Why Do Youth Join Boko Haram?

By Freedom C. Onuoha, United States Institute of Peace
June 30, 2014

Photo: EU Commission

Boko Haram has been able to conduct its operations largely due to its ability to recruit young men. This recruitment is spurred by poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and weak family structures that make young men susceptible to radicalization. Extreme religious teachings by imams act as the final stimulus. The Nigerian government should address the conditions that support recruitment by monitoring imams and providing education and job creation programs. Reducing its ability to recruit will significantly diminish the strength of Boko Haram.

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Security Topics: Countering Violent Extremism