Boko Haram: From Local Grievances to Violent Insurgency

In March 2015, the Nigerian terrorist organization Boko Haram pledged allegiance to Islamic State and the insurgency in Northern Nigeria is now considered one of the world’s terror hot spots. One year prior, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the abduction of over 250 school girls from a Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria. The event caused a global outcry sparked by the social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls and pushed international governments to respond to a complex crisis, whose root causes require a comprehensive approach reaching far beyond military means.

In the recent years, Boko Haram has been blamed for virtually every outbreak of violence in Northern Nigeria. Less attention, however, has been given to the role of the national security and defense forces in producing violence, insecurity and radicalization. The report sheds light on the internal and external dynamics of the terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria, exploring how terrorism is anchored not only in fundamentalism, but also in domestic politics, regional and social dynamics.

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