resume writers philadelphia pa
resume writing services nassau county ny map
resume writing services long island
thesis writers in chennai tamilnadu
helping students write a thesis statement
cv cover letter writing service
professional resume writing service new york
cover letter customer service supervisor
university essay help toronto
is homework harmful or helpful pros and cons
discount resume services atlanta gas
professional resume writing services in alexandria va weather
resume service london ontario weather
professional resume writers in new york city
help with algebra 2 homework
need help with homework social studies
cheap colored cardstock paper
essay writing on old customs
research proposal writing service uk daily mail
resume writing services beaverton oregon county
buy paper bags online ireland visa
write my essay service electric cable
need help in history homework family tree
professional resume writers kent wang
i need help with my assignment expert
how to create custom paper in noteshelf
how does homework help students learn
essay writers uk reviews
where to buy homework
homework help biology high school
paperback writer chords lyrics beatles twist
the bishop orders his tomb essay
executive resume writing service uk national lottery
malaysia assignment helper klfy
cover letter for cashier customer service
dissertation writers inland empire
essay writer com
college accounting homework help sites
uc davis personal statement help graduate
cover letter help nursing resume
resume writers in san antonio
key worker homebuy
engineering lab report help
writemyessays
la times science current events kids homework help
buy an argumentative essays for middle school
resume writing services pune mh
essay papers service
custom thesis navigation menu buttons
resume professional writers in cleveland
cover letter to customer about increase price
ghostwriter dissertation erfahrungen synonym
help with writing graduate papers on cyber
buy college paperss online stopwatch
cover letter helping others
cover letter for teacher librarian services
is homework harmful or helpful facts about plants
assignment writing service ireland
professional resume writers in dallas texas
borderline personality disorder case study paper
buy kraft paper bags online
body paragraph academic essay writers
professional resume writers in long island ny zip code
buy ib past papers online
custom paper coffee cups for weddings
argumentative essay is homework helpful or harmful
essays on birth order and personality
cheap college term papers
executive resume writers atlanta ga map
essay writing service student room cambridge
thesis statement military service
order of a biology lab report
write my term paper reviews
curriculum vitae writing services melbourne realtor
essay on a service of love by o henrys restaurant
custom euro paper bags
resume writing services in rockford il
buy baking paper online india
buying essay online safe
resume writing services west hartford ct public schools
essay help on romeo and juliet thesis
buying a bike without papers
cover letter for retail buyer position
customer service sales clerk cover letter
how to write a service learning reflection paper
college essay ghost writer
homework help with idioms
homework help on youtube
what to do when you need help on homework
paper cakes game help
essays on student and social service
buy essay papers online
resume writing services lincoln ne weather
primary homework help tutankhamun
purchase college essays online
buy essays online cheap uk holidays
papers writers
a manual for writers of term papers theses and dissertations 8th edition
custom paper sacks
research paper process order definition
essay writing service wikipedia
professional essay writers in uk united
essay about self help is the best help with back
resume services in utah
georgetown admissions essay 2013
custom paper ribbon
buy paper egg cartons by the case
woodlands junior homework help geography quiz
resume service in los angeles
write my paper money price
personal statement help for teaching
best resume writing service online
narrative essay unforgettable memory
assignment help in uae
resume help kansas city mo school
benefit of national service essay
custom essay writing uk phone
same day custom essays service
buy writing paper nz
what shall i write in my cover letter
resume writing service chicago il attractions
professional essay writing service
dissertation binding service sheffield wednesday
report writing for the community services by diana mcaleers office
assignment help mba
professional resume writing services nashville tn time
resume writing services vermont craigslist
thesis service innovation
papers help mack
is buying an essay plagiarism detection
help with thesis writing ireland
mla research paper work citing help
entry level cover letter help
best sites to buy essays uk
phd dissertation writing services
help me in essay writing
homework help columbus library hilliard
buy paper bags india online
essay help uk playstation
professional resume writers jacksonville fl
help homework hotline
paper bag writer radiohead album covers
essay about community service
is buying a dissertation safelite
resume writing service orlando fl
thesis statement for help
university essays buying
does homework help statistics
best resume writing services 2012 movies
help with homework geometry
phd thesis writing services in delhi india
best professional curriculum vitae writing services
personal statement customer service role
i need help with my personal statement for college
the great gatsby essay help
buying paper for collections
buy a personal statement uk
essay about an unforgettable day in my life
help writing an argumentative essay introduction
best resume writing services india
customized paper cocktail napkins
finance homework helper for kids
university of maryland essay help
term papers for sale plagiarism detection
music to help you write a paper
legitimate research paper writing service
buy jyj music essay album art
resume services in boston
professional resume writer long island ny
professional essay writers indiana
help for homework on history oliver
resume writing services western sydney
resume writing services in south delhi public school
graduate paper writing services
paper mache to buy uk
Home Discussion Papers Conflict & Terrorism Nigeria’s Boko Haram: The emerging threat expanding
Nigeria’s Boko Haram: The emerging threat expanding
Written by Annette Theron (1) Monday, 18 July 2011 00:05

