A former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, has warned that Boko Haram terrorists will likely regroup, becoming more radical, violent and may attack Kano and Lagos states.
The former diplomat noted that the division in the terrorist group might not degrade its ability to launch deadly attacks.
“It should be anticipated that attacks on government and Western facilities will continue but not necessarily centred in the North-East. Instead, the two factions are likely to carry out attacks further afield, in Kano, possibly Lagos, and almost certainly in Cameroon and Niger. There may well be greater cooperation with the various criminal networks that are active across the Sahel.According to Campbell, if a faction of Boko Haram should fall under greater “operational control of Islamic State or AQIM,” there is more likelihood that it will carry out terrorist attacks beyond Nigeria “or even the Sahel.”
“The paradox is that a splintered Boko Haram with rival leaders may pose less of a threat to the Nigerian state in the short term but a greater one to the broader region and to Western individuals and interests. Up to now, (Abubakar) Shekau’s ties to the Islamic State do not appear to have been operationally significant, while al-Barnawi’s link with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb appears to have been limited to specific operations. That could change in the future.”
This, he stated, could pose a direct threat to American interests, which are centred around Lagos and the South-South.