Also known as:
- Islamic State's West Africa Province (Iswap)Adam Withnall, “Boko Haram renames itself Islamic State's West Africa Province (Iswap) as militants launch new offensive against government forces,” Independent (London), April 26, 2015, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/boko-haram-renames-itself-islamic-states-west-africa-province-iswap-as-militants-launch-new-offensive-against-government-forces-10204918.html.
- Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnar Lidda’awati Wal-JihadMohammed Aly Sergie and Toni Johnson, “Backgrounders: Boko Haram,” Council on Foreign Relations, May 5, 2014, http://www.cfr.org/nigeria/boko-haram/p25739.
- Wilayat Gharb IfriqiyyaKarl Morand, “Jihadology Podcast: ‘Boko Haram’ Transitions to The Islamic State in West Africa with Jacob Zenn,” Jihadology, August 4, 2015, http://jihadology.net/category/the-islamic-state/wilayat-gharb-ifriqiyyah/.
Boko Haram is an ISIS-aligned jihadist group based in Nigeria, also operating in Benin, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. The group promotes a Salafist jihadi version of Islam and deems Western influence “haram” (forbidden). It is conducting a lethal jihadist insurgency in northern Nigeria to drive out government forces and establish a “caliphate,” or Islamic state. Boko Haram has exploited the government’s weak authority and controls a swath of territory roughly the size of Belgium. Its leader, Abubakar Shekau, pledged allegiance to ISIS in March 2015.
Boko Haram is a radical Sunni Islamic sect, originally calling itself Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnar Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad, which broadly translates to “people committed to the propagation of the Prophet’s teachings and jihad.” Mohammed Aly Sergie and Toni Johnson, “Backgrounders: Boko Haram,” Council on Foreign Relations, May 5, 2014, http://www.cfr.org/nigeria/boko-haram/p25739. The group’s more widely known name is Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sin,” and was a nickname given by locals based on the group’s strong rejection of Western education as corrupt.
The group's founder, Mohammed Yusuf, was a trained Salafist and follower of Ibn Taymiyya, a 14th century scholar who preached Islamic fundamentalism. Mohammed Aly Sergie and Toni Johnson, “Backgrounders: Boko Haram,” Council on Foreign Relations, May 5, 2014, http://www.cfr.org/nigeria/boko-haram/p25739. Boko Haram aims to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria, including the establishment of sharia courts. However, the group is highly decentralized and not all fighters of the group necessarily follow Salafi doctrine, with many soldiers being poor, uneducated youth. Some claim to be part of a Shiite Muslim group and to have trained in Iran, while others were allegedly involved in other conflicts in Nigeria and the Sahel. Mohammed Aly Sergie and Toni Johnson, “Backgrounders: Boko Haram,” Council on Foreign Relations, May 5, 2014, http://www.cfr.org/nigeria/boko-haram/p25739.
While originally non-violent and preaching a doctrine of withdrawal from what they perceived as a corrupt Nigerian state, Boko Haram increasingly engaged in confrontations with security forces over local disputes and became more radical and violent. Since 2009, the group has carried out increasingly deadly attacks on a wide range of targets.
Despite apparent links to international terrorist organizations, particularly al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Lauren Ploch, “Nigeria: Current issues and U.S. policy,” Congressional Research Service, November 15, 2013, http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272109/m1/1/high_res_d/RL33964_2013Nov15.pdf, 13. many of the group’s grievances are motivated by failures of local governance, sectarian tensions between Christian and Muslims, and large economic disparity in Nigeria.
Some analysts have suggested that in recent years, the group has fragmented between factions stressing the need to build stronger links with international terrorist organizations and factions that seek to maintain the group’s exclusively domestic focus with the aim of establishing an Islamic state in Nigeria. Lauren Ploch, “Nigeria: Current issues and U.S. policy,” Congressional Research Service, November 15, 2013, http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272109/m1/1/high_res_d/RL33964_2013Nov15.pdf, 13. In March 2015, this understanding crystallized as the group pledged allegiance to Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has reportedly accepted Boko Haram’s pledge.Hamdi Alkhshali and Steve Almasy, “ISIS leader purportedly accepts Boko Haram's pledge of allegiance,” CNN, March 12, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/12/middleeast/isis-boko-haram/.
Boko Haram operates as an underground terrorist group that is believed to suffer from internal power struggles. While Abubakar Shekau claims to remain the leader of Boko Haram, ISIS appointed former Boko Haram spokesman Abu Musab al-Barnawi as the group’s leader in August 2016.“Boko Haram in Nigeria: Abu Musab al-Barnawi named as new leader,” BBC News, August 3, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36963711. Following the announcement, Shekau rejected the leadership switch and referred to ISIS’s announcement as a coup.Associated Press, “Shekau says he leads Boko Haram, not IS-appointed successor,” Washington Post, August 4, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/shekau-says-he-leads-boko-haram-not-is-appointed-successor/2016/08/04/409a0232-5a63-11e6-8b48-0cb344221131_story.html.
As of mid-2016, Boko Haram is believed to be split between militants that follow Shekau and those that follow ISIS-appointed al-Barnawi.“Hearing to Consider the Nominations of: Lieutenant General Thomas D. Waldhauser, USMC, to be General and Commander, United States Africa Command; and Lieutenant General Joseph L. Lengyel, Ang, to be General and Chief of the National Guard Bureau,” Committee on Armed Services, June 21, 2016, 64-65, http://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/16-62_06-21-16.pdf. Amnesty International estimated there to be at least 15,000 troops fighting for Boko Haram in total as of early 2015.“Boko Haram at a glance,” Amnesty International, January 29, 2015, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/01/boko-haram-glance/.
Boko Haram’s exact funding streams remain unclear as the group largely operates outside the banking system. It appears that Boko Haram relies on a combination of local funding sources and lucrative criminal activity, particularly kidnapping for ransom—the group’s main source of funding—to the tune of millions of dollars annually. U.S. officials estimate that Boko Haram receives approximately $1 million for the kidnapping and release of each wealthy Nigerian. Phil Stewart & Lesley Wroughton, “How Boko Haram is beating U.S. efforts to choke its financing,” Reuters, July 1, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/01/us-usa-nigeria-bokoharam-insight-idUSKBN0F636920140701. Additionally, Boko Haram finances itself by bank robberies, protection money from local governors, and alleged foreign donations (such as Britain's Al-Muntada Trust Fund and Saudi Arabia's Islamic World Society). Peter Weber, “Who’s financing Boko Haram?” The Week, May 12, 2014, http://theweek.com/article/index/261388/whos-financing-boko-haram. It is suspected that the group receives funding from local religious sympathizers and individuals opposing the Nigerian government, but hard evidence for this suspicion is lacking thus far. The group has received limited funding from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, but that support has had little impact on Boko Haram’s overall funding. Since the group pledged allegiance to ISIS in March 2015, this source of funding has likely dried up, given enmity between al-Qaeda and ISIS. Boko Haram’s financial relationship with other extremist groups appears limited. Phil Stewart & Lesley Wroughton, “How Boko Haram is beating U.S. efforts to choke its financing,” Reuters, July 1, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/01/us-usa-nigeria-bokoharam-insight-idUSKBN0F636920140701.
Some security analysts have noted that Boko Haram is less reliant on large funding streams because it generally does not purchase sophisticated weapons and runs very low-cost operations. Many of the weapons at its disposal were stolen from the Nigerian military. Phil Stewart & Lesley Wroughton, “How Boko Haram is beating U.S. efforts to choke its financing,” Reuters, July 1, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/01/us-usa-nigeria-bokoharam-insight-idUSKBN0F636920140701.
