Small Wars Journal

Waging War in Nigeria, and Seeking New Battlegrounds

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 5:13pm

Explaining Boko Haram, Nigeria’s Islamist Insurgency - New York Times

Boko Haram is an Islamist extremist group responsible for dozens of massacres of civilians in its five-year insurgency in Nigeria, including the brazen kidnapping last month of more than 250 schoolgirls and the abduction, reported Tuesday, of 11 more teenagers.

The kidnappings are the latest assault by the insurgent group, which has terrorized local populations and regularly engages the Nigerian military in bloody combat with the aim of destabilizing and ultimately overthrowing the government and establishing an Islamic caliphate in its place.

The State Department’s annual report on terrorism around the globe, issued last month, estimated that the group’s members ranged from “the hundreds to a few thousand.” The report warned that “the number and sophistication of BH’s attacks are concerning,” and that Boko Haram had increasingly crossed into neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger to “evade pressure and conduct operations.”…

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