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Boko Haram. Overview Background of Boko Haram 2009 Uprising Leadership Areas of Operation & Factions Malian Conflict & State of Emergency Foreign Terrorist.

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Presentation on theme: "Boko Haram. Overview Background of Boko Haram 2009 Uprising Leadership Areas of Operation & Factions Malian Conflict & State of Emergency Foreign Terrorist."— Presentation transcript:

1 Boko Haram

2 Overview Background of Boko Haram 2009 Uprising Leadership Areas of Operation & Factions Malian Conflict & State of Emergency Foreign Terrorist Organization Designation Tactics Abductions Al Qaeda Links? Future Implications

3 Boko Haram: Background Formed in 2002 in Maiduguri, Borno state Muslim cleric Mohammed Yusuf Official Arabic Name o Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad o “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad” Initially focused on opposing Western education o Boko Haram, “Western Education is Forbidden” Image Credit: BBC

4 Boko Haram: Background Established a religious complex o Mosque, Islamic school o Poor Muslim families Eventually became focused on establishing an Islamic state in Nigeria o School became recruiting ground Against any Western political or social activity o Voting in elections, wearing shirts and trousers, receiving secular education Fighters currently numbering in the hundreds to thousands

5 2009 Uprising Boko Haram carried out spate of attacks o Targeted government buildings and police stations in Maiduguri and Bauchi state Prompted shoot-outs on the streets in July 2009 o Hundreds of Boko Haram supporters killed o Residents fled Maiduguri Security forces seized Boko Haram’s headquarters Captured Boko Haram fighters and killed Yusuf Fighters regrouped under new leadership o Abubakar Shekau, current leader

6 Abubakar Shekau Born in Shekau village in Yobe state Late 30s to mid-40s Believed responsible for making Boko Haram more violent Not seen in public since the death of Yusuf o Emerges in videos and pictures online Met Yusuf through Mamman Nur o Nur masterminded August 2011 bombing of United Nations complex in Abuja Image Credit: AFP

7 Abubakar Shekau Fluent in Kanuri, Hausa and Arabic o Now adds English to his videos Does not communicate directly with foot soldiers o Communicates with select cell leaders Also serves as Boko Haram’s spiritual leader o Well-versed in theology U.S. offering $7 million for information about his location Image Credit: NY Post

8 Areas of Operation & Factions First confrontations with Nigerian security forces occurred in 2003 and 2004 o 2003: Compound located two miles from Niger o 2004: Near Gwoza in the Mandara Mountains along Cameroon border Boko Haram suffered losses o Sent members to the Sahel, Sudan, Pakistan and Afghanistan to receive funds 2009 death of Yusuf o Boko Haram members fled to Nigeria’s border region, the Sahel, Somalia, Chad and Sudan

9 Areas of Operation & Factions 2010 to 2012 o Boko Haram based in Maiduguri and northeastern region of Nigeria o Other members received training from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and al-Shabaab and established cells in northwestern Nigeria Formation of Ansaru (northwestern cells) o Led by AQIM militant Khalid al-Barnawi o Specialized in sophisticated bombings, “hallmarks of al Qaeda” o Boko Haram claimed all attacks until al-Barnawi led a cell that kidnapped an Italian and British engineer in March 2012 o Claimed the attack under “al Qaeda in the Lands Beyond the Sahel” o January 2012: Al-Barnawi formed Boko Haram off-shoot, Ansaru o Broke off from Boko Haram to protest killing of 186 Muslim civilians in Kano

10 Areas of Operation & Factions Kano remained under influence of Mamman Nur (UN headquarters attack mastermind) Second-in-command to Shekau o Received training from AQIM and al- Shabaab Attacked “un-Islamic” targets o UN headquarters o Plot on the U.S. ambassador in Abuja o Bombed motor parks in Kano and Abuja o More “transnational” than Shekau Image Credit:

11 2011 Attack on United Nations Headquarters August 26, 2011 Car bombing killed at least 21 people, 60 injured Headquarters for 400 UN employees o Unclear how many were in the building at the time Only attack against the West Image Credit: Reuters