According to U.S. officials, the tools at the disposal of the U.S. government, which worked very effectively in targeting the financing of other terrorist organizations, have not been effective in curbing Boko Haram’s funding streams. Phil Stewart & Lesley Wroughton, “How Boko Haram is beating U.S. efforts to choke its financing,” Reuters, July 1, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/01/us-usa-nigeria-bokoharam-insight-idUSKBN0F636920140701.
- December 2003: Attack on a number of police stations in Kanamma, Yobe state by a group then referred to as the Nigerian Taliban. Some of its members later went on to become members of Boko Haram.“Curbing violence in Nigeria (II): The Boko Haram insurgency,” International Crisis Group, Africa Report No 216, April 3, 2014, http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/africa/west-africa/nigeria/216-curbing-violence-in-nigeria-ii-the-boko-haram-insurgency.pdf, 10.
- April 2007: Assassination of Sheikh Ja’afar Mahmoud Adam, a prominent, popular cleric and regular preacher at the Ndimi mosque in Maiduguri shortly before the 2007 presidential election.Andrew Walker, “What is Boko Haram?” United States Institute of Peace, Special Report 308, June 2012, http://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/SR308.pdf, 4.
- July 2009: Boko Haram members set churches, a police station, and a prison on fire in Maiduguri, killing hundreds.Andrew Walker, “What is Boko Haram?” United States Institute of Peace, Special Report 308, June 2012, http://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/SR308.pdf, 4. The government responds by arresting 700 Boko Haram members and laying siege to the mosque in Maiduguri. In response, Boko Haram members begin to indiscriminately kill police officers and civilians. After regaining control of the town, the police and military crack down on the group, allegedly killing hundreds of Boko Haram members, including Yusuf (who dies in police custody).“Spiralling violence: Boko Haram attacks and security forces abuses in Nigeria,” Human Rights Watch, October 2012, http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/nigeria1012webwcover_0.pdf, 35.
- 2010: Boko Haram members return to Maiduguri, instigating attacks against police stations and military barracks to avenge the killing of Yusuf. The group also attacks a local jail, freeing prisoners, and begins attacks against Christians, critical Muslim clerics, suspected collaborators, UN agencies, bars, and schools. Initial attacks mainly constitute of shootings.“Curbing violence in Nigeria (II): The Boko Haram insurgency,” International Crisis Group, Africa Report No 216, April 3, 2014, http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/africa/west-africa/nigeria/216-curbing-violence-in-nigeria-ii-the-boko-haram-insurgency.pdf, 14.
- December 24-28, 2010: Boko Haram claims responsibility for a twin bombing in Jos, a city in central Nigeria, killing at least 38 people on Christmas Eve. On the same day, two bombs also go off in two churches in Maiduguri. “Radical Islamist sect says it carried out Nigeria church attacks,” Guardian, December 28, 2010, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/dec/28/islamist-sect-responsibility-nigeria-attacks.
- December 31, 2010: The group sets off a bomb near barracks in Abuja on New Year's Eve, killing at least 4 people.“Nigeria capital hit by barracks bomb,” BBC News, January 1, 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12099176.
- June 16, 2011: In the first suicide bombing in Nigerian history and the first such attack by Boko Haram, a suicide bomber detonates a car bomb at the Nigerian police’s headquarters in Abuja, killing between six and eight people. The attack marks a new degree of sophistication in the way it is carried out.“Boko Haram attacks – timeline,” Guardian, September 25, 2012, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/sep/25/boko-haram-timeline-nigeria; “Boko Haram timeline: From preachers to slave raiders,” BBC News, May 15, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-22538888.
- August 26, 2011: A suicide car bombing of the UN building in Abuja kills at least 21 people and injures dozens.Adam Nossiter, “Islamic Group Says It Was Behind Fatal Nigeria Attack,” New York Times, August 28, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/29/world/africa/29nigeria.html?_r=0. Boko Haram claims responsibility for the attack, the group’s first strike on a foreign target.“Boko Haram attacks – timeline,” Guardian, September 25, 2012, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/sep/25/boko-haram-timeline-nigeria. Some security analysts claim that the sophisticated execution of the attacks hints to support from transnational terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).Andrew Walker, “What is Boko Haram?” United States Institute of Peace, Special Report 308, June 2012, http://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/SR308.pdf, 6.
- November 4, 2011: Boko Haram attacks a number of targets in Yobo, Damaturu and Borno states, targeting security forces and their offices, markets and 11 churches. At least 100 people are killed.“Boko Haram Fast Facts,” CNN, June 30, 2014, http://edition.cnn.com/2014/06/09/world/boko-haram-fast-facts.
- November 15, 2011: A police vehicle within the motorcade of the Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, is attacked with a bomb in Maiduguri.“Bomb Targets Nigeria Governor's Motorcade In Maiduguri-AFP,” Sahara Reporters, November 15, 2011, http://saharareporters.com/2011/11/15/bomb-targets-nigeria-governors-motorcade-maiduguri-afp.
- December 2011: Boko Haram instigates a number of bomb attacks across Nigeria on Christmas Day including at St Theresa's church in Madalla, a church in the city of Jos, three attacks in northern Yobe state and two attacks in town of Damaturu and Gadaka.“Boko Haram attacks- timeline,” Guardian, September 25, 2012, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/sep/25/boko-haram-timeline-nigeria.
- April 26, 2012: Boko Haram bombs the offices of the newspaper ThisDay.“John Kerry urges Nigeria army ‘restraint’,” BBC News, May 18, 2013, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22580707.
- February 19, 2013: Boko Haram carries out its first cross-border operation and first kidnapping,“Boko Haram timeline: From preachers to slave raiders,” BBC News, May 15, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-22538888. taking hostage a French family of seven in Cameroon.“A year of attacks linked to Nigeria’s Boko Haram,” CNN, February 27, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/27/world/africa/nigeria-year-of-attacks. The family is later released, reportedly in exchange for ransom, though the French and Cameroonian governments deny paying one.
- May 7, 2013: About 200 armed Boko Haram fighters storm a police station, military barracks, and government buildings in Bama, killing 55 and freeing 105 prisoners. The BBC reports that “The fighters reportedly launched the attack in armored vehicles mounted with machine guns… [suggesting] that they are becoming better-resourced and they can adapt to the changing terrain.”“Boko Haram timeline: From preachers to slave raiders,” BBC News, May 15, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-22538888.
- September 19, 2013: Boko Haram militants attacked city of Benisheik in Borno state, killing at least 87 people.“Nigeria's Boko Haram unrest: Scores dead in Benisheik raid,” BBC News, September 19, 2013, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24169992.
- September 29, 2013: Boko Haram gunmen attack agricultural school in Yobe, killing 50 male students.“Nigeria attack: Students shot dead as they slept,” BBC News, September 29, 2013, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24322683.
- April 14, 2014: Twin bomb attack claimed by Boko Haram at Abuja bus station kills more than 70 people.“Nigeria violence: More than 70 killed in Abuja bus blast,” BBC News, April 14, 2014, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-27018751.
- April 14, 2014: Boko Haram kidnaps more than 200 girls from a school in the northern town of Chibok in Borno state, triggering international condemnation and viral social media demands to “Bring Back Our Girls.”Aminu Abubakar & Josh Levs, “‘I will sell them,’ Boko Haram leader says of kidnapped Nigerian girls,” CNN, May 6, 2014, http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/05/world/africa/nigeria-abducted-girls.
