Bottom Line Up Front Boko Haram has evolved from a group focused on economic and social development in Nigeria into a transnational terrorist organization, which has targeted the UN, kidnapped nearly 300 female students, and launched suicide attacks to terrorize security forces and intimidate the local population. At its ...

Bottom Line: Terrorist group Boko Haram has lost most of the territory it claimed as a “caliphate” within Nigeria back in 2015. But the group still strikes government officials, troops and civilians from its few remaining safe havens in the northeast of the country, and could be positioning itself to take ...

Rising violence in the Central African Republic is stoking fears of a return to intense fighting between Christian and Muslim armed groups not seen since the height of violence in 2013 – a conflict that could prove fertile ground for the so-called Islamic State and Boko Haram. “We’ve heard that ...

Although deaths from the terrorist group Boko Haram are down since they peaked in 2012, the group continues to wreak havoc across the northern part of Nigeria. In 2015, the U.S. pledged more military assistance to help fight the insurgency. But as former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell tells ...

Boko Haram terror attacks have swelled in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno State over the past few months. Hilary Matfess, who is author of the forthcoming book, Women and the War on Boko Haram, which will be available in November 2017, tells The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder what it was like on ...

Suicide attacks and deaths attributed to the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram have been increasing over the first half of 2017. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who recently returned to the country after spending most of the year in London receiving medical treatment, vowed to escalate the campaign to defeat Boko ...

Editor’s Note: Over the coming days, The Cipher Brief presents some of our most incisive coverage on key issues of 2016 and a look ahead at what is yet to come in 2017. This past year brought no relief to those fighting the scourge of terrorism. Terrorists carried out horrific ...

Boko Haram militants have released 21 missing schoolgirls, who were kidnapped from Chibok more than two years ago, to Nigerian authorities as part of a deal brokered by the Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross. According to the BBC, the girls were swapped for the release ...

While claims last week by a Nigerian army spokesman that Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau was “fatally wounded” in an August 19 airstrike should be taken with a dose of skepticism—the military has announced the elusive militant’s death on at least four prior occasions, only to have him reappear taunting ...

Despite sustained efforts by the Nigerian military to root out Boko Haram from its stronghold in northeastern Nigeria, the terrorist organization continues to plague the country and the Lake Chad basin area in West Africa.  “Boko Haram has killed more than 20,000 people, displaced more than two million, and flung ...

A key moment on the Boko Haram timeline occurred in March 2015, when the group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS). According to Dr. Raymond Gilpin, Dean of Academic Affairs for the Africa Center for Strategic Studies at National Defense University, both groups felt that they “could gain from ...

There is a leadership struggle underway within Boko Haram, the violent, extremist movement that has claimed more than 20,000 lives since 2011 and destabilized the secular Nigerian state and its neighbors. The personal struggle between Abubakar Shekau and Abu Musab al-Barnawi reflects in part the rivalry between Boko Haram and ...

Nigeria faces three distinct security crises, with one common thread: failure of governance. Terrorist group Boko Haram continues to wreak havoc in the north, a conflict over land between farmers and nomadic herdsmen rages in the middle of the country, and a renewed insurgency in the south – in the ...

On March 7, 2015, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIS.  Nearly a year later, has either of these terrorist groups gained from this partnership? For ISIS, the answer is undoubtedly yes.  Expanding its reach helps ISIS demonstrate in real terms that it is achieving its goal of creating a caliphate ...

Nearly one year since Boko Haram pledged its allegiance to ISIS, its threat to Nigeria has changed, though still remains.  “Clearly, the snake has been injured and weakened, but not killed or defanged,”  Ona Ekhomu, President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON), told The ...

The Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) was established on May 22,1964 through the Fort Lamy (now N’Djamena) Convention to ensure equitable and sustainable management of Lake Chad, while preserving the ecosystem and promoting sub-regional integration, peace, and security in the basin.  In the last decade, the LCBC’s member states—Cameroon, Chad, ...

Nigerians were ready for change when they elected former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari as president, the first candidate to defeat an incumbent at the polls.  Having recently reached the “100 days in office” mark, Buhari is now being criticized for not accomplishing his campaign promises fast enough.   Buhari set ...

The Cipher Brief spoke with Bankole Cardoso, co-founder of EasyTaxi Nigeria, to get his perspective on Nigeria’s emergence as a business hub.  Last year, Cardoso was listed by Forbes as one of the 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa. The Cipher Brief: How has the election of Muhammadu Buhari ...

Nigeria is considered a frontier capital market and one of the most important business destinations in sub-Saharan Africa (SSAfrica) along with Kenya, South Africa, and Ethiopia. Although this is a positive, there are some major economic challenges. Most of these issues pre-date the election of Nigeria’s new administration led by ...

The Cipher Brief spoke with Dr. Alexandra Gillies, the director of governance programs at the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), to get her thoughts on recent changes in the Nigerian oil sector. NRGI promotes good governance in the oil, gas and mining sector.  The Cipher Brief: What are the five things western ...