The threat of new terrorism in Nigeria: an assessment of Boko Haram
Uloho, Justin Oberhiri
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The dynamics of terrorism in the global sphere has been on the rise and this can be mainly attributed to the single attack that was waged against the United States on 11 September 2001. This attack culminated in a global awareness and it has triggered subsequent attacks from both old and new terrorist organisations. Some terrorist organisations have changed their ways of operations so that they can be more destructive and become known. But the major international problem till now remains the delay in having a universally acceptable definition of terrorism and what can or cannot be accepted as terrorism. Hence, over the years, terrorism has thrived and gone unnoticed in various countries across the African continent. About 5 years ago, very little work covered terrorism in West Africa or Nigeria; some scholars worked on studies that were more focused on the struggle for resource control and militancy involved in that. But the spate of attacks in Nigeria emphasised for a need for scholars to work on terrorism in Nigeria at all levels. The Nigerian society has been going through a serious ongoing battle with militants and also the Islamic insurgents, called Boko Haram, which is alleged to be affiliated to Al-Qaeda. These patterns of terrorism have been fueled by political, religious, ethnic and financial reasons. This research is an explanation and description of the factors responsible for terrorism in Nigeria; the profiling of old and new terrorism; the emergence of new types of terrorism which have sprung up from existing and new patterns. Also, external influences have aided the emergence of such combinations in Nigeria. This study will also look at the similarity between Nigeria and the defunct Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In addition, the existing measures to tackle terrorism will be analysed, which include, national and regional joint military initiatives. Recommendations will be offered to assist further researches and the government in understanding the mechanisms of terrorism in Nigeria, so that it can be effectively tackled. Hence, the research was able to pinpoint the types of terrorism (old and external influence) and the causal factors of terrorism which have led to the emergence of groups such as Boko Haram, JAMBS and MEND in Nigeria. The research also established the roles of national and regional organizations in tackling terrorism. One of the measures introduced by the Nigerian government was the amnesty program.
- Humanities