- May 2, 2014: A car bomb explodes on a busy rode in Abuja, killing at least 19. The attack happened days before Nigeria was due to host the World Economic Forum on Africa.“Death toll rises from car bomb in Nigerian capital Abuja,” Guardian, May 2, 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/02/car-bomb-nigerian-capital-abuja.
- May 5, 2014: Boko Haram militants kill more than 300 residents in the town of Gamboru Ngala.“Boko Haram attack kills hundreds in Nigeria,” Al Jazeera, May 8, 2014, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/05/boko-haram-attack-kills-hundreds-nigeria-201457181134779575.html.
- May 20, 2014: Twin bomb attacks in Jos kills at least 118 people.“At least 118 dead after twin car bombs explode in Nigerian city of Jos,” New York Daily News, May 20, 2014,http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/46-dead-twin-car-bombs-explode-nigerian-city-jos-article-1.1799476.
- May 21, 2014: Boko Haram gunmen kill at least 27 people in towns Sharwa and Alagano.“Nigeria violence: 'Boko Haram' kill 27 in village attacks,” BBC News, May 21, 2014, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-27498598.
- June 25, 2014: Twin bomb attacks in Abuja and Lagos kill at least 22 people. Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the attack in both cities. If true, this would be the first attack by Islamist militants in Lagos.“Boko Hara claims responsibility for Lagos, Abuja blast,” Guardian Nigeria, July 13, 2014, http://ngrguardiannews.com/news/national-news/170652-boko-haram-claims-responsibility-for-lagos-abuja-blast.
- July 19, 2014: Members of Boko Haram attack the village of Abbas Gava in northeastern Nigeria.“Boko Haram insurgents kill 100 people as they take control of Nigerian town,” Guardian, July 19, 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/19/boko-haram-kill-100-people-take-control-nigerian-town.
- July 23, 2014: Two suicide attacks in Kaduna kill 82 people. One of the attacks was aimed at opposition leader and ex-president Muhammadu Buhari. It is widely suspected that Boko Haram is responsible for the attacks.Gabra Muhammed, “Suicide bombs in Nigeria's Kaduna kill 82, ex-leader Buhari targeted,” Reuters, July 23, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/23/us-nigeria-violence-idUSKBN0FS19L20140723. There was widespread speculation in the Nigerian media that the attack was an indication of Boko Haram’s strategy to further destabilize Nigeria.
- July 28, 2014: Boko Haram members kidnap the wife of Amadou Ali, Cameroon’s vice prime minister and one of the country’s most visible political figures.Adam Nossiter, “Boko Haram Targets Political Figures in String of Attacks,” New York Times, July 28, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/29/world/africa/boko-haram-targets-political-figures-in-string-of-attacks.html?_r=4.
- July 30, 2014: A female suicide bomber blows herself up in the city of Kano killing 6. This is the third suicide attack carried out by a female suicide bomber. According to security analysts, it is not clear whether the group is recruiting female bombers or forcing kidnapped girls to carry out suicide missions.“Nigeria Kano blast: Boko Haram blamed for six deaths,” BBC News, July 30, 2014, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-28571037.
- August 6, 2014: Boko Haram seizes the town of Gwoza in Borno state, killing 100.“Boko Haram Insurgents Kill 100, Seize Another Major Northeast Town,” Sahara Reporters, August 6, 2014, http://saharareporters.com/2014/08/06/boko-haram-insurgents-kill-100-seize-another-major-northeast-town.
- August 11, 2014: Boko Haram kidnaps at least 97 men and boys and kills 28 people, and injures 27 others, in a raid on villages in Borno state.Aminu Abubakar, “Boko Haram kidnaps at least 97, kills 28 in raid,” CNN, August 15, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/15/world/africa/boko-haram-kidnapping/index.html.
- August 12, 2014: Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians flee attacks from Boko Haram in the north east of Nigeria. Multinational agencies have said they are now sheltering more than 40,000 people.Patrick McGroarty & Gbenga Akingbule, “Hundreds of Thousands of Nigerians Flee Boko Haram, Seek Sanctuary,” Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2014, http://online.wsj.com/articles/hundreds-of-thousands-of-nigerians-flee-boko-haram-seek-sanctuary-1407855499.
- August 21, 2014: Boko Haram seizes a riot police training academy in northern Nigeria, driving out recruits.“Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria militants ‘seize police academy,’” BBC News, August 21, 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28884665.
- August 21, 2014: Boko Haram seizes another town, Buni Yadi in Yobe state, reflecting an apparent strategic shift toward taking and holding territory in order to achieve its goal of establishing an Islamist state.Aminu Abubakar, “Boko Haram takes over another Nigeria town,” AFP, August 21, 2012, accessed August 22, 2012, https://news.yahoo.com/boko-haram-takes-over-another-nigeria-town-witnesses-142352168.html.
- September 2, 2014: Boko Haram attacks and attempts to seize the town of Bama in northeast Nigeria. Nigerian Military officials are able to repel the attack and kill 70 Boko Haram fighters, but the group returns the next day and succeeds in seizing the town.“Nigeria's Boko Haram 'seize' Bama town in Borno,” BBC News, September 2, 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29021037.
- September 6, 2014: Boko Haram militants attack the town of Gulak near the Cameroon border. Eyewitnesses state that the fighters “went from house to house shooting people.”“Boko Haram Militants Attack Northeast Town Near Cameroon Border,” New York Times, September 6, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2014/09/06/world/africa/06reuters-nigeria-violence.html.
- September 18, 2014: Boko Haram suicide bombers kill 15 people at a Nigerian teachers’ college. The bombers open fire at students and then detonate explosives in a crowded lecture hall.“Deaths in Attack on Nigeria Teachers' College,” Al Jazeera, September 18, 2014, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/09/deaths-attack-nigeria-teachers-college-2014917194449334646.html.
- September 20, 2014: Boko Haram kills four civilians in Cameroon. Over 40,000 Nigerians have fled to Cameroon in order to escape Boko Haram.“Four Killed in Cross-Border Boko Haram Attack in Northern Cameroon,” New York Times, September 20, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2014/09/20/world/africa/20reuters-cameroon-boko-haram.html.
- September 25, 2014: Boko Haram kills 18 people in an attack in Shaffa, Nigeria.“Boko Haram fighters kill 18 in northeast Nigeria: Witnesses,” Reuters, September 25, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/25/us-nigeria-violence-idUSKCN0HK25H20140925.
- October 18, 2014: Boko Haram attacks the village of Dzur, killing at least eight.“Suspected Boko Haram Militants Mount Two Deadly Attacks After Nigeria ‘Ceasefire,’” Reuters, October 18, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/18/us-nigeria-violence-idUSKCN0I70H020141018. Gunmen also abduct around 60 Nigerians from a village bordering Cameroon.Adam Nossiter, “Boko Haram Said to Abduct More Women in Nigeria,” New York Times, October 23, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/world/africa/boko-harm-abducts-more-women-despite-claims-of-nigeria-cease-fire.html.
- October 22, 2014: Boko Haram is suspected to be behind a bomb that exploded at a bus station in northern Nigeria, killing at least five and wounding 12.“Bomb Blast Kills Five at Bus Station in North Nigeria: Police,” Reuters, October 23, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/23/us-nigeria-violence-idUSKCN0IC0KV20141023.
