24 Facts About Boko Haram

1. Name Boko Haram is usually translated as "Western education is forbidden".

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2. Boko Haram established a religious complex and school that attracted poor Muslim families from across Nigeria and neighbouring countries.

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3. Boko Haram is reported to have used the existing infrastructure in Borno of the Izala Society, a popular conservative Islamic sect, to recruit members, before breaking away to form his own faction.

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4. Boko Haram conducted its operations more or less peacefully during the first seven years of its existence, withdrawing from society into remote north-eastern areas, believing it was important to develop strength before waging jihad.

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5. Shortly before it pledged allegiance to ISIL, the government launched the 2015 West African offensive during which Boko Haram lost most of the territory it had occupied over time.

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6. Attacks by Boko Haram resulted in over 1700 fatalities in first half of 2019, including casualties of its own members.

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7. Boko Haram is better equipped with drones, weapons and vehicles captured from and sometimes abandoned by Nigerian military during ambush.

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8. Boko Haram was succeeded by Abubakar Shekau, formerly his second-in-command.

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9. The increased sophistication of the group led observers to speculate that Boko Haram was affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which was active in Niger.

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10. Boko Haram added: "We are doing what we are doing to fight injustice, if they stop their satanic ways of doing things and the injustices, we would stop what we are doing".

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11. Nigeria's Borno State, where Boko Haram is based, adjoins Lake Chad as do Niger, Cameroon and the country of Chad.

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12. In 2013, Boko Haram increased operations in Northern Cameroon, and were involved in skirmishes along the borders of Chad and Niger.

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13. In February 2013, Boko Haram was responsible for kidnapping seven French tourists in the far north of Cameroon.

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14. Boko Haram continued to increase its presence in northern Cameroon.

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15. Several days after the bombing, Boko Haram claimed responsibility via Twitter, signing as "Islamic State, West Africa province".

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16. We are making a lot of headway, so people should know that Boko Haram is no longer strong enough to hold grounds.

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17. Boko Haram said that IDPs in Niger are posing huge challenges to the country and "require a strong and comprehensive response".

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18. Boko Haram said situation in the regions bordering Mali has led to the displacement of some 1,540 persons.

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19. Kidnapped children who escape from Boko Haram are often held in custody or ostracized by their communities or families.

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20. Boko Haram is said to have raised substantial sums of money by kidnapping people for ransom.

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21. The issues which divide AQ and Boko Haram are related to the extremism of Abubakar Shekau with respect to his declaration that the entire Muslim population of Nigeria is non-Muslim.

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22. Boko Haram are better armed and are better motivated than our own troops.

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23. The US government does not believe Boko Haram is currently affiliated with al Qaeda Central, despite periodic pledges of support and solidarity from its leadership for al-Qaeda, but is particularly concerned about ties between Boko Haram and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) (including "likely sharing funds, training, and explosive materials").

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24. Efforts to cooperate in freeing the Chibok schoolgirls had faltered, largely due to mutual distrust; the infiltration of the military by Boko Haram meant that US officials were wary of sharing raw intelligence data, and the Nigerian military had failed to supply information that might have aided US drone flights in locating the kidnapped girls.

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