More Boko Haram attacks likely: Report warns

Posted by News Express | 16 September 2016 | 2,350 times

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Attacks by Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram could actually rise in Nigeria despite continued counter terrorism operations, and claims by the government to have decimated them, says an international report released yesterday.

According to the report released by IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions, Boko Haram’s attacks could actually rise in Nigeria due to a current leadership dispute between Boko Haram’s two main factions, just as it also hinted that Niger is the next hotspot for the terrorist group.
“Shekau’s faction is more likely to continue indiscriminate violence against civilians and Barnawi’s more likely to focus on targeting the security forces and potentially the Christian population,” stated Matthew Henman, head of IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre London. (JTIC) in the report.
“Despite counterterrorism operations, Boko Haram’s emphasis on cross-border attacks is not going away.
“While Boko Haram’s operations were predominantly concentrated in northeast Nigeria, it also conducted multiple cross-border operations into neighbouring Niger, Chad, and Cameroon,” the report stated.
According to open-source data collected by the Centre in 2014, Boko Haram carried out 22 cross-border attacks into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon. In 2015, the year the group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, 62 cross-border attacks took place. By the end of August 2016, JTIC recorded 41 cross-border attacks.
It further revealed that before Boko Haram allied with the Islamic State, it did carry out cross-border attacks outside their core territory of north eastern Nigeria. But since 2015, the number of cross-border operations rose dramatically as the group retaliated against the West African coalition fighting to defeat them.
The IHS report further countered the false sense of security in Nigeria hinged on the lull of attacks in Nigeria of which its statistics says the country’s 2016 attack figures are below the 2015 peak adding that analysis suggests that the lull can be attributed to an organizational re-branding and evolution, driven by the Islamic State leadership in Syria and Iraq.
“For starters, the drop in fatalities was at least in part a consequence of a noticeable decrease in the incidence of indiscriminate suicide attacks.
“Notably, the Islamic State’s media apparatus never publicized these operations, focusing on Wilayat Gharb Afriqiyya attacks on the state and security forces, perhaps signalling its disapproval. Secondly, the enduring operational capabilities of Wilayat Gharb Afriqiyya were underlined in a noteworthy attack in Niger in June.” the Centre stated.
IHS further raised concerns about the resumption of militancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta region over the past nine months, adding that it is another concerning factor as Nigerian security forces will potentially be stretched across two fronts.
“Similarly in Niger, the announced emergence of a new armed ethnic-Toubou group in early September raises concerns of increased insecurity across the Agadez and Diffa regions, particularly if ethnic militia and Islamist militant groups in these regions begin to cooperate.
“According to data recorded from open sources by JTIC, half of Boko Haram’s attacks in Niger in 2016 have occurred since April. Bosso in particular has been a continuing target and nearby town of Yebi had come under fire from unidentified militants five times since mid-May.
IHS Markit further disclosed that on 3 June, a large force of Wilayat Gharb Afriqiyya militants attacked a military base near the town of Bosso in Niger’s Diffa region, overrunning the base, killing at least 26 soldiers, and looting vehicles and substantial amounts of materiel, before briefly taking control of the town.
“The Islamic State model is predicated upon the capture and maintenance of territory under the motto “remaining and expanding,” something Boko Haram has not been entirely successful in doing since its pledge of allegiance was accepted in March 2015.
“However, the apparent attempt and potential success in holding Bosso may be indicative of a renewed focus on this aspect in a new area of operations,” the IHS Markit helmsman stated.
•Sourced from Business Day (Nigeria). Photo shows Boko Haram terrorists.


Source: News Express

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