by A Walker · 2012 · Cited by 381 — known the world over as Boko Haram, is an extremist Islamic sect in Nigeria that has created havoc across the north of the country and in the capital, Abuja.

180 KB – 16 Pages

PAGE – 1 ============
ABOUT THE R EPO RTThe group Jama™atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda™Awati Wal Jihad, known the world over as Boko Haram, is an extremist Islamic sect in Nigeria that has created havoc across the north of the country and in the capital, Abuja. Its violent attacks on government offices, the United Nations, and churches threaten to destabilize the country. A range of conflicting narratives has grown up around Boko Haram, and the group™s origins, motivations, and future plans remain a matter of debate. This report addresses the questions stemming from these narratives and suggests how the group can be contained. The report is based on the author™s extensive research and reporting on Boko Haram. In March 2011, he conducted an interview with a senior member of the group in the city of Maiduguri, Nigeria, the center of Boko Haram™s area of influence. The report also draws on interviews with Nigerian journalists who have covered the group (and who asked to remain anonymous in this report) and on information provided to the author by other researchers working on Boko Haram. ABOUT THE A UTHO RAndrew Walker is a freelance journalist who has covered Nigeria since 2006. He lived in Nigeria for four years, working first at the Nigerian Daily Trust newspaper and then for the British Broadcasting Corporation™s news website. SPECI AL R EPO RT 308 JUNE 2012 CONTENT S Introduction 2 The History of Boko Haram 3 The Challenge of Defining Boko Haram 6 The Kidnapping of Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara 10 The Prospects of Negotiation with Boko Haram 11 Nigeria™s Security Tactics against Boko Haram 12 Conclusions 13Andrew Walker Boko Haram is an Islamic sect that believes politics in northern Nigeria has been seized by a group of corrupt, false Muslims. It wants to wage a war against them, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria generally, to create a fipurefl Islamic state ruled by sharia law. Since August 2011 Boko Haram has planted bombs almost weekly in public or in churches in Nigeria™s northeast. The group has also broadened its targets to include setting fire to schools. In March 2012, some twelve public schools in Maiduguri were burned down during the night, and as many as 10,000 pupils were forced out of education. Boko Haram is not in the same global jihadist bracket as Algeria™s al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or Somalia™s al Shabab. Despite its successful attack on the UN compound in Abuja in August 2011, Boko Haram is not bent on attacking Western interests. There have been no further attacks on international interests since that time. Following the failed rescue of hostages Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara in north -eastern Nigeria in March 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan played up the connections between the group and international terrorism. However, links between Boko Haram and the kidnappers are questionable. It is difficult to see how there can be meaningful dialogue between the government and the group. The group™s cell-like structure is open for factions and splits, and there would be no guarantee that someone speaking for the group is speaking for all of the members. Tactics employed by government security agencies against Boko Haram have been consis -tently brutal and counterproductive. Their reliance on extrajudicial execution as a tactic in fidealingfl with any problem in Nigeria not only created Boko Haram as it is known today, but also sustains it and gives it fuel to expand. The group will continue to attack softer targets in the northeast rather than international targets inside or outside Nigeria. It is also likely to become increasingly involved in the Jos crisis, where it will attack Christian indigenes of the north and try to push them out. Such a move would further threaten to destabilize the country™s stability and unity. Now that the group has expanded beyond a small number of mosques, radical reforms in policing strategy are necessary if there is to be any progress in countering the group. Wide -spread radical reform of the police is also long overdue throughout Nigeria. As a first step,

PAGE – 2 ============
2 jailing a number of police officers responsible for ordering human rights abuses might go some way to removing a key objection of the group. Nigeria has had a long and unfortunate history of communal conflicts and ethnoreligious violence. For example, in Plateau state, in Nigeria™s fimiddle belt,fl there have been many outbreaks of bloody violence between different communities since the return of democracy in 1999. There have also been riots in the urban centers of Kaduna and Kano, and for several decades there has been a simmering conflict in the Tafawa Balewa district of Bauchi. When viewed from outside, it can appear that these conflicts boil down to religious differ -ences, tensions between blocs of Muslim and Christian inhabitants. When one looks deeper, however, one finds that politicsŠmore precisely, control of government patronageŠis the primary cause of many of these