Boko Haram, officially known as Jamā'at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da'wah wa'l-Jihād (جماعة أهل السنة للدعوة والجهاد), is an Islamist militant organization based in northeastern Nigeria, which is also active in Chad, Niger, northern Cameroon, and Mali. Boko Haram was the world's deadliest terror group during part of the mid-2010s according to the Global Terrorism Index. In 2016, the group split, resulting in the emergence of a hostile faction known as the Islamic State's West Africa Province.
Founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002, the group was led by Abubakar Shekau from 2009 until his death in 2021, although it splintered into other groups after Yusuf's death and also in 2015. When the group was first formed, their main goal was to "purify", meaning to spread Sunni Islam, and destroy Shia Islam in northern Nigeria, believing jihad should be delayed until the group was strong enough to overthrow the Nigerian government. The group formerly aligned itself with the Islamic State of