Country Reports on Terrorism 2015 - Foreign Terrorist Organizations: 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 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 remained unclear, though it is known that Khalid al-Barnawi, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, held one of the top leadership positions within the organization. Since its inception, Ansaru has targeted civilians, including westerners, and Nigerian government and security officials. Ansaru's stated goals are 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. Similarly, in early 2013, Ansaru kidnapped and subsequently executed seven international construction workers.

Ansaru did not publicly claim any attacks in 2014 and 2015.

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's.

Location/Area of Operation: Northern Nigeria

Funding and External Aid: Ansaru maintained a working relationship with Boko Haram and during 2014 may have rejoined with the larger group.


This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.