conflicts. Election disputes have also led to breakdowns along Muslim and Christian lines, as was seen in the most recent polls in 2011, when youths went on the rampage in southern Kaduna state. When violence erupts in these circumstances, the genesis is usually in one group asserting control of the apparatus of government over another group or groups in a very heterogeneous and ethnically diverse part of Nigeria. There is also a history of Muslim sects growing in the cities of northern Nigeria. In the 1980s, for example, the Maitatsine sect, which heretically claimed Muhammad was not the messenger of Allah, established itself in the slums of Kano. The sect was wiped out very brutally, with women and children of the sect attacking heavily armed military and police forces with bows and arrows and knives. The group scattered and was fully eliminated over the course of a decade. A weakness in the institutions of politics and the security services has created a political situation where such threats to stability are not dealt with until violence is a certainty. Only when a politician in control of a state is convinced that such a threat cannot be bent to his advantage will he order any action be taken against it. Such is the weakness of security institutions; their only method of dealing with any such threat is with violence. Boko Haram was created under these circumstances. Boko Haram is an Islamic sect that believes northern politics has been seized by a group of corrupt, false Muslims. It wants to wage a war against them, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria generally, to create a fipurefl Islamic state ruled by sharia law. Since 2009 it has been driven by a desire for vengeance against politicians, police, and Islamic authorities for their role in a brutal suppression of the group that year. But the group has proved itself to be very adaptable, evolving its tactics swiftly and changing its targets at the behest of a charismatic leadership. The group leapt onto the world™s agenda in August 2011, when it bombed the United Nations compound in Abuja, killing twenty-three people. Some observ -ers say Boko Haram has reached out to find allies in other global jihadist movements in the Sahel. The speed at which the group developed the capability to produce large and effective improvised explosive devices and enlist suicide bombers to deliver them suggests outside help. But thus far there remains no evidence to say the group™s intentions are to confront and attack Western interests inside or outside Nigeria. A much more likely development is that the group will continue to attack soft civilian targets, widen its war against the influence of corrupt authorities, and include itself in the ongoing conflict in Plateau state. Boko Haram, along with many other groups in northern Nigeria, believes that Plateau governor Jonah Jang is responsible for a campaign of fiethnic cleansingfl against Hausa and Fulani people. There have been many outbreaks of violence perpetrated by people on both sides. Recently there has been a spate of suicide attacks on churches, for which Boko Haram is suspected. The views expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Institute of Peace, which does not advocate specific policy positions. To request permission to photocopy or reprint materials, e-mail: ABOUT THE INSTITUTE The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan institution established and funded by Congress. Its goals are to help prevent and resolve violent conflicts, promote postconflict peacebuilding, and increase conflict management tools, capacity, and intellectual capital world -wide. The Institute does this by empowering others with knowledge, skills, and resources, as well as by its direct involvement in conflict zones around the globe. BOAR D OF DIRECTO RS (Vice Chairman), Adjunct Professor of Former Assistant to the President and Deputy National Secu – Hertog Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, Johns Hopkins President, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human President, Quality Care Consultants, Graham H. Stuart Professor Former Executive Director of the National Council Professor, Executive Vice Executive Vice President, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights MEMBERS EX O FFICI O Assistant Secretary of State for Acting President, National Defense President, United States Institute of Peace (nonvoting)

PAGE – 3 ============
3If the group escalates its attacks on northern Christians and appropriates the conflict in Plateau, the results could have very serious implications for the unity of the country. The government of Goodluck Jonathan has called on the United States and the United King -dom to help it in its fight against Boko Haram. But extreme caution must be advised, as what might appear to be a little filocal difficultyfl might hide a growing rift between north and south. Boko Haram™s origins lie in a group of radical Islamist youth who worshipped at the Alhaji Muhammadu Ndimi Mosque in Maiduguri a decade ago. In 2002, an offshoot of this youth group (not yet known as Boko Haram) declared the city and the Islamic establishment to be intolerably corrupt and irredeemable. The group declared it was embarking on hijra (a withdrawal along the lines of the Prophet Muhammad™s withdrawal from