Boko Haram has overtaken Isis as the world’s most deadly terrorist organisation, according to a new report.
The Nigerian-based terror group, also known as Islamic State’s West’s Africa province (ISWAP), was responsible for 6,644 deaths in 2014.
In comparison, Isis is believed to have killed 6,073 people in the same period. Boko Haram pledged allegiance to the group, also known as the Islamic State, in March of this year.
Isis has certainly sought – and achieved – global notoriety since it announced its creation of a caliphate across Syria and Iraq in June 2014.
It has its own media arm which pumps out propaganda videos and messages to either inspire supporters or strike fear into those it regards as enemies with graphic footage glorifying executions and torture. It has also claimed responsibility for the most recent terror attacks in Paris and Egypt, where a plane containing 229 was downed.
Boko Haram carries out most of its atrocities in north Africa. Over the past year, Nigeria witnessed a 300 per cent rise in fatalities from terror acts to 7,512. This is the largest increase in terrorist-caused deaths ever recorded by any country, and is predominantly down to Boko Haram’s expansion.
In 2013, Nigeria ranked fifth in terms of the highest levels of deaths, but moved to second last year.
Boko Haram is not limited to Nigeria: in 2014 the group doubled its attack and expanded into Chad and Cameroon, in 2014 staging 46 attacks and claiming 520 lives.
While increased use of explosives and bombs – thanks to training from other terrorist outfits – has characterised more recent Boko Haram attacks, the majority of attacks remain armed assaults using machine guns.
The data, published in the third edition of the Global Terrorism Index, was produced by the Institute for Economic and Peace, and drawn from data collected by the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), collated by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.