- October 23, 2014: Suspected Boko Haram militants kidnap at least 25 girls from a town in northeastern Nigeria.Imma Ande and Isaac Abrak, “Suspected Boko Haram Fighters Kidnap 25 Girls in Northeast Nigeria,” Reuters, October 23, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/23/us-nigeria-violence-girls-idUSKCN0IC1XN20141023.
- October 31, 2014: A car bomb kills at least 10 at a bus stop in northeastern Nigeria.Isaac Abrak, “Car Bomb Kills at Least 10 at Bus Stop in Northeast Nigeria,” Reuters, October 31, 2014,http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/31/us-nigeria-violence-idUSKBN0IK10L20141031.
- November 2, 2014: Militants armed with guns and explosives attack Koton Karfe prison in central Kogi state, freeing 144 inmates. Boko Haram is linked to the attack.“Jailbreak in Kogi; gunmen free 144 inmates,” Premium Times, November 3, 2014, http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/170512-jailbreak-in-kogi-gunmen-free-144-inmates.html;Reuters, “Suicide Blast Kills 29 in Nigeria, Prison Attack Frees 144,” New York Times, November 3, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2014/11/03/world/africa/03reuters-nigeria-bomb.html.
- November 3, 2014: A suicide attack in the northeast Nigerian town of Potiskum kills 29 at a Shiite ceremony. Authorities hold Boko Haram accountable.“Nigerian Shias in Potiskum Hit by ‘Suicide Attack,’” BBC, November 3, 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29882218; “Suicide Blast Kills 29 in Nigeria, Prison Attack Frees 144,” Reuters, November 3, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2014/11/03/world/africa/03reuters-nigeria-bomb.html.
- November 6, 2014: Boko Haram militants raid Ashaka cement factory and steal dynamite from its quarry.“Boko Haram steals dynamite in a raid on Lafarge Nigeria plant: sources,” Reuters, November 6, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/06/us-nigeria-violence-idUSKBN0IQ10F20141106.
- November 7, 2014: A suicide bomber suspected of belonging to Boko Haram kills at least 7 people outside of a bank in northeast Nigeria.Joe Hemba, “Suicide bomber kills at least 7 at bank in northeast Nigeria,” Reuters, November 7, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/07/us-nigeria-violence-idUSKBN0IR19X20141107.
- November 10, 2014: A Boko Haram suicide bomber disguised in a school uniform sets off explosives at a high school in northern Nigeria, killing 48 students and wounding 79.“Suicide Bomber Kills 48 Students in Nigeria,” Associated Press, November 10, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/11/10/world/africa/ap-af-nigeria-violence.html.
- November 14, 2014: Boko Haram insurgents recapture the town of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria, where nearly 300 girls were abducted seven months prior. The militants entered the town “shooting from pickup trucks and motorcycles,” forcing thousands to flee.“Boko Hama insurgents seize Nigerian community of Chibok,” Washington Post, November 14, 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/boko-haram-insurgents-seize-nigerian-community-of-chibok/2014/11/14/43719424-6c36-11e4-9fb4-a622dae742a2_story.html.
- November 21, 2014: At least 45 people are “slaughtered” by Boko Haram militants in an attack. The attack is believed to be in retaliation to an incident two days prior in which soldiers shot four of the group’s members. According to an eyewitness, the militants “tied peoples' hands behind their backs and slit their throats like animals.”“Nigerian village buries 45 after Boko Haram ‘slaughter,’” Reuters, November 21, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/21/us-nigeria-violence-idUSKCN0J511R20141121.
- November 23, 2014: Boko Haram militants murder 48 fish vendors in northeastern Nigeria. Some victims’ throats are slit, while others are tied up and drowned in Lake Chad. News regarding the attack was slow to surface because Boko Haram militants had destroyed cell towers in the area in previous attacks.“Nigeria: Fish Vendors Attacked,” Agence France-Presse, November 23, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/24/world/africa/nigeria-fish-vendors-attacked.html.
- November 24, 2014: At 09:00 Nigerian time, Boko Haram insurgents flood the town of Damasak in northeast Nigeria, killing an unknown number of people. An eyewitness says that the militants “fired shots into the houses to force people out… many people have died.”“Suspected Boko Haram Militants Attack Nigerian Border Town,” Reuters, November 24, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/24/us-nigeria-violence-boko-haram-idUSKCN0J81UD20141124.
- November 25, 2014: Two female suicide bombers belonging to Boko Haram kill 44 people in an attack in the northeastern city of Maiuguri. The first attacker detonated her bomb, killing three women. When rescuers rushed to the scene, the second girl set off her explosives, killing dozens more.Lanre Ola, “Female Suicide Bombers Kill At Least 44 in Nigeria’s Northeast,” Reuters, November 25, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/25/us-nigeria-violence-idUSKCN0J913C20141125.
- November 26, 2014: Boko Haram insurgents attack two villages bordering the town of Chibok, where nearly 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped in April 2014. The attack leaves more than 20 dead, and left nearly all the houses in the villages “burnt to ash.”“Nigeria: Boko Haram Kills 20 Villagers Near Chibok,” Associated Press, November 26, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/11/26/world/africa/ap-af-nigeria-violence.html.
- November 27, 2014: An attack at a northeast Nigerian bus station—purportedly carried out by Boko Haram militants—kills 40 people including five soldiers.“Northeast Nigeria bus station blast kills 40 people: sources,” Reuters, November 27, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/27/us-nigeria-violence-idUSKCN0JB23220141127.
- November 28, 2014: Gunmen purportedly belonging to Boko Haram set off three bombs and open fire on worshippers at a mosque in northern Nigeria’s biggest city, Kano. The attack kills at least 81 people.“Explosions Hit Worshipers in Northern Nigeria,” Reuters, November 28, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2014/11/28/world/africa/28reuters-nigeria-violence.html.
- November 30, 2014: Boko Haram militants raid a mostly Christian town in northeast Nigeria after nightfall, killing “scores” of people. Eyewitness accounts tell of 30 men riding into the town on motorcycles throwing bombs into houses and shooting the people who flee.“Suspected Boko Haram militants raid northern Christian town in Nigeria,” Reuters, November 30, 2014,http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/30/us-nigeria-violence-boko-haram-idUSKCN0JE0H520141130.
- December 1, 2014: Boko Haram militants launch an attack on government, police and military buildings in Damaturu. The attack involves two female suicide bombers detonating bombs at the central Maiduguri market.Jeremy Ashkenas, Derek Watkins, and Archie Tse, "Boko Haram: The Other Islamic State," New York Times, December 11, 2014,http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/11/world/africa/boko-haram-nigeria-maps.html.
- December 10, 2014: Boko Haram dispatch two female suicide bombers at a textile market in the city of Kano, killing 6.Mustapha Muhammad, "Nigerian Female Suicide Bombers Kill Six in Northern City," Bloomberg News, December 10, 2014, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-10/explosion-hits-textile-market-in-northern-nigerian-city-of-kano.html.
- December 11, 2014: Boko Haram claim responsibility for twin bombs that explode in the city of Jos, in central Nigeria, killing 31.Robyn Dixon, “Twin Blasts in Nigeria Market Kill 31,” Los Angeles Times, December 11, 2014,http://www.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-twin-blasts-nigeria-market-20141211-story.html.
