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VOL. VII, Issue 5

Clarifying Boko Haram’s Transnational Intentions, Using Content Analysis of Public Statements in 2012

To advance understanding of the dynamic global security threats emerging in West Africa, this article analyses the radical Islamic sect in Nigeria popularly called “Boko Haram”. This was done by addressing the question: What is the likelihood that Boko Haram will transnationalize? Current literature is inconclusive. On the one hand, some discuss Boko Haram as part of an international network of terror groups, and therefore a transnational threat, while others describe the Boko Haram conflict within a domestic or regional context. This article offers, for the first time, a systematic content analysis of the group’s public statements issued in 2012 to address this question. The analysis found Boko Haram to express itself in an intrinsically domestic orientation, and as such, transnationalization is unlikely. However, Boko Haram also exhibited a highly reactive modus operandi – highlighting concerns for increased transnationalization if international actors engage Boko Haram. In light of the analysis, policy recommendations are offered.

About ICCT

The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) is a think-and-do tank based in The Hague, Netherlands. We provide research, policy advice, training and other solutions to support better counter-terrorism policies and practices worldwide. We also contribute to the scientific and publi.…