12 Malian Conflict, Influence on Boko Haram Main Boko Haram shifted toward Borno state in 2013 French military intervention in Mali in January 2013 believed to have revitalized Boko Haram March to May 2013 o Members of Boko Haram, Ansaru and others who learned from militants in Mali launched attacks along Borno’s border with Niger and Cameroon o Mounted weapons on 4x4 vehicles, kidnapped government officials and relatives in exchange for ransoms of $10,000 to $300,000 o First time in Nigeria

13 State of Emergency in 3 Northeastern States In response to violence in early 2013, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan issued state of emergency in May Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states Boko Haram members left Maiduguri and retreated from northeastern Borno and Lake Chad to mountainous rural areas near Gwoza (southern Borno) Gwoza is located about 15 miles from Chibok where the schoolgirls were abducted Gwoza considered to be a Boko Haram stronghold now

14 Foreign Terrorist Organization Designation Boko Haram and Ansaru designated foreign terrorist organizations by the U.S. Department of State o November 2013 Boko Haram o Links to AQIM, responsible for killing thousands, targeted the UN headquarters Ansaru o Kidnapped and executed seven international construction workers Prohibits providing or attempting to provide material support

15 Tactics Armed militants storming cities/towns/villages on motorbikes o Kill police, politicians, anyone criticizing the insurgency o Armed with heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, night-vision goggles, satellite phones Bombings (planted/car/suicide) o Churches, bus stations, military barracks, restaurants Disguises o Often wear official military uniforms to trick their victims Snap road blocks o Increase in attacks on villagers and travelers since August 2013 Abductions

16 April 14 250+ schoolgirls taken from a school in Chibok, Borno state Reports that Boko Haram may have transferred girls to Cameroon, Chad and Central African Republic Image Credit: BBC

17 Abductions May 5 Boko Haram releases a video of Shekau Announcing the girls would be sold as “slaves in the market” May 12 Demanded the release of Boko Haram militants held in “Borno, Yobe, Kano, Kaduna, Enugu, Lagos and Abuja” in exchange for the girls Image Credit: NBC Image Credit: The Guardian

18 International Response to Abductions U.S. o Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support o 16 troops from Africa Command at U.S. embassy in Abuja working with FBI and intelligence teams to advise Nigeria’s security forces o 80 U.S. troops in Chad U.S., UK, France o Advisory team using aerial surveillance, satellite intercepts China o Vowed to help in the search Israel o Intelligence experts sent to Nigeria

19 International Response to Abductions Thursday, June 12 International meeting in London Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Aminu Bashi Wali Envoys from Benin, Chad, Cameroon, Niger UK, U.S., France, Canada, European Union Consider further measures to improve regional coordination

20 Recent Attacks Over 3,300 killed by Boko Haram so far this year April 14, Abuja o Bomb buried underground explodes at bus station in Nyanya suburb; 71 killed, 124 injured May 1, Abuja o Car bomb kills 19, injures 60 at bus station in Nyanya suburb May 6, Jos (central Nigeria) o Two bombings kill more than 120 people May 30, Gwoza (Borno state) o Emir of Gwoza killed June 2, Gwoza (Borno state) o Three villages raided, at least 200 people killed

21 Links to al Qaeda? Known links to AQIM and al- Shabaab in the past Remain locally focused o No signs of global focus Considered too extreme for al Qaeda brand o Killing of Muslim civilians o Kidnapping of young girls Abubakar Shekau stated Boko Haram’s aspirations of joining al Qaeda o No public response from al Qaeda leadership Image Credit: NPR

22 Implications No signs of violence abating o Attacks nearly a daily occurrence since abductions Kidnappings likely to continue o Another 20 women and three men abducted from Garkin Fulani settlement last Thursday Abductions could aid Boko Haram recruitment efforts o Raised the group’s international profile Increased international pressure o Boko Haram may seek to target Western interests in southern Nigeria or abroad Boko Haram has the ability to destabilize Nigeria for years to come

23 Questions? MSA Intel 212.509.1336 ext. 250

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