- December 13, 2014: Boko Haram fighters kill 35 people and kidnap about 185 others in a remote farming village in northeastern Nigeria called Gumsuri.“Islamist Militants in Nigeria Kidnap 185 in a Deadly Attack on a Village,” New York Times, December 18, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/19/world/africa/islamist-militants-in-nigeria-kidnap-185-in-a-deadly-attack-on-a-village-.html.
- December 18, 2014: A suspected Boko Haram militant kills 32 and kidnaps 172 women and children during a raid in Northeastern Nigeria.“Suspected Boko Haram Gunmen Kidnap 172 Women, Children in Nigeria,” New York Times, December 18, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2014/12/18/world/africa/18reuters-nigeria-violence.html.
- December 21, 2014: Boko Haram releases a video of its militants killing civilians. They explain that the individuals are being killed because “they are infidels.” In the video, the leader states, “from now, killing, slaughtering, destructions and bombing will be our religious duty anywhere we invade.”“Boko Haram releases video of extremists killing civilians,” Washington Post, December 21, 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/boko-haram-releases-video-of-extremists-killing-civilians/2014/12/21/8549fcd4-8954-11e4-a085-34e9b9f09a58_story.html.
- December 22, 2014: Boko Haram is responsible for a bomb that goes off in a bus station near Gombe city, Nigeria. At least 20 people were killed.“Nigeria bombing kills 20 as Boko Haram storms another town ,” Daily Mail, December 22, 2014, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-2883619/Bomb-blast-NE-Nigeria-bus-station-kills-20.html.
- December 30, 2014: 15 people are killed after Boko Haram militants open fire in Kautikari, a town near the Cameroonian border.“Boko Haram Kills 15 in Northeast Nigerian Town-Witnesses,” New York Times, December 30, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2014/12/30/world/africa/30reuters-nigeria-violence.html.
- December 31, 2014: Gunmen suspected of belonging to Boko Haram kidnap 40 young men and boys, mostly between the ages of 15 and 23, from the village of Malari in northeastern Nigeria.“Suspected Islamists Abduct 40 People in Northeast Nigeria,” Reuters, January 2, 2015, http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/01/02/uk-nigeria-violence-idUKKBN0KB19Q20150102.
- January 1, 2015: Boko Haram militants attack a bus in northern Cameroon, killing at least 15 people.“At Least 15 Killed in ‘Boko Haram’ Attack on Cameroon Bus - Sources,” Reuters, January 3, 2015, http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/01/03/uk-cameroon-boko-haram-attack-idUKKBN0KC0GS20150103.
- January 3, 2015: Boko Haram fighters take control of the northeast Nigerian town of Baga and a nearby military base. Hundreds of civilians are killed in the ensuing days.Haruna Umar, “Nigerian President Visits Conflict Zone,” Associated Press, January 15, 2015, http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AF_NIGERIA_VIOLENCE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT. Baga hosts the headquarters of a multinational force from Niger, Nigeria, Chad, and Cameroon.“Boko Haram Killed Dozens Seizing Nigerian Town and Army Base,” Reuters, January 5, 2015, http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/01/05/uk-nigeria-violence-idUKKBN0KE1CK20150105.
- January 4, 2015: Boko Haram announces it has captured the northeastern Nigerian town of Baga. During its weekend raid Boko Haram destroys about 620 buildings in Baga and more than 3,100 in neighboring Doron Baga, according to Amnesty International.“Images ‘Show Boko Haram Destruction,’” BBC News, January 15, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30826582. Reports later surface that Boko Haram killed 2,000 people during its capture of Baga.“Images ‘Show Boko Haram Destruction,’” BBC News, January 15, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30826582. The Nigerian government later says only 150 people, including militants, actually died, but Amnesty International says the death toll is much higher than the official numbers.“Images ‘Show Boko Haram Destruction,’” BBC News, January 15, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30826582.
- January 5, 2015: Boko Haram uploads a video to YouTube of its leader, Abubakar Shekau, threatening to overrun Cameroon unless it throws out its constitution and embraces Islam.Agence France-Presse, “Boko Haram Leader Threatens Cameroon in YouTube Video,” Daily Mail, January 7, 2015, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-2900424/Boko-Haram-leader-threatens-Cameroon-YouTube-video.html.
- January 6-7, 2015: Boko Haram raids in Baga leave dozens dead after militants burn homes and buildings while indiscriminately shooting people.Ardo Abdullah, “Boko Haram Kills Dozens in Fresh Raids in Nigerian Town,” Reuters, January 9, 2015, http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/01/09/us-nigeria-violence-idUKKBN0KH1VV20150109.
- January 10, 2015: The Nigerian military repels Boko Haram fighters trying to capture Damaturu, a major northeastern town.“Boko Haram Crisis: Nigerian Archbishop Accuses West,” BBC News, January 12, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30777066.
- January 10, 2015: A girl of around 10 years of age with a bomb strapped to her blows herself up in a market in the city of Maiduguri. At least 16 people are killed and more than 20 are injured.Joe Hemba, “Two Suspected Child Suicide Bombers Hit North Nigeria Town,” Reuters, January 11, 2015, http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/01/11/uk-nigeria-violence-idUKKBN0KK0LS20150111.
- January 11, 2015: A pair of child suicide bombers, both around 10 years old, blow up in an open-air market in Potiskum in Yobe state, killing at least three people. Joe Hemba, “Two Suspected Child Suicide Bombers Hit North Nigeria Town,” Reuters, January 11, 2015, http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/01/11/uk-nigeria-violence-idUKKBN0KK0LS20150111. The children are suspected to be part of the group of 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014.Alexander Smith, “Boko Haram Appears to Be Using Abducted Girls as Suicide Bombers: Experts,” NBC News, January 15, 2015, http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/missing-nigeria-schoolgirls/boko-haram-appears-be-using-abducted-girls-suicide-bombers-experts-n284456.
- January 12, 2015: Boko Haram forces cross over from Nigeria into neighboring Cameroon and attack a military camp in Kolofata. The Cameroonian military repels the attack, killing 143 militants, according to the government. At least one Cameroonian soldier dies in the fight.Divine Ntaryike, “Cameroon Govt Says 143 Boko Haram Militants Killed,” Associated Press, January 13, 2015, http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AF_CAMEROON_BOKO_HARAM_BATTLE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT.
- January 13, 2015: At least two people are killed and 14 wounded in a suicide attack outside of a mosque in the state of Gombe. Boko Haram does not immediately claim responsibility, although Gombe is just outside its main area of operations.“Suicide Bomber Kills Two, Wounds 14 at Mosque in Northeastern Nigeria,” Reuters, January 13, 2015, http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/01/13/uk-nigeria-violence-idUKKBN0KM29E20150113.
- January 14, 2015: The Nigerian army pushes back a Boko Haram attack in the town of Biu in the state of Borno.“Nigeria Boko Haram: Army Repels Attack in Borno State,” BBC News, January 14, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30817540.
- January 18, 2015: Suspected Boko Haram militants kidnap an estimated 80 people in northern Cameroon.Ngala Killian Chimtom, “Boko Haram strikes in Cameroon as foreign troops arrive from Chad,” CNN, January 18, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/18/africa/cameroon-chad-troops-boko-haram/. The attack marks the first time that Cameroonian villagers are kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram militants.“Boko Haram ‘in Cameroon kidnappings’,” BBC News, January 18, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30873243. Meanwhile, a suicide bomber in northeastern Nigeria kills four and injures more than 40 in an attack suspected to be carried out by Boko Haram.“Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria bomber ‘attacks bus station’,” BBC News, January 18, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30871629.
