Boko Haram is a terrorist group based in northern Nigeria, affiliated with al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab and other local and international extremist groups. Radical Islamic cleric Mohammed Yusuf started it in 2002 with the goal of ending Westernization through the creation of a separate Islamic state under sharia. The group has had several names but is best known as Boko Haram, which loosely translates from the Hausa as Western education is forbidden. Yusuf was killed in 2009 during a government crackdown. The group reemerged in 2011, under the leadership of Yusuf’s deputy Abubakar Shekau, with an attack in Borno State that killed four. The group has killed up to 12,000 people and injured another 8,000 in attacks on churches, schools and police stations, as well as in bank robberies, assassinations, and kidnappings.
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