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Audacity of the Boko Haram: Background, Analysis and Emerging Trend

NCJ Number
Security Journal Volume: 25 Issue: 2 Dated: April 2012 Pages: 134-151
Freedom C. Onuoha
Date Published
April 2012
18 pages
This article examines the emergence of a violent, extremist Islamic sect in Nigeria known as Boko Haram.
The last decade in Nigeria has witnessed the resurgence of several Islamic sects seeking political and religious reforms in the country. These groups include, among others, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, the Boko Haram (Nigerian Taliban), the Kala-Kato, the Darul-islam, the Ahmadiya Movement, the Khadiriyyha, Darika Shi'a Salafiya (or Izala), the Tijjaniya, and the Tariqqa group. Of these sects, the activities of the Boko Haram is one that is growing in scale and frequency. This article therefore focuses on the emerging threats posed by the Boko Haram sect. It probes into its historical evolutions, highlights its philosophy and ideologues and analyses its radicalization into a violent extremist movement. It contends that the sect's growing capacity to mount both 'low-scale' and 'lone' attacks demands that the Nigerian security forces and perhaps the international community begin to pay more attention to the emerging security challenge posed by this movement, in order to abort its possible transnational terrorist potential. (Published Abstract)