- January 25, 2015: Boko Haram militants attack Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri, reportedly killing dozens. Militants also capture the northeastern town of Monguno.“Boko Haram attacks key Nigerian city of Maiduguri,” BBC News, January 25, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30972534.
- January 28, 2015: CNN reports that Boko Haram has killed “scores” in the recent series of attacks in Nigeria’s Adamawa state.Aminu Abubakar and Greg Botelho, “Boko Haram strikes again: ‘They slaughter people like animals’,” CNN, January 28, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/28/africa/boko-haram-raids/.
- February 1, 2015: Nigerian troops repel Boko Haram militants closing in on Maiduguri. Hundreds of insurgents are reported dead.Associated Press, “Boko Haram attacks Nigerian city from four fronts,” Fox News, February 1, 2015, http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/02/01/boko-haram-attacking-nigerian-city-from-four-fronts/.
- February 5, 2015: Approximately 800 Boko Haram insurgents shoot or burn to death 90 civilians in a Cameroon border town. The town’s information minister tells the Associated Press that the insurgents “burned churches, mosques and villages and slaughtered youth who resisted joining them to fight Cameroonian forces.”Associated Press, “Boko Haram kills 90 civilians and wounds 500 in Cameroon attacks,” Guardian, February 15, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/05/boko-haram-kills-civilians-attacks-cameroon-border-nigeria-fotokol.
- February 9, 2015: Boko Haram militants hijack a bus in the north of Cameroon, kidnapping as many as 30 civilians.“Nigeria's Boko Haram 'kidnaps 20' in Cameroon bus hijacking,” BBC News, February 9, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-31313590.
- March 2, 2015: Chadian troops retake control of the northeastern Nigerian town of Dikwa, which Boko Haram had occupied for weeks. Boko Haram kills hundreds of civilians before retreating.Haruna Umar and Dany Padire, “Hundreds killed as Chad forces seize northeast Nigerian town,” Associated Press, March 3, 2015, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/b0d5f2ae3b49411eab79b59f9f34dfa9/hundreds-killed-chad-forces-seize-northeast-nigerian-town.
- March 2, 2015: Boko Haram posts a beheading video on Twitter of two men the group claims were spies. One of the men, claiming to be a farmer from the Nigerian village of Baga, says on camera that a policeman told him he would “become rich” if he informed on residents in his village. The video includes English, Arabic, and French subtitles. It is Boko Haram’s first purported beheading video.Aminu Abubakar, “Boko Haram posts video purporting to show beheadings of two men,” CNN, March 2, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/02/africa/boko-haram-beheadings-video/.
- March 19, 2015: Boko Haram attacks the Nigerian town of Ngala, which the army said it had retaken from the terrorist group. Boko Haram kills 11 people in the raid.“Boko Haram areas 'retaken in a month' - Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan,” BBC News, March 20, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-31979524.
- March 27-28, 2015: At 11 p.m. on March 27, scores of suspected Boko Haram gunmen attack the Buratai village in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno state. The gunmen burn most of the village and decapitate 23 people. Dozens are wounded.Aminu Abubakar, “Boko Haram blamed for decapitations,” CNN, March 28, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/28/world/boko-haram-nigeria-village-raid/.
- March 29, 2015: Boko Haram attacks the Bauchi state capital, Bauchi city. Gunmen attack public buildings, security checkpoints, police stations, and polling places, destroying ballot boxes. The Nigerian army responds with airstrikes. They burn down the office of the paramilitary Nigeria Security and Civil Defense force, a police station, and the local electoral commission office. Nigeria orders an indefinite curfew in the area. The fighting coincides with the second day of voting in Nigeria’s elections. Bauchi opposition politicians blame the curfew on efforts to affect the elections’ outcome.Agence France-Presse, “Curfew in Bauchi, NE Nigeria, after Boko Haram fighting,” Yahoo News, March 29, 2015, http://news.yahoo.com/nigerian-troops-battle-boko-haram-outside-bauchi-115230995.html.
- April 7, 2015: In Borno State, Nigeria, Boko Haram militants slaughter 24 civilians at a mosque after disguising themselves as preachers.Associated Press, “Boko Haram Kills at least 24 after disguising selves as preachers,” New York Post, April 7, 2015, http://nypost.com/2015/04/07/boko-haram-kills-at-least-24-after-disguising-selves-as-preachers/.
- April 16, 2015: Boko Haram strikes into Cameroon and murders 16 civilians. Six Boko Haram militants are killed by the Cameroonian army.Steve Almasy, “Boko Haram Kills 16 in Cameroon, military says,” CNN, April 18, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/18/africa/boko-haram-cameroon/.
- May 9-10, 2015: Boko Haram gunmen kill two Cameroonian soldiers during clashes over the weekend. Three Boko Haram gunmen also die. Cameroonian officials said the fighting began when Boko Haram militants reportedly moved toward the northern Cameroonian town of Zelevet near the Nigerian border.“Boko Haram kills two soldiers in Cameroon: sources,” Reuters, May 11, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/11/us-nigeria-violence-cameroon-idUSKBN0NW1LG20150511.
- May 13, 2015: Boko Haram kills at least six civilians and six members of a vigilante youth group in an attack on the Nigerian city of Maiduguri.“At least 12 dead after attack on Nigeria's Maiduguri city,” Reuters, May 14, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/15/us-nigeria-violence-idUSKBN0NZ1Y520150515.
- May 15, 2015: Boko Haram retakes the Nigerian town of Marte in Borno state, which government forces had liberated in February.“UPDATE 1-Boko Haram retakes Nigerian town of Marte in Borno state,” Reuters, May 15, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/15/nigeria-violence-borno-idUSL5N0Y658620150515. Boko Haram also attacks the Nigerian town of Mule, about six miles from the Borno state capital.“Boko Haram attacks outskirts of Nigeria's Maiduguri,” Reuters, May 15, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/15/us-nigeria-violence-idUSKBN0O01LV20150515.
- May 16, 2015: At least seven people are killed when a female suicide bomber blows herself up in Damaturu, the capital of northern Nigeria’s Yobe state. No group claims responsibility but authorities suspect Boko Haram.“UPDATE 2-Suicide bomber in northern Nigeria kills at least 7 – witnesses,” Reuters, May 16, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/16/nigeria-violence-idUSL5N0Y70G720150516.
- May 22, 2015: Boko Haram militants hack 10 people to death in Nigeria’s northeastern Adamawa state.Aminu Abubakar, “Boko Haram militants raid Nigerian village, hack 10 to death,” CNN, May 25, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/25/world/nigeria-boko-haram-village-raid/.
- May 29-31, 2015: Boko Haram conducts a three-day string of bombing attacks in northern Nigeria, killing at least 42.Gbenga Akingbule, “Nigeria’s Northeast Suffers String of Attacks by Boko Haram,” Wall Street Journal, May 31, 2015, http://www.wsj.com/articles/nigerias-northeast-suffers-string-of-attacks-by-boko-haram-1433078820.
- June 2, 2015: Boko Haram bombs Maiduguri, killing an estimated 20 people.Associated Press, “Boko Haram bombs Maiduguri in north-east Nigeria, killing 20 people,” Guardian (London), June 2, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/02/boko-haram-bombs-maiduguri-nigeria.
