In recent months, ISWAP has apparently seized large amounts of military weapons and equipment from the Nigerian military, including heavy armour, and strengthened its control of seized areas. With a raging banditry crisis in the north-west dividing its attention, the army is on the back foot against both ISWAP and the Abubakar Shekau-led Boko Haram faction in the Lake Chad Basin.
- ISWAP’s funding will likely remain locally based over the short term, but concerns will grow over increasing international links.
- Shekau’s Boko Haram faction is less potent currently but remains a serious threat over the short-to-medium term.
- Minimal reported clashes between ISWAP and Boko Haram fighters indicate both are mainly occupied with attacking military targets for now.
- Scrutiny will grow over the alleged role of Ansaru, a small group of al-Qaida-linked former Boko Haram fighters, in north-western violence.