The Boko Haram and the Ansaru Abstract

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The Boko Haram and the Ansaru


The threat of the nationalistic and endemic terror groups has been aproblem to the security around the world. Some tend to have differentgoals and objectives but, they will terrorize residents in variousplaces. Hence, this essay will provide a profile of Boko Haram andthe Ansaru terror groups that are located in Nigeria. The paper willreveal the origin, goals and objectives that each of the group has.It will also illustrate the differences in ideologies between the twogroups while revealing some of the terror attacks that they haveundertaken.

The Boko Haram and the Ansaru

The Nationalistic and Endemic Terror Groups tend to have their goalsand objectives as well as the ideologies that guide their operations.Boko Haram is one the nationalistic terror group found in Nigeriathat has been known to terrorize the locals. On the other hand, theAnsaru is a group that moved out from Boko Haram because of theinternal conflicts and the fact that they did not support the act ofkilling innocent Christians and Muslims too. Instead, the Ansaru evenclaim that they want to restore dignity in Nigeria as well. Hence,this paper will analyze the two nationalistic terror groups whilelooking at their origin, goals, and objectives as well as theirideologies too. The analysis will provide the similarities anddifferences as well as illustrate some of the attacks they haveengaged in. This essay will reveal the goals and ideologies ofBoko Haram and the Ansaru while revealing the differences that led totheir split.

Boko Haram is a group founded in 2002 by Mohammed Yusuf and a groupof other Islamic militants in the Northern Nigeria. In fact, it isbelieved that Osama Bin Laden invested $3 million in the group hopingthat they will oust the Nigerian government and create a Sharia-basedstate. Boko Haram stands for “Western education is forbidden,”and that shows one of its goals that is stopping the influence of theinternational community in Nigeria. Their immediate objective ismaking Northern Nigeria observe strict Sharia system. Itsofficial name is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihadthat means “People Committed to the Propagation of theProphet’s Teachings and Jihad” (Agbiboa, 2013). Clearly, thegroup has utmost hate towards anyone that is not a Muslim, and theywill use military force in letting their frustrations known. Forinstance, they have been known to attack even the innocent NigerianChristians and Muslims that are not ready to support them (Agbiboa,2013). They also work by the ideology that anyone that does notfollow Allah’s teaching is part of the transgressors that should bekilled. The ideology explains the hate they have for thenon-believers that they refer to as the infidels instead. Yusuf wasable to acquire a total of 280,000 followers, and some of themacquired specialized training in Afghanistan. However, he was killedin 2009, and his position taken by the current one that is AbubakarShekau (Agbiboa, 2013). They have been involved in multiple terroristattacks, and they have even killed around 2000 people since 2009.They are known for the abduction of 300 school girls in 2014 ascenario that led to the public uproar and Twitter began the hashtag#BringBackOurGirls (Zenn &amp Pearson, 2014). They have also beeninvolved in a prison raid in Bauchi, Nigeria where they freed about700 inmates that pledged their loyalty to the group later. In 2012,they killed about 185 people in the Kano plains (Zenn &amp Pearson,2014). All in all, Boko Haram is a dangerous group with someextremist ideologies as well.

The Ansaru, on the other hand, is a group that was formerly a factionof the Boko Haram but, the members chose to defect because of theconflicting ideologies. In fact, the organization’s goal is toprotect the Muslims in Africa and fight against the Nigeriangovernment or even the international community. More specifically,their original name Jama’atu Ansaril Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan“Supporters of the Muslims in the Land of Black Africans” provesthat it wants to protect its people (Zenn, 2014). However, it doesnot support the killing of the Nigerian Muslims and Christians, andit only focus on the foreigners. Instead, its leaders claim that theywill harm the Nigerians in self-defense only. Boko Haram tends toattack anyone regardless of their nationality since it has evenlaunched a war against the Nigerian government and its people too.The Ansaru is affiliated with the al-Qaeda group that has terrorizedthe international community through a series of attacks. Even if theywere members of the Boko Haram, they do not share their ideologies,and they believe that they are supposed to protect everyone asopposed to attacking them. Besides that, its objective is restoringthe dignity of each and every Muslim in Africa. The ideology of usingviolent where necessary has somehow made them popular among theNigerians. The emergence of the Ansaru was a result of the internalconflicts in Boko Haram based on the ideologies and the tribal linestoo (Zenn, 2014). However, their attacks have not been more severe inrelation to what Boko Haram has done so far. Often, they have beeninvolved in the kidnapping of the foreign workers in Nigeria. In2013, they killed seven hostages after the British and the Nigerianarmy had tried to save them.

In conclusion, the Ansaru and Boko Haram have quite different goalsand objectives as well as ideologies too. For instance, Boko Haramwas started by the Al Qaeda and they have often used attacks insilencing the non-believers as they try to create a Sharia-basedgovernment. On the other hand, the tribal differences among the BokoHaram led to the Ansaru breaking away from the group. Besides that,the Ansaru rejected the idea of attacking even the innocentChristians and the Muslims too. Instead, they believe that they willprotect the Islamic ideologies in black Africa and still restore thesanity that Boko Haram has undermined. In fact, the Ansaru focusesmore on kidnapping foreigners that are affiliated to their enemieswhile Boko Haram launches attacks on everyone. Even if they have somedifferences in goals and ideologies, they are still considered as athreat to the Nigerian government instead. In fact, the severity oftheir attacks also reveals the difference in ideologies that the twogroups have. For instance, the Boko Haram often engages in masskillings where they will even bomb innocent people. However, theAnsaru simply pinpoints foreign workers in the Northern part, andthey kidnap them as a way of scaring the international community frominterfering with the Nigerian issues.


Agbiboa, D. (2013). The ongoing campaign of terror in Nigeria: BokoHaram versus the state. Stability: International Journal ofSecurity and Development, 2(3).

Zenn, J. (2014). Leadership Analysis of Boko Haram and Ansaru inNigeria. CTC Sentinel, 7(2), 23-29.

Zenn, J., &amp Pearson, E. (2014). Women, Gender and the evolvingtactics of Boko Haram. Journal of terrorism research, 5(1).

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