Hans Brun is a PhD student at the Department of War Studies, King´s College, London. His research is primarily focused on counter-terrorism and asymmetrical conflicts. He has studied Boko Haram since 2011.
Since 2010, Boko Haram has acquired increasingly sophisticated weaponry, grown its ranks, and expanded its capacity to attack a variety of targets, primarily in northeastern Nigeria.
Boko Haram´s links to international networks, including al-Qaeda, became known to the Nigerian public in March 2014 through local media.
Violence and uprisings fueled by religious beliefs and ethnic-divides are nothing new in Nigeria.
A bombing by Boko Haram in northern Nigeria, 2014. (Flickr/Global Panorama.)
Movements such as Boko Haram and Ansaru have precedents that go back to at least the start of the 19th century in Nigeria, and violent uprisings were rather common even during the 1980s and 1990s.