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June 4, 2015

Religion
A Conversation With Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah

Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah discusses religiously-motivated radicalization and the ways in which Muslim communities can mobilize to counter violent extremism.

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November 13, 2019

Nigeria
Nigerian Police Use Live Ammunition Against Peaceful Demonstrators

Nigerian media is reporting that on November 12, the Nigerian police fired live bullets to disperse those protesting the continued imprisonment of Nigerian journalist Omeyele Sowore. The media descri…

Protestors facing police hold signs that read "DSS Obey The Court," and other things.

June 13, 2019

Boko Haram
New Audio Offers Potential Window Into ISWA Decision-Making

Abdulbasit Kassim, leading Boko Haram scholar, recently discovered a thirty-eight-minute recording of a purported Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) communique. I translated it from the original Kanuri. It provides a particular version and explanation of ISWA's immediate history, and sheds light on why the group executed Mamman Nur, one of the Boko Haram’s founding fathers and an influential ideologue, its internal decision-making, and ISWA’s relationship with the Islamic State (IS). It is not clear, however, the extent to which what is described in the audio is true to what actually happened. 

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March 12, 2019

Nigeria
Suspected Leadership Changes to IS-Backed Boko Haram Faction Continue

In September 2018, there were reports that Nur was murdered by his own faction because he was too “soft”, that he misappropriated ransom money, and even that he might have been open to a dialogue with the Nigerian government. In late February 2018, ISWA reportedly replaced al-Barnawi with Abu Abdullah Ibn Umar al-Barnawi.

Nigeria-Boko-Haram-Attack-Funeral

December 7, 2018

Nigeria
Nigerian Police Are in Desperate Need of Reform

There are numerous proposals for police reform in Nigeria. One such reform, which has the support of some governors, is the creation of state police forces to replace or augment the NPF. In the north, vigilante groups, most notably members of the Civilian Joint Task Force, have an established presence in their communities and can be effective instruments of law enforcement, though they are not entirely accountable.

Nigeria-Police-Reform-Corruption

June 13, 2006

Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, Zarqawi’s Mysterious Successor (aka Abu Ayub al-Masri)

Five days after U.S. forces killed al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the group announced his successor, the unknown Abu Hamza al-Muhajir. Speculation abounds about the man and the signifi…

November 2, 2018

Nigeria
Dozens Reportedly Killed as Nigerian Military Fires on Shia Protesters

Between October 27 and 30, protesters from the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), a Shia religious organization led by the pro-Iranian Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, clashed with security services in and around Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. The IMN reported that Nigerian security services had killed at least forty of its members during the marches.

Nigeria-Shia-IMN-Abuja-Protests-Zakzaky-Military

October 30, 2018

Nigeria
Shia IMN Protesters Clash With Nigerian Military in Abuja

According to Sahara Reporters, on October 27 the Shia were marching from Suleja to Abuja in preparation for a religious event called Arbaeen Symbolic Trek. The marchers apparently took a route that had not been approved by the security services. When the soldiers and police intervened, marchers responded by throwing rocks. The army and police responded with live ammunition. 

Nigeria-Shia-IMN-Abuja-Protests-Zakzaky

August 9, 2018

Nigeria
Boko Haram Faction Releases Book on History and Ideology

The book likely represents the public views of one of Yusuf’s sons and the current ISWAP leader, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who became very close to Abubakar Shekau after the former’s father was killed in 2009.

Nigeria-Boko-Haram-Damasak-Mosque

August 8, 2018

Nigeria
Nigeria’s Battle With Boko Haram

Boko Haram, known for mass kidnappings, bombings, and other acts of terrorism, remains an enduring threat to northern Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin.

A girl watches other children on a merry-go-round in an abandoned amusement park in Maiduguri, Nigeria.