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Black and White Ones and Zeros

Boko Haram uses social media to seduce vulnerable recruits.

Online Extremism in Nigeria

April 2016, Number 07.02

“Social media refers to the wide range of Internet-based and mobile services that allows users to participate in online exchanges and online communities or contribute user-created content. The kinds of Internet services commonly associated with social media include blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, Twitter and YouTube, among others. Social media technologies provide a wide range of flexibility, adaptability and usability.

Terrorists and insurgent groups — in the case of Nigeria, the Boko Haram terrorist group — exploit social media for nefarious activities. This article offers an overview of Boko Haram terrorist activities in Nigeria, highlights the group’s use of social media, considers government initiatives for countering terrorism using social media, and considers the wider challenges associated with terrorist use of social media.

The jamaa’atu ahl as-sunnah lida’wati wal jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram, is a pseudo-Islamic terrorist group based in northeastern Nigeria. The group’s nickname colloquially translates into “Western education is sinful.” Thus, the group is opposed to Western education, ideologies and systems such as democracy…”

Excerpt from Tommy Victor Udoh, “Online Extremism in Nigeria,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 7, No. 2, 2016: 28-33.

Tommy Victor Udoh serves at the Nigerian Defense Space Agency. He is a 2016 graduate of the Marshall Center’s Program on Cyber Security Studies (PCSS).

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.