The Boko Haram - Agenda, Mission and Historical Foundations | My Paper Hub
Terrorism is a global
Terrorism is a global
issue that has been in existence for some centuries now. It can be traced to as
far as the 1880s when the first acts of a group of terrorists from Russia were
felt. The group of Russians who terrorized people was formed by Anarchists who
called themselves “The People’s Will” (Narodnaya Volya). The group existed up
to the early 20th century. After their disappearance, they were followed by an
anti-colonial wave that started around the beginning of the 1920s and ended
around early 1960s. After their disappearance, the world received a new blow of
terrorists categorized as the New Left Wave which was formed by people with
particular agendas rising and disrupting the peace of the country. The groups
of terrorist forming this category were extremists who had ideas and wanted to
spread them to the rest of the members of the nation. A good example of this
was the Red Brigades of Italy. The Red Brigades main agenda was to turn the
nation against capitalism and for communism. The New Left Wave was in existence
for two decades and then it was replaced by religious extremists who are still
there up to date. They are the groups of people terrorizing the world and
making world leaders have sleepless nights (Parker and Sitter).
Jihadists are the
leading religious extremists who have given birth to many terrorist groups
including the al-Qaeda. Many extremist groups formed later have been found to
follow in the footsteps of the al-Qaeda and had even been found to have been
supported financially by the al-Qaeda. Boko Haram is one of the numerous groups
that derive their ideology from the al-Qaeda and is funded by the extremist
of the Boko Haram
The Boko Haram is an
organization of terrorists based in Nigeria. The Boko Haram was formed in 2002
by Mohammed Yusuf in the city of Maiduguri. Yusuf’s aim was to establish a
Sharia government in Borno state which was under the leadership of Senator Ali
Modu Sheriff at the time. Yusuf lead the group until his death in 2009
following an attack by the Nigerian Security force and sectarian violence where
more than seven hundred people died. Yusuf was the commander-in-chief (Amir
ul-Aam) at the time of his death and had two deputies (Na’ib Amir ul-Aam I
&II). In each state where Boko Haram existed there, Yusuf had his commander
(amir). He established a religious complex with a mosque and a school in his
hometown where people from low-income families in Nigeria and the neighboring
countries brought their children. Yusuf, however, had political goals and
therefore the town later became the recruiting grounds for jihadists. The
people recruited were therefore from the neighboring countries like Niger and
Chad and those who spoke Arabic only.
Within no time, the organization was able to attract more than 280,000
individuals from all over Nigeria, Niger and Chad (Agbiboa).
The residents in the
country call the group Boko Haram which loosely translated from the local
language Hausa means “Western education forbidden.” The residence gave the
organization this name because of the organization’s strong opposition towards
the education of the West and their support for the strict following of the
Sharia law. The organization sees the western education as one out to corrupt
Muslims, therefore, opposed to it (Ugwuona 54). The members of this
organization range from University lecturers, political elites, unemployed
graduates, bankers, drug addicts and as mentioned earlier migrants from the
neighboring countries. In Nigeria, members are from communities like Kanuri
tribe which makes up approximately 4% of Nigeria’s population which is in the
northeastern states of the country. The Hausa-Fulani tribe which consists of
29% of Nigeria’s population also makes a good proportion of members of the
organization. In recent reports, it has been revealed that a few of the members
of the Nigerian security have a strong connection with the Boko Haram. Among
them was the commissioner in charge of the criminal investigation in Abuja, Zaraki
Biu. Biu is said to have aided the escape of a Boko Haram suspect who was
responsible for the bombing of the St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla that
left more than 40 people dead (Agbiboa). Most of the Boko Haram members are
attracted to Boko Haram due to the deep-seated issues facing the nation which
are social-economic and [political like poor governance and corruption. Those
who join the organization believe that the organization is capable of taking
care of their problems. The once Islamic radical cult is increasingly becoming
an insurrection and is supported by the alienated and impoverished member of
the Nigerian society. Boko Haram has ideologies embedded strongly in the
Islamic traditions. The organization is said to be influenced by the Qur’anic
phrase: “Anyone who is not governed by Allah has revealed is among the
by the Boko Haram
