More than Propaganda A Review of Boko Haram’s Public Messages

The public statements of Boko Haram from its resurgence in 2010 until its split into two main factions in August 2016 is reviewed in this report. While Boko Haram (more accurately referred to as Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad prior to its March 2015 pledge to the so-called Islamic State, and Wilayat Gharb Afriqiyah, or West Africa Province, afterwards) is often considered a factionalised group, the focus of this study is strictly on messaging emanating from the Shekau wing, given its predominant public position. This means that statements from spokespersons claiming to be speaking on behalf of the group, but who either lacked credibility or later were rejected by Abubakar Shekau have been excluded. In addition, messaging prior to Shekau’s emergence as leader, or by breakaway groups such as Ansaru, is also excluded, in order to limit the evaluation to Shekau’s tenure.