The Boko Haram Terrorist Islamic Sect in Nigeria: Origin and Linkages
Ibiang Oden Ewa, Ph.D; Chidume, Chukwudi G

Although Boko Haram came as an Islamic sect in 2002, its origin is traceable to a Sahaba Islamic group, formed in 1995. Emerging as one of the historical continuities of a society generally built on centuries of Islamic tradition, with a legacy of Islamic warfare, Boko Haram drew inspiration from romantic visions, transmitted from previous generations, for a return to the old Islamic order in northeastern Nigeria. The confounding rise and sudden strength, audacity, and gains of Boko Haram, an organization that started as a rag-tag militant Islamic sect, are linked to such forces as the radical Islamic ideology of jihad, sharia, and related tenets of fundamental Islam as well as to the contemporary socio-economic problems of poverty, inequality, corruption, unemployment, and illiteracy. They are also due to support from AQIM, ISIS, Global al Qaeda, and Islamists in Mali, and the proliferation of arms in the Sahel. Given these propitious links Boko Haram grew into a formidable force, conquered and occupied much of northeastern Nigeria, and established itself as a threat to Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. In the last quarter of 2015, the sect was routed out of the Nigerian territory, where its operations have been limited to sporadic suicide bombing against soft targets. However, given its links with certain sustaining forces within and outside Nigeria and its bellicose, implacable, and atavistic nature, it is yet ominous to think that Boko Haram is no longer a threat to Nigeria.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rhps.v6n1a5