Mecca to Medina). It moved from Maiduguri to a village called Kanama, Yobe state, near the border with Niger, to set up a separatist community run on hard-line Islamic principles. Its leader, Mohammed Ali, espoused antistate ideology and called on other Muslims to join the group and return to a life under fitruefl Islamic law, with the aim of making a more perfect society away from the corrupt establishment. In December 2003, following a community dispute regarding fishing rights in a local pond, the group got into a conflict with the police. Group members overpowered a squad of officers and took their weapons. This confrontation led to a siege of its mosque by the army that lasted into the New Year. The siege ended in a shootout in which most of the group™s seventy members were killed, including Mohammed Ali. The group had gained press attention in Nigeria, and interest from the U.S. Embassy, because of the catchy name locals had given it: the Nigerian Taliban. It also caught the attention of the Nigerian media because many of the group™s members were the sons of wealthy and influential people in Nigeria™s northern establishment. They were perhaps not all from the very highest circle of Nigerian society, but one was alleged to have been the son of then Yobe governor Bukar Abba Ibrahim. In a 2004 U.S. State Department cable, revealed by Wikileaks, the U.S. embassy in Abuja concluded the group did not present an international threat and likely had no links to international jihadist organizations. The few survivors of the fiNigerian Talibanfl returned to Maiduguri, where they settled back with others from the youth group that had originated at the Ndimi mosque. The leader of this Maiduguri group, Mohammed Yusuf, then embarked on the process of establishing the group™s own mosque in Maiduguri. This new mosque, named the Ibn Taimiyyah Masjid, was built on land to the north of the center of town, near the railway station, owned by Yusuf™s father-in-law, Baba Fugu Mohammed. The group was apparently left alone by the authorities, and it expanded into other states, including Bauchi, Yobe, and Niger state. The group™s neighbors in Maiduguri dubbed the group Boko Haram, which roughly translates as fiWestern education is forbiddenfl in Hausa. Observers say the group constructed a fistate within a state,fl with a cabinet, its own reli -gious police, and a large farm. It attracted more and more people under its roof by offering welfare handouts, food, and shelter. Many of the people the group attracted were refugees from the wars over the border in Chad and jobless Nigerian youths. The source of the group™s money at this stage of its existence is not clear. Members of the Borno religious establish -ment say that Yusuf received funds from Salafist contacts in Saudi Arabia following two hajj trips that Yusuf made during this time. Another possible source of funding during this period was donations from wealthy northern Nigerians. In 2006, a wealthy northern businessman was arrested by the State Security Services after a group of children alleged that they had been sent by the group to an al-Qaeda training camp in Mauritania. The businessman says

PAGE – 4 ============
his donations to the group were an innocent attempt to contribute zakat , an obligation of wealthy Muslims to give charitably. On the eve of the 2007 presidential elections, Sheikh Ja™afar Mahmoud Adam, a promi -nent, popular cleric and regular preacher at the Ndimi mosque in Maiduguri, was assassinat -ed as he was praying at the mosque he administered in Kano. The killing was a mystery for some time, but it is now acknowledged that it was carried out on the orders of Mohammed Yusuf. Sheikh Ja™afar had begun to criticize the group for its hard-line ideology, predicting a clash with the state. The killing is now seen by some as a key point in the development of Boko Haram, because there was no longer the possibility of turning Yusuf and his followers back to the mainstream of the northern Islamic establishment. Much bloodier events soon followed. In July 2009 the group came into conflict with the authorities in a strikingly similar way to the events of six years before. Traveling en masse to the funeral of a fellow member, the group was stopped by police traffic officers, who were enforcing a tightened restriction on motorcycle helmets, and an argument ensued. The circumstances are unclear, but a member of the group is reported to have fired on the police, injuring several officers. The group then attacked police stations in Bauchi and Yobe, killing scores of police officers. Yusuf released several video sermons in which he explicitly threatened the state and the police with violence. They were circulated on DVD and gained a widespread audience. These events led the Bauchi government to crack down on the group, arresting more than seven hundred members. In Maiduguri, the police surrounded the group™s mosque, but members of the sect managed to break out and for three days they had the run of the town. They roamed the city acting independently, fighting police when they came across them and killing Muslim and Christian civilians indiscriminately. The police eventually regained control of Maiduguri, and then embarked on a bloody purge of the group™s members and anyone they suspected of being a Boko Haram supporter