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Nigeria Surpasses Iraq, Syria as Country With Highest Number of Attacks by Islamic State

In the village of Zenam Kelouri, Nigerien soldiers demonstrate their force used against Boko Haram in 2016. (Image credit: VOA / Nicolas Pinault/Wikimedia Commons)

Nigeria is now the country with the highest number of attacks by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, according to statistics released by Jihad Analytics, a data processing agency on terrorism. 

This surge in IS attacks shows that Nigeria has exceeded the likes of Iraq, Syria, and other war-stricken Middle East countries. 

The findings by Jihad Analytics show that Nigeria has faced a total of 162 Islamic State attacks since Jan. 2022, while Iraq has recorded 120.

"Since the beginning of the year, the Islamic State has conducted half of its attacks in #Africa," the company wrote in a tweet. "For the first time in the history of the jihadi group, Iraq is no longer the country where #IS claims the highest number of operations: the group #ISWAP is now more active in Nigeria."

According to the 2022 Global Terrorism Index (GTI) released by the Institute for Economics & Peace, Nigeria ranks 6th out of 10 countries most impacted by terrorism.

Across Nigeria, attacks by jihadist insurgents have resulted in the killing of thousands and have left millions displaced throughout the region.

As stated in the GTI index, the death of Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram in May 2021, and efforts by the government to strengthen security may be factors that led to the decline of Boko Haram activities in Nigeria.

"Given the demise of their leader, Shekau's followers were faced with the decision to either continue Shekau's ideology or join ISWA,” the report reads. Many former Boko Haram commanders reportedly chose to join Islamic State.

Additionally, CBN News has reported for the last several years that Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a Christian. The country ranks 7th on Open Doors USA's 2022 World Watch List, with the organization calling the persecution in Nigeria "brutally violent."

"In much of northern Nigeria, Christians live their lives under the constant threat of attack from Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province, Fulani militants, and criminals who kidnap and murder with few consequences," Open Doors said. 

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