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- "With cross-border attacks, Boko Haram threat widens". IRIN. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- Tim Cocks (30 May 2014). "Cameroon weakest link in fight against Boko Haram". Reuters. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- "Nigeria: FG Inaugurates Nigeria-Cameroon Trans-Border Security Committee". allAfrica. 5 February 2013. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "2nd session of Nigeria/Cameroon Trans-Border Security Committee meets in Abuja". Daily Independent. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "Nigeria-Cameroon security committee meets". News 24 Nigeria. 7 July 2014. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "Nigeria: Deaths of hundreds of Boko Haram suspects in custody requires investigation". Amnesty International. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- "Operational Guidance Note" (PDF). Home Office. December 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-08-08. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "650,000 Nigerians Displaced Following Boko Haram Attacks – UN". Information Nigeria. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- Adrian Edwards (9 May 2014). "Refugees fleeing attacks in north eastern Nigeria, UNHCR watching for new displacement". UNHCR. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- Emele Onu (5 August 2014). "Amnesty Says 'Gruesome' Nigerian Footage Shows War Crimes". Bloomberg. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- USA. "World Report 2015: Nigeria | Human Rights Watch". Hrw.org. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
- "Rewards for Justice – First Reward Offers for Terrorists in West Africa". U.S. Department of State. 3 June 2013.
- "Nigeria says 219 girls in Boko Haram kidnapping still missing". Fox News. 23 June 2014. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- Maria Tadeo (10 May 2014). "Nigeria kidnapped schoolgirls: Michelle Obama condemns abduction in Mother's Day presidential address". The Independent. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- Tim Cocks (8 July 2014). "Jonathan's PR offensive backfires in Nigeria and abroad". Yahoo! News/Reuters. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- Megan R. Wilson (26 June 2014). "Nigeria hires PR for Boko Haram fallout". The Hill. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "Nigeria: Government knew of planned Boko Haram kidnapping but failed to act". Amnesty International UK. 9 May 2014. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- Taiwo Ogunmola Omilani (24 July 2014). "Chibok Abduction: NANS Describes Jonathan As Incompetent". Leadership, Nigeria. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "One month after Chibok girls' abduction". The Nation, Nigeria. 15 May 2014. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- Daniel Magnowski (10 September 2014). "Nigeria's President Jonathan Bans 'Bring Back Goodluck' Campaign". Bloomberg. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- Felix Onuah (11 November 2014). "Nigeria's Jonathan seeks second term, vows to beat Boko Haram". Reuters. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
- Liz Ford (16 February 2016). "Women freed from Boko Haram rejected for bringing 'bad blood' back home". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- Emmanuel Tummanjong (17 May 2014). "Chinese Workers Kidnapped by Suspected Boko Haram Militants in Cameroon". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
- Natasha Culzac (11 October 2014). "Boko Haram releases 27 hostages including Deputy PM's wife, Cameroon says". The Independent. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
- "Boko Haram plans more attacks, recruits many young people". Vanguard. 8 August 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
- "'Islamist militants' kill 10 in northern Cameroon". BBC. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
- Haruna Umar (7 August 2014). "Boko Haram takes Nigeria town, resident says". Yahoo! News. Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "Cameroon receives 8,000 refugees fleeing Boko Haram in Nigeria". Nigerian Tribune. 13 July 2014. Archived from the original on 11 August 2014. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "Cameroon: Malnutrition Hits Children Arriving From Central African Republic". World Food Program. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "Nigerian overnight refugees worry Cameroon". IRIN. 24 December 2013. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- "UN agency, partners appeal for $34 million for Nigerian refugees". UN News Centre. 16 September 2014. Retrieved September 2014. Check date values in:
- "Boko Haram commander reportedly killed in clash with Nigerian forces". The Guardian. Associated Press. 13 September 2014. Retrieved September 2014. Check date values in:
- "Nigeria and neighbours hold talks on Boko Haram's rapid advance". The Guardian. Agence France-Presse. 3 September 2014. Retrieved September 2014. Check date values in:
- "Boko Haram kills scores in raid on Nigerian town". The Guardian. Reuters. 2 September 2014. Retrieved September 2014. Check date values in:
- "Hundreds flee homes in northern Nigeria as Boko Haram move in". The Guardian. Associated Press. 5 September 2014. Retrieved September 2014. Check date values in:
- Monica Mark (18 December 2014). "Women seized in Boko Haram raid on Nigerian village". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- "Nigerian military, Boko Haram agree immediate ceasefire". Premium Times. 17 October 2014. Retrieved October 2014. Check date values in:
- "Fears grow that Nigeria ceasefire won't secure girls' release amid fresh attacks". The Guardian. 18 October 2014. Retrieved October 2014. Check date values in:
- Lanre Ola (18 October 2014). "Suspected Boko Haram fighters mount deadly attacks after Nigeria 'ceasefire'". Reuters. Retrieved October 2014. Check date values in:
- Lanre Ola; Imma Ande (30 October 2014). "Thousands flee as Boko Haram seizes northeast Nigerian town". Reuters. Retrieved October 2014. Check date values in:
- Chris Johnston (1 November 2014). "Boko Haram denies it has agreed ceasefire". The Guardian. Retrieved November 2014. Check date values in:
- Charlie Cooper; Ralph Blackburn (3 November 2014). "Boko Haram leader appears in video ridiculing Nigerian government's ceasefire claims". The Independent. Retrieved November 2014. Check date values in:
- "Boko Haram militants 'seize Nigerian town of Chibok'". BBC News. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
- "Nigerian army retakes control of key Boko Haram town". The Telegraph. 16 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "Jihadism: Tracking a month of deadly attacks". BBC. 11 December 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- "Boko Haram Kano attack: Loss of life on staggering scale". BBC. 30 November 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- Ross, Will (3 December 2014) Boko Haram crisis: Among the vigilantes of north-east Nigeria BBC News, Africa. Retrieved 3 December 2014
- "Cameroon army kills 116 Boko Haram militants, defense ministry says". Reuters. 18 December 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- Tansa Musa (22 December 2014). "Cameroon army says dismantles Boko Haram training camp". Reuters. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- Tansa Musa (29 December 2014). "Cameroon says fights off Boko Haram attacks, kills 41 militants". Reuters. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- "Boko Haram seizes army base in Nigeria town of Baga". BBC News. 4 January 2015.
- "Boko Haram massacre thousands, says Amnesty International". Sydney Morning Herald. 10 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- "Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria estimates Baga deaths at 150". BBC News. 12 January 2015.
- Samer Muscati (10 June 2015). "Anatomy of a Boko Haram Massacre". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- "Nigerian general jailed over Boko Haram attack on Baga". BBC. 16 October 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- "Nigeria postpones elections, focuses on major offensive against Boko Haram". The Christian Science Monitor. AP. 7 February 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
- "NYT". Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- "Chadian jets bomb Nigerian town in anti-Boko Haram raid". News24. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
- "Boko Haram conflict: Nigerian allies launch offensive". BBC. 8 March 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- Penney, Joe (24 March 2015). "Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds in northern Nigeria town: residents". Reuters. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
- "Boko Haram HQ Gwoza in Nigeria 'retaken'". BBC. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- Michelle Faul and Haruna Umar (28 March 2015). "Boko Haram kills 41 as millions of Nigerians vote in close presidential election". Associated Press. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- Ewokor, Chris (21 March 2015) Is the tide turning against Boko Haram? BBC News, Africa. Retrieved 29 April 2015
- (27 March 2015) Boko Haram HQ Gwoza in Nigeria 'retaken' BBC News, Africa. Retrieved 29 April 2015
- (29 April 2015) Nigerian army 'rescues nearly 300' from Sambisa Forest BBC News, Africa. Retrieved 29 April 2015
- (14 April 2015) Nigeria's Chibok girls 'seen with Boko Haram in Gwoza' BBC News, Africa. Retrieved 29 April 2015
- Lodge, Carey. "Nigeria: at least 5,000 Catholics killed by Boko Haram", [Christian Today], London, 13 May 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
- "Boko Haram guns down 97 people praying in mosques in Nigeria". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- "Boko Haram claims June suicide bombings in Chad capital". Yahoo! News. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- Nako, Madjiasra; Ngarmbassa, Moumine (11 July 2015). "Suicide bomber in burqa kills 15 people in Chad capital". Reuters. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "Chad to arrest women wearing full-face veil after deadly suicide bombing in the capital". The Independent. 14 July 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
- "Nigeria Opposition Leader Vows to Improve Security". VOA. 12 December 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- "DHQ: Nigerian Troops Have Destroyed All Boko Haram Camps". This Day Live. 10 September 2015. Archived from the original on 13 September 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
- "Nigeria Boko Haram: Militants 'technically defeated' - Buhari". BBC News. 24 December 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
- "Boko Haram 'crushed' by Nigerian army in final forest stronghold". The Independent. 24 December 2016. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
- "Nigeria's Boko Haram crisis: Maiduguri blasts kill dozens". BBC. 21 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
- KAYODE IDOWU AND GODWIN ISENYO (23 September 2015). "Boko Haram kills 27 in fresh Monguno bombing". Punch. Archived from the original on 27 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
- AFP (21 October 2015). "20 shot dead by suspected Islamists in NE Nigeria: locals". Yahoo. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- AFP (23 October 2015). "Mosque blasts kill 55 in NE Nigeria". Yahoo. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
- "One killed as suspected Boko Haram female suicide bombers strike in Nigeria". ABC. 24 October 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
- "Nigerian military: 338 captives rescued from Boko Haram". Philadelphia Sun. Associated Press. 30 October 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- "Boko Haram: Nigerian army rescues 338 captives". BBC. 28 October 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- Julian Barnes (29 October 2015). "Boko Haram Has Lost Territory in Nigeria, U.S. General Says". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- AFP (26 December 2015). "Boko Haram kill at least 14 in Christmas Day attack in Nigeria". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
- Aminu Abubakar and Briana Duggan (29 December 2015). "Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria leave 52 dead". CNN. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
- Ibrahim Sawab (28 December 2015). "Suspected Boko Haram Attacks Kill Scores in Nigeria". New York Times. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
- "Nigerian army repels Boko Haram attack near state capital: witnesses". Reuters. 27 December 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
- "At least 48 killed in bombings in north Nigeria". Reuters. 28 December 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
- "Boko Haram claims Abuja bombings". Yahoo News. 5 October 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "October 1 Tragedy: Boko Haram strikes in Adamawa, slaughters 5". Premium Times. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- Iro Dan Fulani (18 October 2015). "Boko Haram storms Adamawa village, kills 12". Premium Times. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- Daji Sani (20 October 2015). "30 Members of Boko Haram Killed in Adamawa". This Day. Archived from the original on 21 October 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- IBRAHIM ABDULAZIZ (21 October 2015). "Nigerian troops, hunters kill 150 Boko Haram extremists". Yahoo. Archived from the original on 22 October 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- "Suicide bombers kill 42 in 2 northeast Nigerian mosques; Boko Haram blamed". Chicago Tribune. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
- Emmanuel Ande (17 November 2015). "Blast at market in northeastern Nigeria's Yola kills 32". Reuters. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- "Suicide bombing in Nigeria blamed on Boko Haram extremists". PBS. 18 November 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- "15 Killed in Nigeria Suicide Bombing". VOA. 7 October 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- COLONEL SANI KUKASHEKA USMAN (7 October 2015). "Nigerian Troops Claim They Killed 100 Boko Haram Militants In Yobe". Sahara Reporters. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "Nigeria Army Repels Boko Haram Attack". VOA. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- Sami Aboudi (28 November 2015). "Boko Haram claims responsibility for Kano suicide bomb: SITE". Reuters. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
- "Cameroon repels Boko Haram attack, says 143 militants killed". Yahoo News. 12 January 2015.
- "BBC News – Boko Haram 'in Cameroon kidnappings'". BBC News.
- Pius Lukong (19 October 2015). "Cameroon Says Army Kills 10 Boko Haram Fighters in Far North". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- WARREN STROBEL (14 October 2015). "Obama sends U.S. troops, drones to Cameroon in anti-Boko Haram fight". Reuters. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- Jen Judson (20 October 2015). "US Sending Troops, Vehicles To Cameroon To Combat Boko Haram". Defense News. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- "Cameroon army drives Boko Haram militants back across northern border". Reuters. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
- AFP (24 October 2015). "Boko Haram Jihadists Briefly Seize Town on Cameroon Border". NDTV. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
- "Boko Haram Militants Kill 8 Villagers In Cameroun". Channels. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
- AFP (23 October 2015). "Boko Haram seizes town on Cameroon-Nigeria border: security sources". Yahoo. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
- Sylvain Andzongo (9 November 2015). "UPDATE 1-Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers kill three Nigerian refugees in Cameroon". Reuters. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- Sylvain Andzongo (21 November 2015). "Female suicide bombers in Cameroon attack that kills eight". Reuters. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- Ngala Kilian Chimtom (29 November 2015). "11 killed in two Boko Haram attacks in Cameroon". CNN. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
- "Boko Haram crisis: Cameroon troops 'free 900 hostages'". BBC. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
- "Cameroon says no missing girls among freed Boko Haram hostages". Reuters. 7 December. Retrieved 9 December 2015. Check date values in:
- AFP (6 October 2015). "11 Chadian soldiers killed in Boko Haram attack: army". Business Standard. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers kill 33 in Chad". Reuters. 10 October 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- AFP (1 November 2015). "Lake Chad clashes leave 14 Boko Haram members dead: government". Yahoo. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- Madjiasra Nako (1 November 2015). "Two soldiers, 11 suspected Boko Haram fighters killed in Chad attacks". Reuters. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- Madjiasra Nako (18 November 2015). "Chad extends state of emergency over Boko Haram attacks". Reuters. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
- M. Nako (5 December 2015). "Triple suicide blast kills around 30 people in Lake Chad". Reuters. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
- "Boko Haram fighters kill at least 15 in Niger village raid: sources". Reuters. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- "Suspected Boko Haram suicide attack kills two Niger soldiers". Reuters. 21 October 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- "Boko Haram fighters kill two Niger soldiers, wound four in ambush". Reuters. 2 October 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "3 suicide bombers killed before attack in Niger". The Cable. 6 October 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "Several dead in twin suicide bombings in Niger's Diffa". Al Jazeera. 5 October 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- Abdoulaye Massalaki (12 November 2015). "Around 25 dead in Boko Haram raid in Niger, clashes with army". Reuters. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- Reuters (12 November 2015). "Boko Haram Village Raid, Clashes With Niger Army Leave 25 Dead". NBC. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- AFP (26 November 2015). "Boko Haram attack kills 18 in southeast Niger". Yahoo. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- Abdoulaye Massalaki (26 November 2015). "Niger says Boko Haram gunmen kill 18 in village bordering Nigeria". Reuters. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- Niger: UN expert on internally displaced persons to conduct first official visit
- Reuters Editorial (31 January 2016). "At least 65 people killed in attack in Nigeria's Maiduguri". Reuters. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- "Boko Haram blast kills scores in Nigeria's Maiduguri". Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- Allen, Nathaniel (2016-09-22). "Charting Boko Haram's Rapid Decline". War on the Rocks. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
- "Boko Haram in Nigeria: Abu Musab al-Barnawi named as new leader". BBC News. 3 August 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
- "Boko Haram's Shekau vows to fight IS group rival for leadership". France 24. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- "Behind Boko Haram's Split: A Leader Too Radical for Islamic State". Wall Street Journal. 15 September 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "Behind Boko Haram's Split: A Leader Too Radical for Islamic State". Wall Street Journal. 15 September 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016.(subscription required)
- "Nigerian Army Commander: Only Weeks Left for Boko Haram". Asharq al-Awsat. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
- "Boko Haram Is Increasingly Using Children In Suicide Attacks". NBC News. Reuters. 12 April 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
- "'Alarming' rise in Boko Haram child suicide bombers". Aljazeera. 12 April 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
- "Buhari speaks on abducted Dapchi schoolgirls - Premium Times Nigeria". Premium Times Nigeria. Premium Times Nigeria. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
- "Boko Haram Recent Attacks" (PDF). National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.
- "Fact Sheet – Boko Haram: Nigeria's Islamist Group". ClarionProject.org.
- "Are Boko Haram Worse Than ISIS?". Conflict News. Archived from the original on 17 March 2015.
- "Global Terrorism Index 2014" (PDF). Institute for Economics and Peace. p. 53. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- "Al-Qaeda map: Isis, Boko Haram and other affiliates' strongholds across Africa and Asia". 12 June 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- Kathleen Caulderwood (16 May 2014). "Fake Charities, Drug Cartels, Ransom and Extortion: Where Islamist Group Boko Haram Gets Its Cash". International Business Times. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
- Ogundipe, Taiwo (29 January 2012). "Tracking the sect's cash flow". The Nation. Archived from the original on 13 June 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- "Boko Haram's Bin Laden Connection". The Daily Beast.
- "Abduction of Girls an Act Not Even Al Qaeda Can Condone". The New York Times. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
- "Security Council Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee". United Nations.
- "UN adds Boko Haram to al Qaeda sanctions list". longwarjournal.org.
- "How to help Nigerians defeat Boko Haram". Los Angeles Times. 15 January 2015.
- "Boko Haram voices support for ISIS' Baghdadi". English.alarabiya.net. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
- Tim Cocks (9 May 2014). "Boko Haram exploits Nigeria's slow military decline". Reuters. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- Jacob, J.U.U.; Akpan, I (2015). "Silencing Boko Haram: Mobile Phone Blackout and Counterinsurgency in Nigeria's Northeast region. Stability: International". Journal of Security and Development. 4 (1): 8. doi:10.5334/sta.ey.
- Oscar Nkala (29 July 2014). "Nigeria tops world terror attack fatality list". defenseWeb. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Felix Onuoh (17 February 2014). "Nigeria Islamists better armed, motivated than army: governor". Reuters. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- Ed Cropley and David Lewis (12 March 2015). "Nigeria drafts in foreign mercenaries to take on Boko Haram". Reuters.
- Julian E. Barnes (29 October 2015). "Boko Haram Has Lost Territory in Nigeria, U.S. General Says". The Wall Street Journal.
- "New Zealand designates Boko Haram as a terrorist group". New Zealand Government. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
- "Proscribed Terrorist Organisations" (PDF). Home Office. 20 June 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 August 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- "Daily Hansard — Debate 10 July". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- "Foreign Terrorist Organizations". Bureau of Counterterrorism, United States Department of State. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Currently listed entities, Public Safety Canada". Retrieved 8 January 2014.
- "Security Council Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee Adds Boko Haram to Its Sanctions List". Retrieved 8 January 2014.
- "Listed terrorist organisations, Australian National Security". Retrieved 8 January 2014.
- "UAE publishes list of terrorist organisations". Archived from the original on 17 November 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
- Glenn Kessler (May 19, 2014). "Boko Haram: Inside the State Department debate over the 'terrorist' label". Washington Post.
- Josh Rogin, Hillary's State Department Refused to Brand Boko Haram as Terrorists, Daily Beast (May 7, 2014).
- "Letter to Secretary Clinton from Nigeria Scholars". 2012-05-21. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
- "Boko Haram FTO letter to Clinton" (PDF).
- "Terrorist Designations of Boko Haram and Ansaru". U.S. Department of State. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- "A bill to impose sanctions against persons who knowingly provide material support or resources to Boko Haram or its affiliates, associated groups, or agents, and for other purposes" (PDF). U.S. Congress. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "Boko Haram: Emerging Threat to the U.S. Homeland" (PDF). United States House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. 2011.
- "A Stable and Secure Nigeria: An Asset to America". Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Washington, D.C. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
- "Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria fury over U.S. arms refusal". BBC News. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
- Eric Schmidt (31 December 2014). "With Schoolgirls Taken by Boko Haram Still Missing, U.S.-Nigeria Ties Falter". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- Jeff Schogol; Joe Gould (1 December 2014). "Nigeria ends U.S. mission to counter Boko Haram". Navy Times. Archived from the original on 1 December 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
- "Nigeria cancels US military training to fight Boko Haram". Daily Mail. AFP. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
- "U.S. directs up to $45 million to support countries fighting Boko Haram". Reuters. 24 September 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- Barack Obama (14 October 2015). "Letter From The President-- War Powers Resolution Regarding Cameroon". The White House. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- "Minister: Military Alliance Vs. Boko Haram Readies". ABC News. Associated Press. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
- "Cameroon minister: 5-nation military force against Boko Haram to be operational within weeks". Fox News.
- "W. African Leaders Consider New Force to Fight Boko Haram". VOA.
- "China pledges help to Nigeria's hunt for Boko Haram militants". South China Morning Post. 8 May 2014.
- "France, African states 'declare war' on Boko Haram". Haaretz. 18 May 2014.
- Talatu Usman, "Boko Haram: Obasanjo leads Colombian security experts to Buhari", Premium Times, 12 October 2015.
- "In Pictures: Lt. General Buratai visits Colombia | The NEWS". Thenewsnigeria.com.ng. 2016-01-25. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
- Andrés Garcia, "Comandante del Ejército de Nigeria Visita Colombia para compartir experiencias" (Spanish), Minuto 30, 25 January 2016.
- Alexander Thurston, Boko Haram: The History of an African Jihadist Movement Princeton University Press, 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Boko Haram.|
|Wikinews has news related to:|
- Diffa/Niger : Attacks by Boko Haram (as of 04 October 2015)
- "Boko Haram: Its Beginnings, Principles and Activities in Nigeria" (PDF). Kano, Nigeria: Islamic Studies Department, University of Bayero.
- Counter Extremism Project profile
- "Silencing Boko Haram: Mobile Phone Blackouts and Counterinsurgency in Nigeria's Northeast Region" by Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob & Idorenyin Akpan (March 2015)
- National Geographic, March 2015 How Northern Nigeria's Violent History Explains Boko Haram