Country Report on Terrorism 2016 - Chapter 6 - Jama'atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan

aka Ansaru; Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan; Vanguards for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa; JAMBS; Jama’atu Ansaril Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan

Description: Designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on November 14, 2013, Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladis-Sudan (Ansaru) publicly splintered from Boko Haram in January 2012. Ansaru’s leadership structure is unclear, although it is known Khalid al-Barnawi held a top leadership position within the group until his alleged capture by the Nigerian army in April 2016. Since its inception, Ansaru has targeted civilians, including Westerners, and Nigerian government and security officials. Ansaru purportedly aims to defend Muslims throughout all of Africa by fighting against the Nigerian government and international interests. While Ansaru claims to identify with Boko Haram’s objectives and struggle, it has criticized the group for killing fellow Muslims.

Activities: In November 2012, Ansaru raided a police station in Abuja, killing Nigerian police officers and freeing detained terrorists from prison. In January 2013, Ansaru attacked a convoy of Nigerian peacekeepers on their way to Mali.

Ansaru has also carried out multiple kidnapping operations targeting civilians. In late 2012, Ansaru kidnapped a French engineer claiming the action was justified due to French involvement in Mali. In early 2013, Ansaru kidnapped and subsequently killed seven international construction workers.

Ansaru did not publicly claim any attacks between 2014 and 2016. On April 4, 2016, the Nigerian army announced the capture of Ansaru leader Terrorist Khalid al-Barnawi.

Strength: Total membership is unknown. Given its narrower scope of operations, it is estimated that Ansaru’s membership is much smaller than that of Boko Haram.

Location/Area of Operation: Northern Nigeria

Funding and External Aid: Unknown