NBC News quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on Boko Haram’s new military tactics, which contribute to the group’s continued success: 

Though US officials say there’s no evidence that ISIS has supplied Boko Haram with anything other than production help on social media, J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, says there’s evidence of what he called “revolutionary” military tactics inspired by ISIS.

“What I have seen is increasing sophistication in confronting Nigerian forces,” said Pham. “In attacks on Nigerian forces, it’s always been see-saw battles for control. What’s interesting is that tactics have changed.”

Before, said Pham, the Nigerians would flee and Boko Haram would advance. “That’s still ongoing,” he said. “Now, however, Boko Haram is attacking on two of three sides and will put the bulk of their forces on the escape route and the Nigerians are getting ambushed. That’s a military revolution.”


Pham thinks the attack on the police academy will have consequences, ending an implicit agreement under which Boko Haram was permitted to keep its families there. Even Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau had a favorite wife living in Chad. “That tacit understanding is over,” said Pham. “Expect the families to be rounded up.” Some in the United States note that Chad’s military, like Nigeria’s, has a record of human rights abuses.

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