or sympathizer. Dozens of people were rounded up and executed without trial, including Yusuf™s father-in-law. Mohammed Yusuf was arrested by the army and handed over to the police, who killed him within hours. Police officials denied that he had been executed, say -ing he had been shot while trying to escape. Videos clearly showing the execution of young boys and other alleged Boko Haram members by the police, including Buji Foi, a former commissioner for religious affairs in the state government, have been posted on YouTube. Those members of the group who were not killed or arrested fled, some say out of Nigeria. They entered another incarnation, that of famous Islamists on the run. After these events, the police and the army began to take information from traditional rulers and imams in Maiduguri about people suspected to be members or sympathizers of Boko Haram. If these people had fled, their property was confiscated and parceled out to the traditional leaders to keep or give to their supporters. An unknown number of people were denounced at this time and later disappeared, presumed executed by the police. A local journalist in Maiduguri believes the number of people who have disappeared in this way could be more than one hundred. The police deny such accusations. Little is known about where the members of Boko Haram who fled Maiduguri went during this 2009Œ10 period. But the group™s uprising undoubtedly brought its members to the attention of global jihadist movements and rebel groups based around the Sahel. Nigeria-based security sources told Reuters in January 2012 that they had tracked fiseveral dozenfl Nigerians to insurgent training camps in Algeria during this time. Sources told this author that this information was based on reports from human intelligence assets in such camps. The UN Security Council says that Boko Haram members received training in a Tuareg rebel camp in Mali. The foreign minister of Niger told reporters that Nigerians have been trained in rebel camps fiacross the Sahel region.fl It is believed that the group™s

PAGE – 5 ============
leadership, including Abubakar Shekau, Mohammed Yusuf™s right-hand man, relocated to a hideout in northern Cameroon. Sometime in mid-2010 Boko Haram returned to Maiduguri and started a campaign of assassinations. This campaign began with hit-and-run attacks against police checkpoints in Borno and Yobe. The group™s favored method was to do so on a motorcycle, whereby the pillion rider would kill the police officers and seize their weapons. Gunmen also forced their way into the homes of local leaders who had cooperated with the police by naming Boko Haram members. The people who had taken over houses formerly belonging to escaped Boko Haram members were also killed if they refused to leave. On Christmas Eve 2010 as many as half a dozen bombs were detonated near churches and a market in two districts of Jos, Plateau state, killing scores of people. At the time it was not assumed to be a Boko Haram attack; it was thought to be a nasty twist to the long-standing ethno-political conflict there. Then, on New Year™s Eve 2010 a bomb was deto -nated in a popular open-air fish restaurant and market inside the grounds of the Mogadishu barracks, just outside Abuja, killing ten. While it sits very close to a military barracks, the market was frequented mostly by civilians and was relatively loosely protected. Initially it was not certain that either bombing had been carried out by Boko Haram. There had been a bombing three months before at a ceremony in Abuja marking the fiftieth anniversary of the country™s independence for which Boko Haram was not implicated. (A leader of the Niger Delta militant organization the Movement for the emancipation of the Niger Delta [MEND], in custody in South Africa, faces charges of planning that attack.) But in early 2011 an FBI investigation concluded that the Mogadishu barracks bomb was constructed using the same techniques as devices in Jos, and suspecion fell on Boko Haram. These attacks showed the group was prepared to strike vulnerable spots and cause civilian casualties. It launched its bombing campaign in the already tense city of Jos, and it showed the authorities it was able to reach them in Abuja. During the first few months of 2011, the group™s targets for assassination operations in Maiduguri widened beyond the original focus of police and other authorities. In Febru -ary 2011, for example, a pharmacist in MaiduguriŠnot believed to have had any previous connection to the group™s treatment by the policeŠwas murdered in a robbery neighbors attributed to Boko Haram. Cash and a large amount of medical supplies were taken from his shop. A senior member of the group who identified himself as fiAbu Dujanafl told this author in an interview that anyone whom the group declared an fienemyfl would be killed, though he could not say what the pharmacist had done. Abu Dujana also reported that the group had not ruled out the use of suicide bombers in its attacks. The group began to rob banks, cash-in-transit convoys, and successful businesses, not only in Maiduguri but also in Bauchi, where the group remains strong. The group claims it is permitted to do this by the Quran, as the money it takes is considered to be the fispoils of war.fl A source who has followed the group closely