The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence has issued a report calling attention to a new threat to the U.S. homeland. Boko Harem has up to this point focused largely in Nigeria but has recently turned its violence toward international targets. From the introduction of the congressional report:
According to Ambassador Anthony Holmes, Deputy to the Commander for CivilMilitary Activities (DCMA) of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), members of Boko Haram are being trained by Al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). They are also believed to have ties to the Somalian militant group al Shabaab. This cooperation, combined with the increased sophistication of attacks executed by Boko Haram, have led to concerns from the U.S. Intelligence Community over the sect’s intent and capability to strike Western targets in Nigeria, throughout Africa, and most importantly, the U.S. Homeland.
Historically, Boko Haram has been focused on Nigerian government targets. Until recently, Western intelligence services did not widely view Boko Haram as a potential threat. Even after the U.N. attack, Nigerian experts remain skeptical about Boko Haram’s intent and capability to strike U.S. interests and the homeland. However, in the recent past, the U.S. Intelligence Community has underestimated the intent and capability of other terrorist groups to launch attacks against the U.S. Homeland.
Read the full report: BOKO HARAM: Emerging Threat to the U.S. Homeland