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Theorizing the expansion of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria


Journal of Terrorism and Political ViolenceJournal abstract

This research investigates the dramatic expansion of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria in the last few years. Militant activity has expanded in terms of frequency and severity of attacks, geographic scope, target selection, and strategies used. The evolution of the group and the trajectory of violence are best explained through four overlapping theoretical strands. These include the growing fragmentation of the movement, development of strategic ties with Al Qaeda affiliates, strong-armed counterterrorism operations that further radicalized the movement, and exploitation of the porous border area that separates Nigeria from its northern neighbors.

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