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of Islamic sects in Nigeria. Groups such as the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, the Boko Haram (the Nigerian Taliban), the Kala-Kato, and the Tariqqa group have been seeking political and religious changes in the country. Two specific groups are the cause of large internal conflict. In the southeast, there is the conflict in the Niger Delta and, in the northeast, there is Boko Haram.

Boko Haram is of special note, as the group has been growing in scale and has been intensifying their activities. This is why some consider the group as an emerging threat in Nigeria. Others have already identified the group as a threat and emphasise the recognition of the growing menace that this group presents. This paper, therefore, assesses the development, ideology, and activities of this sect to determine whether it is in fact a large-scale threat or simply acting in isolated events that are the result of the situation in Nigeria.

Boko Haram

The current situation in Nigeria has been in development since British control of the state in 1903, as there has been resistance among the area's Muslims to Western education, while civil wars created economic hardship in the country.(2) Since then, the actions of several separatist movements have been set against this state of affairs, while simultaneously shaking the country’s integrity, and thus adding insecurity to the situation.(3) In reaction to this, another organisation developed; the Sahaba group, which was created in 1995. Yet when the leader Abubakar Lawan left to study at the University of Medina, the leadership was conceded to Mohammed Yusuf, who was a young and versatile man.(4) Yusuf, a charismatic Muslim cleric, changed the doctrine of the sect in 2002 and formed Boko Haram. Boko Haram is now an Islamic sect, based largely in the northeast part of Nigeria. The group is based on a fundamentalist ideology, which rejects the legitimacy of the Nigerian state, insists on an Islamist state, and rejects Western education.(5)

In fact, the name, Boko Haram, given to the group by residents in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, where the group has its headquarters, loosely translated means “Western education is forbidden.”(6) The group's official name is Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, which in Arabic means "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad."(7) Boko Haram promotes a version of Islam, which forbids Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western society. Yusuf has described his group as non-militants - a group of youths who are bent on upholding the words of Allah. Yet the group has also stated, and shown, their willingness to die for an Islamic state and educational system.(8) It is this dedication that makes this group such a threat.

Until recently, the Boko Haram’s trademark has been the use of gunmen on motorbikes. Yet there has been a clear shift in the group’s activities. From gunmen on motorbikes, their activities recently have escalated to another level. It seems that of all the separatist groups operating in Nigeria, the Boko Haram is the most daring and expanding rapidly.(9) It is this intensifying and growth that make the group a possible developing threat, and makes it harder to predict what the group will or will not achieve in the future.