states that the group is thought to have made approximately 500 million naira (about $3 million, or £2 million) from such robberies, but such claims are unverifiable. In June 2011 Boko Haram bombed the national police headquarters in Abuja. A car laden with explosives drove into the compound of Louis Edet House, a block of offices previously thought secure in Abuja™s government zone, by following a convoy of senior officers through the gates. It is believed the driver aimed to put the car near the entrance stairway as the senior officers entered, but he was directed around the back of the building by guards, where the bomb detonated in the car park. At the time it was questioned whether the bombing was meant to be a suicide attack, because it was possible that the bomber had been delayed in Abuja traffic, but in August 2011 remaining doubts were removed when a man drove a car into the UN compound in

PAGE – 6 ============
Abuja and detonated a massive bomb, killing twenty-three people and wounding scores more. The attack launched Boko Haram onto world news and established it as a militant group with the technical, and doctrinal, capacity to produce suicide bombs. The organiza -tion released a martyrdom video made by the driver of the car. Security intelligence analysts at Stratfor say building successful suicide weapons, like the ones used at the United Nations and at police headquarters, is very difficult. To perform two successful detonations is good evidence that there is a foreign hand involved in train -ing Boko Haram, they say. The type of explosives the group uses are common in mining and construction, according to Reuters. There are plenty of sources of such explosives in northern Nigeria. The way the group contacted the outside world also changed about this time. A journal -ist colleague in Nigeria says the group tightened its telephone discipline, collecting the numbers of journalists it wanted to contact, rather than having journalists call contacts they had made in the organization. A Boko Haram spokesman with the nom de guerre of fiAbu Qaqafl began contacting journalists to claim attacks. The government later claimed that it had captured him, but Boko Haram says that another member had been captured and that Qaqa is still active. The purported leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau, Yusuf™s former right-hand man, also began to post videos to YouTube at this time. Since August 2011 there have been almost weekly attacks by militants planting bombs in public or in churches in Nigeria™s northeast. The group has also broadened its targets, away from direct revenge attacks on the state to include other representations of authority. This expansion includes setting fire to schools and attacking newspaper offices. In March 2012, some twelve public schools in Maiduguri were burned down during the night, with as many as 10,000 pupils forced out of education. Three alleged members of Boko Haram were killed while trying to set light to a school, reports say. The group has told journalists that these attacks are in retaliation for the arrests of a number of Islamic teachers from traditional fiTsangayafl Quranic schools in Maiduguri. In the Tsangaya system of schools, clerics teach children to memorize the Quran. These schools, some with only a few children, some very large, operate not only in Nigeria but also across the whole of the Sahel. The children, known as Almajiris, come to the city from the countryside. Many beg during the day and give their money to the teacher, or mallam , who runs the school. The group also says that it is attack -ing the government school system in retaliation for what it says is the government™s attack on the Tsangaya system as a whole. There has also been an increase in reports of people being beheaded in public by Boko Haram. It is believed that these might be internal purges of moderate members, or members in the group who have been arrested and can therefore no longer be trusted. Big attacks have included bombings on Christmas Day 2011, when bombs were detonated in three states, Niger, Plateau, and Yobe, killing forty-five people. In January 2012 three groups of gunmen and suicide bombers coordinated attacks on three government buildings in KanoŠthe police headquarters, the office of the immigration service, and the State Security Service. More than two hundred people were killed. The group has also continued its involvement in the long-standing conflict between indigenous groups and Hausa/Fulani fisettlersfl in Plateau state. Most of the violence in the area has not had a connection to Boko Haram, but in February 2012 a suicide car bomb was detonated at a Jos church. Days later, in March, another suicide bomb was detonated outside St. Finbar™s church in Rayfield, Jos, near the government house. Nineteen people have been killed so far in retaliatory tit-for-tat attacks immediately following those bombings. More recently, there have been deadly bomb and gun attacks on the offices of This Day newspaper in Abuja and Kaduna, the Catholic chapel in Bayero University Kano, and a cattle market in Yobe. Dozens were killed in each attack. The attack [on the UN compound] launched Boko Haram onto world news and established it as a militant group with the technical, and doctrinal, capacity to produce suicide bombs.