- June 12, 2015: Boko Haram militants burn six northeastern villages in Nigeria’s north, killing 37, according to a survivor.Associated Press, “Boko Haram extremists burn 6 Nigerian villages, kill 37,” Fox News, June 12, 2015, http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/06/12/boko-haram-extremists-burn-down-6-northeast-nigerian-villages-kill-37/.
- June 17, 2015: Boko Haram launches an attack in Niger, killing dozens of civilians.“Boko Haram crisis: Attack in Niger kills dozens,” BBC News, January 18, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-33186154.
- June 18, 2015: Suspected Boko Haram insurgents attack Nigerien villages, killing dozens, in the Diffa region of Niger close to the Nigerian border.“Boko Haram crisis: Attack in Niger kills dozens,” BBC News, June 18, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-33186154.
- June 23, 2015: At least 50 people are killed in various Boko Haram attacks in Borno and Yobe state. One of the attacks reportedly includes a suicide bombing carried out by a 12-year-old girl.“Nigeria violence: 'At least 40 dead' in Boko Haram attack,” BBC News, June 24, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-33250393.
- June 24, 2015: Boko Haram militants shoot dead at least 42 people in separate attacks in northeast Nigeria.Agence France-Presse, “'Boko Haram' attacks kill over 40 in Nigeria,” Yahoo News, June 24, 2015, http://news.yahoo.com/over-40-killed-boko-haram-attacks-ne-nigeria-091911251.html.
- July 2, 2015: In Borno state, Boko Haram militants gun down nearly 150 people as they pray in mosques during the holy month of Ramadan.Agence France-Presse, “Nearly 150 killed in suspected Boko Haram attacks in NE Nigeria,” Yahoo News, July 2, 2015, http://news.yahoo.com/least-97-dead-boko-haram-attack-nigeria-witnesses-161053965.html.
- July 3, 2015: Boko Haram insurgents murder nearly 200 Nigerians in attacks across the northeast of the country. In one of the attacks, a young female suicide bomber kills 12 in a mosque in Borno.Agence France-Presse, “Boko Haram kills nearly 200 in 48 hours of Nigeria slaughter,” Yahoo News, July 3, 2015, http://news.yahoo.com/nigerian-leader-condemns-inhuman-barbaric-boko-haram-attacks-135249565.html.
- July 6, 2015: Two bombs set off by suspected Boko Haram militants kill 44 in Nigeria’s central city of Jos.New Wire Services, “Bombs blamed on Boko Haram kill 44 in Nigeria,” New York Daily News, July 6, 2015, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/bombs-blamed-boko-haram-kill-44-nigeria-article-1.2282534.
- July 10, 2015: Boko Haram releases its first beheading video since its allegiance to ISIS.Jay Akbar, “Like master, like servant: Nigerian terror group Boko Haram releases first beheading video since pledging allegiance to ISIS,” Daily Mail (London), July 10, 2015, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3156551/Like-master-like-servant-Nigerian-terror-group-Boko-Haram-releases-beheading-video-pledging-allegiance-ISIS.html.
- July 19, 2015: Suspected Boko Haram militants murder 20 Cameroonians in Kamouna, Cameroon. Many children are among the dead.Associated Press, “Boko Haram extremists kill 20 in Cameroon attack,” CBS News, July 21, 2015, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/boko-haram-extremists-kill-20-in-cameroon-attack/.
- July 25, 2015: Boko Haram militants kill at least 25 in Adamawa state in eastern Nigeria.Aminu Abubakr and Pat St. Claire, “Boko Haram kills 25 in Nigeria,” CNN, July 25, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/25/africa/nigeria-violence/. On the same day, a suspected Boko Haram suicide bomber kills 10 in northern Cameroon.Associated Press, “Suspected Boko Haram suicide attack kills at least 10 in Cameroon,” CBC News, July 25, 2015, http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/suspected-boko-haram-suicide-attack-kills-at-least-10-in-cameroon-1.3168029.
- August 17, 2015: A Chadian judicial source announces Chad will hold 10 Boko Haram suspects on trial for “murder using explosives, illegal possession of weapons of war and criminal conspiracy.”Agence France-Presse, “10 Boko Haram suspects ‘to face trial in Chad over twin attacks’,” Yahoo News, http://news.yahoo.com/10-boko-haram-suspects-face-trial-chad-over-202916426.html.
- August 18, 2015: Nearly 150 Nigerians are shot or drown while fleeing Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria’s northeastern Yobe state.Agence France-Presse, “Up to 150 Drowned, Shot Fleeing Boko Haram Ambush in Northeast Nigeria: Villagers,” NDTV, August 19, 2015, http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/up-to-150-drowned-shot-fleeing-boko-haram-ambush-in-northeast-nigeria-villagers-1208689.
- August 23, 2015: Suspected Boko Haram militants attack a convoy carrying Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, the new head of the Nigerian army. One Nigerian soldier and 10 militants die, while Buratai is left unharmed.Agence France-Presse, “Nigerian army chief unharmed after suspected Boko Haram attack,” Yahoo news, August 23, 2015, https://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/nigeria-army-chief-unharmed-suspected-boko-haram-attack-112116290.html.
- August 25, 2015: Two teenage suicide bombers carry out attack in Damaturu, a northeastern Nigerian town, killing five and injuring 41.Associated Press, “Teenage suicide bomber kills 5, injures 41 in attack in Nigeria,” Globe and Mail (Toronto), August 25, 2015, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/girl-suicide-bomber-kills-5-injures-41-in-boko-haram-attack-in-nigeria/article26088132/.
- August 30, 2015: Boko Haram militants kill dozens of Nigerian civilians in raids on remote towns in the northeast of the country.Associated Press, “Boko Haram Militants Kill Dozens In Attacks On Nigerian Villages,” Huffington Post, August 20, 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/boko-haram-attacks-nigeria_55e07cece4b0c818f6178ca8.
- August 31, 2015: Boko Haram gunmen on horseback kill 79 people in remote villages in northeastern Nigeria.Greg Botelho and Aminu Abubakar, “Boko Haram gunmen on horseback kill 79 in trio of attacks, locals say,” CNN, August 31, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/31/africa/nigeria-violence/.
- Early October 2015: On October 2, militants carry out multiple bomb attacks in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, killing 18 and wounding 41. Boko Haram claims responsibility on October 5.Agence France-Presse, “Boko Haram suspected after Nigerian capital Abuja hit by bomb blasts,” Guardian (London), October 2, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/03/boko-haram-suspected-after-nigerian-capital-abuja-hit-by-bomb-blasts; Morgan Winsor, “Boko Haram Claims Responsibility For Suicide Bombings Near Nigeria's Capital Abuja,” International Business Times, October 5, 2015, http://www.ibtimes.com/boko-haram-claims-responsibility-suicide-bombings-near-nigerias-capital-abuja-2126974. On October 11, five suicide bombers belonging to Boko Haram kill at least 36 Nigerians at a refugee camp in Chad.“Suspected Boko Haram suicide attacks kill dozens in Chad,” France24, October 11, 2015, http://www.france24.com/en/20151010-wave-suspected-boko-haram-suicide-attacks-strike-chad-nigeria.
- November 27, 2015: A suspected Boko Haram suicide bomber kills 21 Shiites in the middle of a religious procession from Kano to Zaria, Nigeria.Associated Press, “Nigeria: Boko Haram Is Suspected as Suicide Bomber Kills 21 Shiites,” New York Times, November 27, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/28/world/africa/nigeria-boko-haram-is-suspected-as-suicide-bomber-kills-21-shiites.html.
