Global Insider: Boko Haram Resilient in the Face of Nigerian Counterterrorism Measures

Global Insider: Boko Haram Resilient in the Face of Nigerian Counterterrorism Measures

This week, the Nigerian insurgent group Boko Haram carried out a large-scale attack on a military air base in the northeastern city of Maiduguri in which 24 attackers were killed, two air force personnel wounded and several military aircraft damaged. In an email interview, Jennifer Giroux, a senior researcher at the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich who specializes in conflict in energy-producing and transit regions, explained Nigeria’s counterterrorism approach and Boko Haram’s resilience.

WPR: Does Boko Haram's attack on the Maiduguri air base indicate an evolution in the group’s military capabilities?

Jennifer Giroux: This attack is not so much a signal of the group’s tactical evolution but more so a sign of its persistence and abilities in the face of the government’s counterterrorism approach to the northern insurgency. While the scale, location and target indicate a significant amount of planning and coordination, the political undertones are considerable. Namely, this attack seems to be more about sending a clear message to the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan: that despite the enormous resources invested in containing the insurgency, Boko Haram still has strength and reach. In fact, it’s likely that as the next elections approach, there will be similar attacks—all of which will aim to discredit and question this administration’s ability to manage the country’s security issues.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.