PAGE – 8 ============
8 In reality, connections between the core group of Yusuf™s followers and established northern elites or politicians today are unlikely. A local journalist who has followed the group for years says attempts to present Boko Haram as a puppet organization of the northern elite are fiabsurd.fl It is certainly difficult to see how any northern politician, or his or her representatives, could interact with Boko Haram at this stage. It is as likely that the group would kill themŠas yan boko Šas do their bidding. Of course there are those individuals within the northern elite who will certainly seek to exploit the actions of Boko Haram for their own purposes. But opportunistically using events as they happen is not the same as directing them. Following the failed rescue of hostages Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara in March 2012, President Jonathan shifted his analysis of the group, playing up the connections between the group and international terrorism. He reportedly wrote to the British and Italian governments: fiThe Nigerian Government remains resolutely committed to facing up squarely to the challenge of terrorism on our shores and in the international community.fl His language was carefully chosen to downplay the local politics and to not contradict any possible connection between Boko Haram and al-Qaeda. In this letter, he reportedly also suggested the fities between our three nations [should] grow deeper.fl Observers believe this to be a thinly veiled request for money from the Europeans. Richard Dowden, head of the Royal Africa Society, has suggested the failed raid on the Sokoto kidnappers is a good opportunity for Jonathan to bring on new streams of finance for his very costly security plans at a time when his own budget is under severe constraint. All this uncertainty cannot be taken to mean that a violent group made up of followers and sympathizers of Mohammed Yusuf, calling itself Jama™atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda™Awati Wal Jihad, does not exist. A source who has followed the group in Maiduguri since 2007 told this author that the core group has evolved into a cell-like organization, run by a thirty-member Shura Council. He could not say where the council members were located but suggested that they were not all in one place. Council members are able to travel into and around Nigeria, and they use mobile phones to communicate, meeting face-to-face less often. Each member of the council is responsible for a cell, and each cell is focused on a different task or geo -graphical area. Someone on the lowest level of the cell might not know another member of similar rank in the organization. This source says that most of the group™s actions are agreed at the council level but that leader Abubakar Shekau also takes decisions without referring them to the council. Raufu Mustapha of Oxford University™s Department for International Development is working to clarify the situation surrounding Boko Haram. He says that anyone who doubts that a single group is operating in northern Nigeria is fiin denial.fl He points out that throughout its existence, the organization has constantly morphed and changed its nature as it has gone through various incarnations. This evolution has made it difficult for observ -ers to pin the organization down and define it. Clarity has been obscured because contact with the organization is difficult. When there has been contact with the outside world, the organization has proved elliptical. It has made announcements about its goals that are contradictory, not really achievable, or unrealistic. The water has been muddied further by the number of interpretations of motive and causation that observers attribute to anything that happens in Nigeria, and the conspiracy theories that flow from them. In interviews before his death, Mohammed Yusuf said the purpose of the organization was to withdraw from a society that had become corrupt and beyond help. His group would then set up a new society whose sole purpose was to be close to Allah. From that purpose prosperity and success would naturally flow, and his righteous group would eventually take over mainstream society. Where fiWesternfl society had gone wrong, Yusuf said, was in deviating from the principles of sharia. For this vision of the world Yusuf drew on his

PAGE – 9 ============