- December 25, 2015: Boko Haram insurgents launch a Christmas day attack on a town in northeast Nigeria, killing at least 14 and wounding several others.Agence France-Presse, “Boko Haram Kills At Least 14 In Christmas Day Attack In Nigeria: Vigilantes,” NDTV, December 27, 2015, http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/boko-haram-kills-at-least-14-in-christmas-day-attack-in-nigeria-vigilantes-1259317.
- December 28, 2015: Boko Haram insurgents kill at least 80 people with rocket-propelled grenades and multiple suicide bombings in northeastern Nigeria.“Boko Haram attacks northeast Nigerian city, town, 80 killed,” Washington Post, December 28, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/at-least-80-killed-as-boko-haram-attacks-two-nigerian-cities/2015/12/28/08240ae6-ada3-11e5-b820-eea4d64be2a1_story.html.
- February 1, 2016: Boko Haram burns children alive as part of an attack in northeast Nigeria that kills 86. The new tactic is believed to be in response to a recent claim by the Nigerian government that Boko Haram is unable to carry out any attacks other than suicide bombings.Jane Onyanga-Omara, “Survivor claims Boko Haram burned kids alive in attack that kills 86,” USA Today, February 1, 2016, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/01/31/boko-haram-attack-village/79623914/; “Over 50 killed, 70 injured as terrorists attack Borno,” Vanguard (Lagos), February 1, 2016, http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/02/over-50-killed-70-injured-as-terrorists-attack-borno/.
- November 2014: Boko Haram kidnaps approximately 400 women and children, including at least 300 elementary school students, in the town of Damasak. The incident receives little media attention until Human Rights Watch publishes an investigation into the incident in March 2016.“Nigeria: A Year On, No Word on 300 Abducted Children,” Human Rights Watch, March 29, 2016, https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/03/29/nigeria-year-no-word-300-abducted-children.
- January 30, 2016: Boko Haram militants firebomb Dalori village, three miles from Maiduguri, killing 86 people.“Boko Haram burns kids alive in Nigeria, 86 dead: officials,” Associated Press, January 31, 2016, https://www.yahoo.com/news/boko-haram-burns-kids-alive-northeast-nigeria-witness-113440486.html?ref=gs.
- February 9, 2016: Two suspected female Boko Haram operatives blow themselves up at a camp for displaced persons in Dikwa, northeastern Nigeria, killing 58 people and wounding nearly 80.Usam Sadiq al-Amin and Dionne Searcey, “Young Bombers Kill 58 at Nigerian Camp for Those Fleeing Boko Haram,” New York Times, February 10, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/11/world/africa/suicide-bomber-girls-kill-58-in-nigerian-refugee-camp.html?_r=1.
- May 12, 2016: Boko Haram suicide bombers attack in Maiduguri, leaving two Nigerian policemen dead.“Boko Haram claims suicide attack in Borno,” Vanguard (Lagos), March 22, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35864054.
Designations by the U.S. Government:
|June 21, 2012: The State Department designates Boko Haram leaders Abubakar Shekau, Khalid al-Barnawi, and Abubakar Adam Kambar as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.“Terrorist Designations of Boko Haram Commander Abubakar Shekau, Khalid al-Barnawi and Abubakar Adam Kambar,” U.S. Department of State, June 21, 2012, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/06/193574.htm.||November 13, 2013: The State Department designates Boko Haram and Ansaru as Foreign Terrorist Organizations and Specially Designated Global Terrorists.“Terrorist Designations of Boko Haram and Ansaru,” U.S. Department of State, November 13, 2013, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2013/11/217509.htm.|
Designations by Foreign Governments and Organizations:
|Australia—listed Boko Haram as a terrorist organization on June 26, 2014.“Australian National Security,” Australian Government, accessed August 22, 2014, http://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/Listedterroristorganisations/Pages/Boko-Haram.aspx.||Canada—listed Boko Haram as a terrorist entity on December 24, 2013.“Currently listed entities,” Public Safety Canada, accessed August 22, 2014, http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/ntnl-scrt/cntr-trrrsm/lstd-ntts/crrnt-lstd-ntts-eng.aspx#http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/ntnl-scrt/cntr-trrrsm/lstd-ntts/crrnt-lstd-ntts-eng.aspx#2051.|
|United Nations—the UN Security Council’s al Qaeda Sanctions Committee added Boko Haram to its list of designated entities on May 22, 2014. “Currently listed entities,” Public Safety Canada, accessed August 22, 2014, http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/ntnl-scrt/cntr-trrrsm/lstd-ntts/crrnt-lstd-ntts-eng.aspx#http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/ntnl-scrt/cntr-trrrsm/lstd-ntts/crrnt-lstd-ntts-eng.aspx#2051.|| EU—designated Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation on May 28, 2014.Official Journal of the European Union, Volume 57, May 29, 2014, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:L:2014:160:FULL&from=EN.
“How Boko Haram is beating U.S. efforts to choke its financing,” Reuters, July 1, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/01/us-usa-nigeria-bokoharam-insight-idUSKBN0F636920140701.
Ties to Extremist Entities:
| Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
Boko Haram receives limited funding from AQIM. However the support is said to have only a limited impact on Boko Haram’s overall funding.“How Boko Haram is beating U.S. efforts to choke its financing,” Reuters, July 1, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/01/us-usa-nigeria-bokoharam-insight-idUSKBN0F636920140701. Boko Haram members have also allegedly attended AQIM training camps.Robin Simcox, “Boko Haram and defining the ‘al Qaeda network,’” Al Jazeera, June 6, 2014, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/06/boko-haram-al-qaeda-201463115816142554.html.
According to the U.S. military, there are indications that al-Shabab and Boko Haram are allegedly sharing money and explosive material.David Smith, “Africa's Islamist militants 'co-ordinate efforts in threat to continent's security,’” Guardian, June 26, 2012, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jun/26/africa-islamist-militants-coordinating-threat.
| Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO)
The two organizations appear to support each other’s operations. Jacob Zenn, “Boko Haram’s international connections,” Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, January 14, 2014, https://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/boko-harams-international-connections.
In March 2015, then-leader Abubakar Shekau pledged allegiance to ISIS in an audio message.Nima Elbagir, Paul Cruickshank and Mohammed Tawfeeq, “Boko Haram purportedly pledges allegiance to ISIS,” CNN, March 9, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/07/africa/nigeria-boko-haram-isis/index.html. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi accepted the pledge soon after.Hamdi Alkhshali and Steve Almasy, “ISIS leader purportedly accepts Boko Haram's pledge of allegiance,” CNN, March 12, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/12/middleeast/isis-boko-haram/. As of March 2016, approximately 1,000 Boko Haram operatives are believed to be fighting alongside ISIS in Libya. ISIS operatives reportedly hire special smugglers to transport Boko Haram militants quickly from Nigeria to Libya, avoiding typical stops on the smuggling route.Callum Paton, “Isis in Libya: How Boko Haram jihadis are flocking to join Daesh’s holy war in North Africa,” International Business Times, March 5, 2016, http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/isis-libya-how-boko-haram-africas-jihadis-are-flocking-join-daeshs-holy-war-1547640.
Ties to other entities:
| Saudi Arabia
Boko Haram appears to have some connections to Saudi Arabia. The group has allegedly received funding from Saudi organizations and Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf allegedly sought refuge there from Nigerian security forces in 2004.Jacob Zenn, “Boko Haram’s international connections,” Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, January 14, 2014, https://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/boko-harams-international-connections.