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Nigerian Shiite Muslims protest and demand the release of Ibraheem al-Zakzaky, in Cikatsere, Nigeria. Nigerian Shiite Muslims protest and demand the release of Ibraheem al-Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, in Cikatsere, Nigeria, April 1, 2016 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).

Why Nigeria’s Shiite Movement Will Not Become a ‘Second Boko Haram’

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

On July 26, the Federal High Court in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, banned the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, or IMN, saying that its activities constitute “terrorism and illegality.” The court order, which the IMN can appeal, came at the attorney general’s request amid repeated clashes in recent weeks between the IMN and security forces.

Although observers have speculated about the possibility of the IMN, Nigeria’s largest Shiite organization, becoming “a second Boko Haram,” it appears unlikely to turn into an underground insurgency. There are still opportunities for the federal government to deescalate the situation, and even if it fails to do so, the IMN’s leadership has incentives to refrain from all-out war against the state. ...

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