Boko Haram Leader Shekau Killed, What's Next for Islamic State in Nigeria

(image: Think Defense)

What will be the trajectory of the group over the next year? What’s driving their successes and what will constrain the group’s activities?

What is the issue?

Despite the Buhari administration’s 2015 claim that Boko Haram was “technically defeated,” the group’s activities remained steady over the past six years. Deaths and incidents are down from their high in 2014 but incidents linked to the group remain an almost daily occurrence, averaging over 227 events each year since 2015. Deaths attributed to the group continue to climb at a steep rate (orange line) with steady month-to-month increases since 2017 (red line, the dip at the end is the incomplete May data). The Nigeria-based news outlet HumAngle commissioned a study that estimated only 4% of terrorist attacks and 60% of fatalities are reported and therefore tracked by groups like the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). With that in mind, the 227 average balloons to 5,675 events per year with more than 15 events per day.

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By Adam Ragozzino

Adam Ragozzino is a Boston-based analyst who has worked as a research and policy analyst in the US. Currently, he is an independent consultant and runs Acies Lumen, LLC, a fledgling geopolitical research firm. He writes about international affairs and conflict with a particular focus on Africa. When not chained to a desk or under lockdown, you can find him riding or skiing in the northeast US.

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