Boko Haram translates roughly to “Western Education is Forbidden.” Boko Haram is an Islamist terrorist group based primarily in northern Nigeria. Founded in 2002, it is one of the largest and most high-profile terrorist organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa. Like other such groups, its activities are not confined within the borders of a signle nation. It is also active in Chad, Niger, and Cameroon.
While it was founded in 2002, it was not until 2009 that the organisation saw a sudden surge in activity and membership numbers following the execution of its leader. This was known as the Boko Haram uprising when hundreds of people died. Their first attack against a western target was the 2011 bombing of the UN headquarters in the national capital, Abuja. 21 people died, along with over 100 injured. The organisations notoriety truly gained global traction following the 2014 kidnapping of the 276 schoolgirls. This led to the global “#BringBackOurGirls” campain. This was followed by the 2015 Baga Massacre in January when Boko Haram destroyed an entire town where upwards of 2000 people were killed.
Today, the organisation is led by Abubakar Shekau, who served as deputy leader to the founder Mohammed Yusuf until his death in 2009. Shekau is illusive as he has been annouced at death around half a dozen times, but keeps coming back.
It has been estimated that the organisation has led to the displacement of over 1.5 million people.