While Nigerian security forces have succeeded in arresting senior members of Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group has shown signs of growing sophistication in its methods.
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, a Nigerian military joint task force invaded a suspected Boko Haram bomb factory in a suburb of the restive northern city of Kano. Meanwhile, five members of the Boko Haram Islamic militant group were killed yesterday while preparing improvised explosive devices that exploded in Biu town of Borno state.
Borno is the state where Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is a sin," originated. Biu is one of the five local governments placed under a state of emergency since January by the Nigerian federal government as Boko Haram stepped up its attacks on the government and the north's minority Christians. Boko Haram's stated goal is to overturn secular rule in northern Nigeria, where Islam is the majority faith, and to ensure that Christians no longer reside in the region.
Since their rebellion began in 2009, Boko Haram has used bombs against security forces and civilian targets in different parts of the country. But while Nigerian security forces have succeeded in arresting senior members of Boko Haram, including its leader Muhammad Yusuf, who was killed in custody in 2009, Boko Haram has shown signs of growing sophistication. In particular, the group has borrowed improvised explosive technologies and suicide bombing techniques from Al Qaeda franchises.