OSINT – Boko Haram

Also Known As: Nigerian Taliban; Jama’atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda’Awati Wal Jihad; Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad; People Committed to the Prophet’s Teachings for Propagation and Jihad; Sunni Group for Preaching and Jihad; “Western education is forbidden”

Description:  The United States designated Boko Haram as a FTO on November 14, 2013. The Islamic extremist group conducted terrorist activities in the Fulani-Hausa lands of northern Nigeria since 2009.

Targets: Key targets of Boko Haram include Nigerian and Cameroon military and civic personnel, U.N. targets of opportunity, and civilians, such as the 200 Chibok girls.

Activities: Boko Haram has executed numerous attacks against its targets, including cross border raids and bombings. Members of the group bombed the U.N. building in Abuja on August 26, 2011. In April 2014, Boko Haram abducted 200 girls from Chibok, leading to the #bringourgirlsback Twitter campaign, which has yet to secure their release. Boko Haram stepped up attacks in 2013-2014, and is managing to hold territory in northern Nigeria.

Diplomacy: Boko Haram’s leadership has a mutually beneficial relationship with AQ affiliates in the Horn of Africa, such as Al-Shabaab and AQIM. Boko Haram receives ideological guidance and best practices from the supporting actors.

Propaganda: Boko Haram’s charismatic leader, Abubakar Shekau, tends to put out monthly statements.

Strength: Estimates on the numbers of Boko Haram are shaky because of its transnational reach – numbers range from hundreds of cadre to thousands of sympathizers.

AO: Fulani-Hausa lands of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger

Funding and External Aid:  Boko Haram uses TNOC, such as ransoming hostages and bank robbing, to fund its operations, along with financial support from AQIM.

Boko Haram's AO, courtesy of the NCTC

Boko Haram’s AO, courtesy of the NCTC

Local News:

Daily Independent. Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

Daily Trust. Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

The Guardian. “National News.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

Leadership. Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

NTA News 24. “Archives.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

Punch. Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

Radio Nigeria. News.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

The Sun. Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

Tell. Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

This Day Live. Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

Vanguard. Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

Global Media:

Al Jazeera. Boko Haram.” Accessed December 28, 2014.

BBC. Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 26, 2014.

BBC. “Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists?” May 20, 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

CNN. Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

CNN.Nigeria’s Chibok girls: What’s happening?” November 6, 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

Foreign Affairs. “Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

Foreign Policy. “Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

The Guardian. “Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

NPR. Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

NYT. “Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

NYT. Explaining Boko Haram, Nigeria’s Islamist Insurgency.” November 10, 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

PBS Frontline. Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

Reuters. Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

START. Boko Haram Recent Attacks.” May 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

VICE News. “Al-Shabaab.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

VOA. Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

WaPo. “Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

Think Tanks / Academic:

AEI. “Boko Haram.” Accessed December 28, 2014.

Brookings. “Boko Haram.” Accessed December 28, 2014.

Brookings. “Boko Haram in Nigeria: The Way Forward.” May 14, 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

CFR. “Boko Haram.” October 7, 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

CFR. “Boko Haram: Origins, Challenges and Responses.” October 20, 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

CFR. “Nigeria Security Tracker.” Accessed December 28, 2014.

CRS. “Al Qaeda-Affiliated Groups: Middle East and Africa.” October 10, 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

CRS. “Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical Perspective, Global Presence, and Implications for U.S. Policy.” January 25, 2011. Accessed December 28, 2014.

CRS. “Nigeria’s Boko Haram: Frequently Asked Questions.” June 10, 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

CRS. “Nigeria: Current Issues and U.S. Policy.” November 15, 2013.  Accessed December 28, 2014.

CSIS. “Boko Haram.” Accessed December 28, 2014.

CTC. “Boko Haram.” Accessed December 28, 2014.

ICG. “Nigeria.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

Jihadology. “Boko Haram.” Accessed December 28, 2014.

SITE. “Boko Haram.” Accessed December 28, 2014.

TRAC. “Boko Haram.” Accessed December 28, 2014.

Government:

Defense Department. “Boko Haram.” Accessed December 28, 2014.

DIA. “Annual Threat Assessment.” February 11, 2014.

NCTC. “Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

State Department. “Boko Haram.” 2014. Accessed December 28, 2014.

State Department. “BOKO HARAM.” Chapter 6: Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Country Reports on Terrorism 2013.

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