The Boko Haram crashed
with the Bauchi state’s security agency as they refused to wear crash helmets
as the newly introduced law required. The act led to a violent crash between
the two entities, and as a result, 17 members of the Boko Haram died. The
organization’s hideout in Bauchi state was ransacked and the security agency
confiscated materials presumed to be those use in making explosives. The attack
by the state’s security agency led to the group retaliating by attacking them
which resulted in deaths of civilians and the police officers. The riots,
however, stopped after the capture and killing of their leader Mohammed Yusuf. The
remaining members retreated for a while only to come back fully prepared with
new tack ticks. After the leaders had been killed, the group changed their
strategy where they started having underground operations which made it harder
for the security agencies to track them down. In 2011 Boko Haram announced its
re-emergence which was followed by a series of devastating attacks on various
parts of the country. The first in June 2011 where they bombed the police
headquarters in Abidjan. The attack that followed was on the UN Headquarters
which took place in August of the same year. By the October of the year 2012,
900 people were estimated to have died as a result of the attacks from the Boko
Haram organization. The deaths were more than a combination of 201 and 2011
deaths that resulted from Boko Haram attacks (Agbiboa).
operations since their re-emergence have involved the use of shooters on
motorbikes, assassinations of politicians and police officers and even the
Muslim clerics who have been found in disclosing information on their
whereabouts to the state security agencies. The attacks have increasingly
included suicide bombing as Boko Haram’s primary attack strategy. The animosity
of the group is primarily driven by revenge for the extrajudicial killing of
the leader and founder of the organization, Mohammed Yusuf. The frequently
attacked people by the organization are the police officers at home, on patrol
or even in police stations. The group has used improvised explosive devices, petrol
bombs, and armed assaults during their attacks. Since the beginning of 2012,
the group directed their attacks to the telecommunication infrastructure as
they believe that the global system for mobile communications had ratted them
out to the security agencies by providing their communication information
The primary goal of the
group being to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state and revolt against the western
education, on April 15, 2014, they attacked a girls’ school in Borno state
kidnapping more than two hundred and fifty girls. The leader of the group
released a video on May 5th threatening to sell the girls as "wife"
and cited the organization’s ideology opposing the education of girls. The same
day, the Boko Haran militants took advantage of the country’s military being
distracted and attacked the town of Gamboru Ngala which was not protected
killing over two hundred civilians. The abduction of the girls has prompted
several countries to provide aid to Nigerian government by offering $300,000
reward to anyone who had information that would lead to the rescue of the
girls. The organization is reported to be radicalizing and training some their
kidnapped girls (Simonelli et al.).
actions against the Boko Haram’s attacks
The Nigerian government
has tried to engage with the organization for negotiations. There are some
instances where the government has reached out to the group. For example, on
July 16, 2011, Governor Kashim Shettima called on the group to come forward for
dialogue. Another attempt was in 2012 when the president of the National
Supreme Council on Sharia Datti Ahmad tried to reach out to the organization,
but the group broke contact. The Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan also
established a committee that would initiate dialogues with the leaders of the
Boko Haram group. The committee was required to convince the leaders of the
group to surrender their arms, and in return, the state would not charge them.
The leader, however, responded by say that they were not guilty of anything and
instead it was the Nigerian government which had committed atrocities. After
this, the organization launched a series of attacks which lead to the president
declaring a State of Emergency northern region (Agbiboa).
After the organization
rejected all the negotiations and instead attacked innocent civilian, the
Nigerian government resolved to pursue and crackdown on all Boko Haram members.
The government established a special task force known as Operation Restore
Order (JTOPO). The president ordered 8,000 soldiers deployed in the region to
flush out the members of Boko Haram organization and arrest them (Agbiboa). The
government is using all the resources they have in this fight against
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