Identifying the emerging threat

Boko Haram has, until recently, focused their activities in the far northeast of the country. However, as mentioned, since 2009, the sect has gradually increased the sphere and range of their activities. The police have been Boko Haram's main target, but they have also bombed churches and assassinated Islamic clerics.(10) These assaults started in 2009 when Boko Haram carried out attacks on police stations and other Government buildings in Maiduguri, which eventually led to shoot-outs in the streets. Hundreds of Boko Haram supporters were killed and thousands of residents fled the city.(11) When the Nigerian security forces finally seized the group's headquarters, capturing its fighters and killing Yusuf, this round of violence ended. Yet, in spite of the loss of leadership, later that year another uprising followed, with the loss of more civilian lives. Since then, Boko Harem has been involved in more bombings, assassinations and armed attacks, targeting police officers, Government officials and religious leaders in Nigeria's north.(12)

Then, on 26 June 2011, Boko Haram detonated bombs and indiscriminately shot revellers at a beer garden in Maiduguri, killing 25 people and wounding 30 others. Later, another 10 people were killed in a car bombing in the city.(13) These attacks are believed to be Nigeria's first suicide bombings, which indicate another development in the group’s activities. The attack also notably came less than 24 hours after the Inspector General of the Police declared that Boko Haram's days were "numbered."(14) The bomb attack by Boko Haram in the capital, Abuja, has raised questions about Nigeria's ability to defend itself, while showing the group’s determination. Having long regarded the Islamist sect as a localised problem, security sources have told BBC News that they now believe the radical Islamist group to be receiving training and expertise from outside Nigeria.(15) Spokesman for Boko Haram, Usman Alzawahiri, has said that Boko Haram personnel had returned from training in Somalia, and have been scattered throughout the north, preparing for intensified attacks.(16) This warning, along with the clear development of the group, has been a troubling expansion for many. It points towards Boko Haram developing from a marginal, violent and radical Islamic sect, into an insurrection that seems to have more widespread support, in spite of their violent means. It also shows that the group is capable of operating in more regions than just the north, by using increasing violent means.

Increasing risk presented, the expanding threat 

These activities have caused upheaval and devastation, and will continue to do so as the threat they pose is unlikely to disappear in a poverty-stricken northern Nigeria. Especially not with a large part of the population against the political and social influence of the West.(17) The roots of the problem are not only religion-oriented, but also tie into the country’s economic hardships and unemployment, as well as into alienation from the central Government.(18) This includes the incapability and lack of political will of the Government to handle these groups, which has allowed the spread and resurgence of Boko Haram, as they question the state’s capabilities. Due to the combination of religious revivalism and weak governance, there has been an uprising and growth of religious sects.  
 
Nonetheless, of all factors that promote the activities of such terrorist groups, religion still seems to be the most prominent; the group has even been called Nigeria’s version of Osama bin-Laden’s al-Qaeda. There is also a possibility that these groups have received some form of support or have been influenced by a global jihadist movement. One could point to the fact that the organisation is still growing in spite of the death of its leader and several supporters during previous movements. Religious ties have the ability to act as motivation and rationale for insurgencies. Yet, despite Boko Haram's recent claims to ties with violent Islamists in Somalia, security analysts say the group remains a home-grown insurgency with decidedly internal aims, at least for now.(19) It is this dedication that has made the group a threat, two years ago.

Nigerian security forces are cracking down on the militant Islamic group Boko Haram. Nigerian authorities and analysts say the extremist group, once confined to the country's northeast, is becoming a nationwide security threat.(20) Many politicians believe that the solution lies in the adoption of a “carrot and stick” approach; giving people jobs and peace, while those against peace are punished. Thus far, the Government has responded against Boko Haram’s activities by imposing a curfew on the national capital city and restricting the parking of vehicles on certain roads. This is part of "Operation Flush", the Nigerian authorities' attempt to clamp down on the Islamist sect. So far, the operation has not proven successful.(21) President Goodluck Jonathan's much vaunted "carrot and stick" solution has not proven to hold any promise for Boko Haram members. Analysts believe the threat will disappear only if the Nigerian Government manages to reduce the region's chronic poverty and build an education system, which gains the support of local Muslims.(22)

Concluding remarks

Boko Haram’s development since 2009 shows a worrying trend. The group has not been hampered by the death of their charismatic leader or by the death of several followers. In spite of this, the group has been winning support from more people and has shown their ability to operate in more regions and to also intensify their activities. This intensification has included the death of anyone attempting to stop them such as the police or religious leaders, which highlights the need for a solution to the issues that lead to uprisings or even a way to stop this group. However, thus far, the Government has been unable to find any viable solutions for this threat.

