Country Report on Terrorism 2019 - Chapter 5 - Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan (Ansaru)

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 an FTO on November 14, 2013, Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan (Ansaru) publicly splintered from Boko Haram in January 2012.  Since its inception, Ansaru has targeted civilians, including Westerners, and Nigerian government and security officials.  Ansaru purportedly aims to defend Muslims throughout Africa by fighting against the Nigerian government and international interests.  Ansaru claims to identify with Boko Haram’s objectives and struggle, but 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.  Ansaru has also carried out multiple kidnapping operations targeting civilians.  In late 2012, Ansaru kidnapped a French engineer allegedly in response to French involvement in Mali.  In early 2013, Ansaru kidnapped and subsequently killed seven international construction workers.

On April 4, 2016, the Nigerian army announced the capture of Ansaru leader Khalid al-Barnawi.  Ansaru did not publicly claim responsibility any attacks in 2019, but in October 2019, Ansaru announced the creation of a new media outlet for the group.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown; however, given its narrower scope of operations, Ansaru’s membership is estimated to be much smaller than that of Boko Haram.

Location/Area of Operation:  Nigeria

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.