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Boko Haram Takes Cues from ISIS: Ferocious New Friends?

Robert I. Rotberg

Maiduguri, a key state capital in northeast Nigeria of two million people is now vulnerable -- just as Mosul in Iraq was to a swift takeover by fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Boko Haram Takes Cues from ISIS: Ferocious New Friends?

Al Qaeda-affiliated Boko Haram is poised to overwhelm Borno state, the home in northeastern Nigeria to five million Kanuri and many other peoples, nearly all Muslims. Boko Haram threatens to establish an Islamic caliphate on the ferocious model of the Islamic State (IS)extremists active in Iraq and Syria -- and about which President Barack Obama gave an address to the US nation last week.

Two weeks ago, Boko Haram militants, possibly emboldened by the rapid transformation this summer of the IS from a band of rebels into a conqueror of northern and western Iraq, captured Bama (pop. 270,000), the second largest city in Borno, and Buni Yadi. Earlier they gained control of the towns of Banki, Gwoza, Dikwa, Marte and Damboa. Now, in a highly symbolic moment, Maiduguri, the two million strong capital of Borno, is vulnerable -- just as Mosul in Iraq was, to a swift takeover.

To read the full version of the article from Wilson Center Fellow Robert Rotberg, please visit: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/Africa-Monitor/2014/0910/Boko-Haram-takes-cues-from-ISIS-Ferocious-new-friends?cmpid=addthis_email#.VBdh_kcjRkk.email

About the Author

Robert I. Rotberg

Robert I. Rotberg

Fellow;
Founding Director of the Intrastate Conflict Program, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
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Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and U.S.-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial U.S.–Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, including our blog Africa Up Close, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in U.S.-Africa relations.    Read more

Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and U.S.-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial U.S.–Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, including our blog Africa Up Close, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in U.S.-Africa relations.    Read more