The presence of a group such as Boko Haram in the country is dangerous for the state itself and also for the West African sub-region. The problems and effects of these issues in Nigeria will soon spread out to neighbouring states or even encourage similar movements in the region. It would seem that the group is a clear, undeniable threat in the country. The threat has been identified by many in 2009 already, and it would seem that events in 2011 support the idea that the group is expanding and developing, making them a growing danger that Nigeria and the neighbouring regions face. Conflict will be inevitable if a solution is not found soon. Until the group reaches their goal of overthrowing the Nigerian Government, a new host of problems has been brought to the country. 

NOTES:

(1) Contact Annette Theron through Consultancy Africa Intelligence's Conflict and Terrorism Unit ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).
(2) Chothia, F., ‘Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists?’, BBC African Service, 17 June 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk
(3) Bokor, M.J.K., ‘Opinion: Boko Haram’s Terrorism does not threaten only Nigeria,’ My Joy, 1 July 2011, http://news.myjoyonline.com.
(4) Sani, S., ‘Boko Haram: The Nothern Nigeria (Hausalnd)’, Special Report, 1 July 2011, http://www.vanguardngr.com.
(5) Ekine, A., ‘Boko haram – Nigeria’s New National Crisis?’, Pambazuka News, 23 June 2011, http://www.pambazuka.org.
(6) Chothia, F., ‘Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists?’, BBC African Service, 17 June 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk
(7) Ibid.   
(8) Sani, S., ‘Boko Haram: The Nothern Nigeria (Hausalnd)’, Special Report, 1 July 2011, http://www.vanguardngr.com.
(9) Chothia, F., ‘Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists?’, BBC African Service, 17 June 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk; Bokor, M.J.K., ‘Opinion: Boko Haram’s Terrorism does not threaten only Nigeria,’ My Joy, 1 July 2011, http://news.myjoyonline.com.
(10) Fisher, J., ‘Are Nigeria’s Boko Haram getting foreign backing?’, BBC News, 21 June 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk.
(11) Chothia, F., ‘Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists?’, BBC African Service, 17 June 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk
(12) Look, A., ‘Nigeria’s Boko Haram threatens broader attacks’, VOA News, 20 June 2011, http://www.voanews.com.
(13) Bokor, M.J.K., ‘Opinion: Boko Haram’s Terrorism does not threaten only Nigeria,’ My Joy, 1 July 2011, http://news.myjoyonline.com.
(14) Look, A., ‘Nigeria’s Boko Haram threatens broader attacks’, VOA News, 20 June 2011, http://www.voanews.com.
(15) Fisher, J., ‘Are Nigeria’s Boko Haram getting foreign backing?’, BBC News, 21 June 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk.
(16) Look, A., ‘Nigeria’s Boko Haram threatens broader attacks’, VOA News, 20 June 2011, http://www.voanews.com.
(17) Chothia, F., ‘Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists?’, BBC African Service, 17 June 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk.
(18) Look, A., ‘Nigeria’s Boko Haram threatens broader attacks’, VOA News, 20 June 2011, http://www.voanews.com.
(19) Ibid.
(20) Ibid.
(21) Fisher, J., ‘Are Nigeria’s Boko Haram getting foreign backing?’, BBC News, 21 June 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk.
(22) Chothia, F., ‘Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists?’, BBC African Service, 17 June 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk

 

Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Plaxo

Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner