Time quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on Boko Haram’s ability to launch terrorist attacks in the West:

Boko Haram’s territorial spread may ultimately be restricted to the cultural and linguistic boundaries of the Kanuri tribe, which populates the area where Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon meet and from which Boko Haram draws most of its recruits and support, says J. Peter Pham, director of the Africa Center at the Washington-based Atlantic Council. That doesn’t mean its operatives can’t travel farther afield; it has demonstrated the ability to mount sophisticated attacks on army bases and even cities. In 2011 a Boko Haram militant drove a car bomb through the reception area of the U.N.’s Abuja headquarters, and it has attacked the capital on at least two other occasions. For the moment, Pham believes that Boko Haram does not have the capabilities to launch terrorist attacks in the West, but the group claims to have global ambitions. In December 2013, Shekau declared in a video address, “Tomorrow you will see us in America itself. Our operation is not confined to Nigeria. It is for the whole world.”

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