12 Facts About Ansaru


Vanguard for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa, better known as Ansaru and less commonly called al-Qaeda in the Lands Beyond the Sahel, is an Islamic fundamentalist Jihadist militant organisation based in the northeast of Nigeria.

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Since then, Ansaru is mostly dormant though its members continue to spread propaganda for their cause.

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Ansaru's motto is "Jihad Fi Sabilillah", meaning "struggle for the cause of Allah".

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Ansaru became al-Qaeda's de facto branch in Nigeria, and even occasionally called itself "al-Qaeda in the Lands Beyond the Sahel".

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Ansaru elected Abubakar Adam Kambar as its first commander, but he was killed in August 2012, whereupon Khalid Barnawi became the group's leader.

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Unlike Boko Haram, which is largely based in Borno State in northeastern Nigeria, Ansaru operated in and around Kano State in north-central Nigeria, the heartland of the Hausa-Fulani peoples.

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Ansaru was probably driven from Mali in course of Operation Serval.

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Ansaru executed the hostages taken in both May 2011 and February 2013 following what it said were failed rescue attempts by the British and Nigerian governments.

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Several of Ansaru's commanders were reported as returning to Boko Haram over 2013.

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Ansaru held a meeting in 2015, discussing whether it wanted to join ISIL like Boko Haram had done.

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Khalid al-Barnawi, the leader of Ansaru, was arrested by Nigerian security forces in Lokoja in April 2016.

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Ansaru is designated as a proscribed terrorist organization by Iraq, United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

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