interpretation of thirteenth-century scholar Ibn Taymiyyah. Taymiyyah, much cited by Salafist radicals, advocated that in the face of leadership by Muslims who did not behave in a benevolent way and used their leadership to oppress, it was acceptable to Allah for individuals to withdraw from that corrupt system and fight it with violence. John Campbell, a former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, thinks Boko Haram is several things at once. Boko Haram fiwrit largefl is a movement of grassroots anger among northern people at the continuing depravation and poverty in the north, he says. It is also a core group of Mohammed Yusuf™s followers who have reconvened around Abubakar Shekau and who are exacting revenge against the state for their treatment. Campbell says there is another aspect to the group that is often over -looked. The group could also be seen as a kind of personality cult, an Islamic millenarianist sect, inspired by a heretical but charismatic preacher. This view is supported by the author™s own contact with the group. fiAbu Dujana,fl a senior member, related in great length how he was captivated by Mohammed Yusuf™s teachings. He said that more than anything else, it was what Yusuf revealed to him about the Quran that convinced him to throw in his lot with the group, give up his job, and bring his family to live in the mosque. It was loyalty to Mohammed Yusuf that kept him with the group after Yusuf™s murder, during a difficult and prolonged period on the run with his family. Although the group™s modus operandi has changed over time, its fibig ideafl from 2002 has not changed. Like Mohammed Yusuf, the current leaders of the sect want to set up a state-like organization, operating initially on a small scale, parallel to the federal govern -ment. They believe this organization would inevitably grow and grow until it would replace the actual state. Where its members operated unchallenged between 2002 and 2003, the group aimed in that direction. They built on this in the years in Maiduguri, with the group growing to the point where it had many fistate-likefl functions, such as providing welfare handouts, job training, jobs in mini-industries, resources for the rest of the community, and a fimoral policefl along the same lines as the Hisbah religious police in Kano. These functions have continued in the period of conflict since 2009. Mustapha has observed that the money Boko Haram steals is first used to pay off the widows of slain members, which this author believes to be an aspiring state-like function. Many academics interested in Boko Haram are reluctant to place the organization within the same global jihadist bracket as Algeria™s al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or Somalia™s al Shabab. When the situation is viewed in the terms outlined in this report, the distinction between Boko Haram and al-Qaeda, which is bent on attacking Western interests, is clear. In this analysis, the attack on the UN compound can be thought of as an outlier event, an anomaly outside the normal concerns of the group that can be accounted for in one of two ways. It was either a trade-off for help the group received in its period of crisis in 2009, or it was intended to embarrass the Nigerian government. There have been no further attacks on international interests since August 2011. Mustapha says, fiWhen al-Qaeda talks about the advances their allies have made in Africa, they mostly talk about al Shabab, not Boko Haram.fl Branding Boko Haram as an international terrorist group with the same anti-West aims as al-Qaeda will not solve the problem, Campbell believes. He says the narrative being built up around the group, espe -cially by the British government in the aftermath of the failed rescue attempt of hostages Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara in March 2012Šthat the group is a radical terrorist organization with links to the outside bent on the overthrow of a friendly government and hostile to Western interestsŠis unhelpful. fiThe facts don™t support this assertion,fl he says. This is especially true if the policy recommendations that flow from this view include aid to the Nigerian security services to wipe out the followers of Mohammed Yusuf. Campbell says such assistance will not deal with the grassroots anger, and may cause the Boko Haram . . . could also be seen as a kind of personality cult, an Islamic millenarianist sect, inspired by a heretical but charismatic preacher.

180 KB – 16 Pages