The Nigerian State has the capabilities to crush ISWAP and other related jihadist groups
Nigeria has been plagued by the scourge of Boko Haram and jihadist attacks for years, leaving many to question whether the government has the capability to tackle these security challenges. However, recent developments have shown that the Nigerian government, as a state with considerable capabilities, is more than capable of dealing with these threats. In this article, we will explore the government’s capabilities in addressing Boko Haram and jihadist attacks, examining its military strength, intelligence-gathering capabilities, and diplomatic efforts. By the end of this article, readers will have a better understanding of the Nigerian government’s ability to combat these security challenges.
Islamic jihadism has been a growing concern in the Sahel and West Africa in recent years. The region has experienced a surge in terrorist attacks, primarily carried out by groups such as Boko Haram, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. These groups have been able to exploit the lack of effective governance and widespread poverty in the region to establish a foothold and recruit vulnerable individuals. The consequences of their actions have been devastating, with thousands of people killed, displaced, and traumatized. Governments in the region have been working to counter the threat through military operations and intelligence gathering, but the complex nature of the problem requires a more comprehensive approach that addresses the root causes of extremism.
Islamic jihadism and global terrorism are often linked due to the ideology and tactics employed by jihadist groups. Jihadism is the belief that the Islamic community is under attack and that violent resistance is necessary to defend and expand Islam. Terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS use this ideology to justify their attacks against Western targets and other non-Muslim nations. These groups engage in acts of terrorism such as suicide bombings, kidnappings, and shootings in order to instill fear and achieve their political goals. While not all jihadist groups engage in global terrorism, the ones that do often use it as a means to gain power and influence. Therefore, the link between Islamic jihadism and global terrorism is based on the belief that violence is necessary to defend Islam and the use of terror tactics to achieve political goals.
Islamic jihadism and global terrorism pose significant threats to international security and stability. The ideology behind these extremist movements has been responsible for numerous acts of violence and terror around the world, resulting in thousands of innocent lives lost. The primary aim of these groups is to spread fear and chaos through indiscriminate attacks, which are often carried out in highly populated areas. The rise of online radicalization has made it easier for these groups to recruit new members and plan attacks, making it even more important for governments and law enforcement agencies to remain vigilant and take proactive steps to prevent such attacks. The fight against Islamic jihadism and global terrorism requires a concerted effort from the international community, as the effects of their actions can be felt across the globe.
According to a report by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) may soon employ delivery drones in Lake Chad Basin attacks. The group’s new trend of weaponizing and adapting unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) could exacerbate the conflict. The ISS research indicates that ISWAP is already experimenting with delivery drones capable of transporting improvised explosive devices. This includes determining how much weight can be carried, how far they can travel, and how long they can remain airborne. The threat extends beyond military targets and may affect the delivery of humanitarian services.
It has been reported that the extremist group ISWAP is making efforts to utilize intelligent technology to cause harm and destruction to the Nigerian government and military. While this information is true, it is important to note that the use of technology in such a manner is not uncommon among extremist groups. The utilization of advanced technology and tactics is a reflection of the ever-evolving nature of the modern conflict. It is imperative for the government and military to remain vigilant and adaptive in their approach to combat such threats.
The power of the state to deal with insurgents and jihadists is a complex issue. On the one hand, it is essential for the state to have the necessary tools and resources to combat violent extremism and maintain public safety. On the other hand, there are concerns about abuses of power, violations of human rights, and the potential for the state to become too authoritarian in its approach. It is important for the state to strike a balance between protecting its citizens and upholding democratic values and principles. This can involve effective intelligence gathering, targeted operations, and partnerships with communities to address the root causes of extremism. Ultimately, the power of the state must be exercised responsibly and with accountability to ensure the safety and well-being of all citizens.
Despite the recent advancements in technology, Nigerians can rest assured that the Nigerian state has the necessary capabilities to counter any potential threat posed by jihadists. The Nigerian military has been actively engaged in counter-terrorism operations and has made significant progress in recent years. The Nigerian Air Force, for instance, has a fleet of modern fighter jets and surveillance aircraft that can detect and neutralize any potential threat from the air.
Furthermore, the Nigerian government has also invested heavily in intelligence gathering and sharing, which has helped to foil several terrorist attacks in the past. The Nigerian security agencies have also collaborated with their counterparts in neighboring countries to share intelligence and coordinate operations, which has been instrumental in degrading the capabilities of Boko Haram and other terrorist groups. Therefore, Nigerians have no need to worry about the possibility of jihadists making use of drones and other smart weapons to attack Nigeria, as the Nigerian state has more capabilities that far outweigh that of the jihadists.
Despite the rise of Islamic jihadism in the Sahel and West Africa, it is important to note that Nigeria has made significant strides in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations. The Nigerian government has implemented a multifaceted approach to tackling the Boko Haram insurgency, which has been ongoing since 2009. This approach includes military operations, intelligence gathering, and community engagement.
One of the key successes of the Nigerian government has been the establishment of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in collaboration with neighboring countries such as Chad, Cameroon, and Niger. The MNJTF has been instrumental in conducting joint military operations against Boko Haram, which has significantly weakened the group’s capabilities. Additionally, the Nigerian military has also been able to rescue thousands of hostages and reclaim territories previously controlled by Boko Haram. While there is still much work to be done, Nigeria’s achievements in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations serve as a model for other countries in the region.
Nigeria will have a new administration on May 29, 2023, led by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Islamic jihadism and its offshoots such as Boko Haram, ISWAP, Ansaru, and other known unknowns would pose such security risks that Tinubu’s government will need to build a professional security team to assist him in dealing with and mitigating them. It will take creative and critical thinking to develop solutions that are not only reactive but can anticipate, predict, and solve security problems.
When a state or country decides to address the issue of terrorists and militants, it is often presumed that the state will emerge victorious due to its power and legitimacy. The state possesses the resources and authority necessary to combat these threats and is often supported by the international community in its efforts. However, it is important to recognize that dealing with terrorism and extremism is a complex and multifaceted issue that requires a comprehensive approach. While the state’s power is a significant advantage, it is not the only factor that determines success. Effective strategies must also include prevention, intelligence gathering, and community engagement to address the root causes of extremism and prevent future radicalization. Ultimately, the state’s success in this endeavour depends on its ability to balance its power with a nuanced and strategic approach to counterterrorism.
For far too long, we have allowed the media to utilize their platforms to reinforce and even glorify terrorist, militant, and jihadist rhetoric, acts, and ideas. Fear and dread gripped the country as a result of this. Terrorists and jihadists utilize drones, satellite phones, and communication apps like Signal, Telegram, and WhatsApp, but that doesn’t mean they’re well-equipped or ready to carry out devastating attacks on military targets and innocent civilians.
If the future government can put together a competent team, build on past triumphs, offer good governance, improve the judiciary, rebuild the dormant police system we have, and most importantly, generate economic possibilities for the youth, ISWAP and all other Islamic terrorists would go away.