Michael Carl is a veteran journalist with overseas military experience and experience as a political consultant. He also has two Master's Degrees, is a bi-vocational pastor and lives with his family in the Northeast United States.More ↓Less ↑
Members of an offshoot of the Nigerian jihadist group Boko Haram claim they have executed the seven foreign hostages they captured in a raid last month.
Analysts suggest Ansaru’s only interest is in attacking foreigners and “non-Muslim Nigerians.” However, the Strategy World military think tank, publishers of Strategy Page, warns Ansaru may be picking targets outside Nigeria.
“Ansaru appears to be … more interested (than Boko Haram) in working closely with Islamic terror groups operating in the new terrorist sanctuary of northern Mali,” the Strategy Page report said.
Boko Haram, meanwhile, seems to have its focus on Nigeria.
The Guardian of London said Ansaru’s objective is straightforward. Ansaru wants to draw Western nations into Nigeria’s civil war and tribal conflicts.
“While Boko Haram (which means ‘Western education is a sin’ in Hausa) has aimed to destabilize the government of Christian southerner Goodluck Jonathan by undermining his ability to guarantee the security of Africa’s most populous nation, Ansaru appears determined to drag foreign governments into an otherwise domestic conflict by kidnapping and killing foreigners, according to Sola Tayo, an associate fellow at the Chatham House thinktank,” the paper reported.
“Boko Haram is still active and still very dangerous. They are creating Christian martyrs pretty much every day,” Bucci said.
Bucci says Boko Haram hasn’t abandoned the goal of a Shariah state for Nigeria.
“They’d still love to take the country,” Bucci said. “But for now the regime is beating them back.”
Roggio doubts the effectiveness of the Nigerian military campaign against Boko Haram.
“Boko Haram may be slowing down their activities for now. I’m not so sure the government has had an impact on Boko Haram’s operations,” Roggio said.
Noting Boko Haram has bases in Mali, he said it’s possible the group is operating with its partner Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, Roggio said.
However, Roggio said there could be another explanation.
“They could be trying to tone down their operations and let the Nigerian government get complacent. That’s a favorite tactic of many insurgency and terrorist groups,” Roggio said. “They slow down for a while and then the government thinks the group is defeated. Then, the group ramps up its operations and goes active again.”