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Terrorism has become a global challenge requiring global approach for reasonable resolution. More than 600 identifiable terrorist groups exist worldwide (Thomas 2006). Size and membership vary vastly as some tend to be small and tight-knit, seldom numbering more than 100 members while some have grown to become both unwieldy and uncoordinated. Indeed, some now have standing armies and patrols for soul conversion. Most of the terror cells and organizations are founded in the Middle East and are associated with Islamic fundamentalism, giving the impression that terrorism is a clash of religious beliefs. This may not be so since terror cells exist in the Basque region of Spain and also in many Latin-American states. However, several regions of the world have suffered far more from terrorism in recent decades. Terrorism has plagued many of the developing countries around the world, particularly in Asia and Africa for example in Algeria, where the government struggled to survive recurrent attacks in the 1990s; Israel where suicide bombings remain an ever-present threat; in Iraq after the U.S led invasion in April 2003 (Thomas 2006). Other Persian Gulf states face similar problems. In fact, no Muslim government from North Africa to the Persian Gulf is free from the threat of terrorism. Several South American countries especially Peru, Colombia and Mexico have been plagued by terrorism for many years. The most advanced industrial nations of Western Europe are not immune, either. One striking example is Great Britain, where Irish Republican Army (IRA)


ultranationalists have conducted a terrorist campaign against British control of Northern Ireland (also known as ulster) since the late 1960s (Thomas 2006).

Terrorism, as an approach to normal struggles and conflicting demands in the human society aims at striking fears, confusions, over-reaction and panic into the hearts of leaders and citizens of attacked spots. The fact that terrorists do not operate under accepted norms of warfare means they can choose and pick any point for attack and destruction and disappear into thin air after such attacks. This is why the phenomenon has become a universal problem. For instance, the attack of Boko Haram on the United Nations building in Abuja in 2011 affected Nigerians and other foreigners that was in the building at that moment. Nine Nigerians were adversely affected in terms of serious injuries and loss of lives. On February 1993, a yellow Ryder rental van containing a 1,200 pound bomb exploded in the parking garage of the World Trade Center in New York. The blast instantly created a 200-foot crater in the basement of the world‟s second largest building. Over a thousand people were injured and seven people died from the incident (Thomas 2006). Eight and one-half years later, on September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center was again attacked by Osama bin Laden as the World Trade Center towers were hit by hijacked commercial airlines loaded with highly volatile jet fuel. It was not only the Americans that were affected. Rather it was the whole world that was affected by the incident because almost all the countries in the world have a representative there. This creates fear in the mind of the people and it has psychological effect on their lives.

Terrorists around the world get information from one another. They share idea with other terrorists everywhere. There is close contact among them across the globe because of the free flow of information among them arising from revolution in information technology, causing threat to international peace and security. Another global impact of terrorism is wastage of


resources; resources that are meant to cater for the need of the citizens are diverted to combating terrorism activities by the governments. Today, terror tactics are used to cripple the economics of multi-national cooperation and states Terrorism has equally secular and religious institutions of learning, thereby making the social wellbeing of young ones an issue.

Arising from the foregoing, it is obvious that the stability of the global system as well as the international system has been jeopardized, disrupted and negatively affected by terrorism. The challenges for international terrorism amongst nation states have become structural and compositional. In the light of this rage called terrorism, how do statesmen build new structures to ensure that world peace is enhanced? What are the new messages that should be sent to volatile areas and attacked areas to minimize damage to international security? How will foreign policy experts deal with terrorism?

Tracing the actual date for the start of terrorism is herculean, if not impossible. However there is a consensus that the French Revolution of 1789-1799 marked the junction in the history of terrorism. The French Revolution to World War one, religion provided for the main justification for the use of terrorism, until the French Revolution between 1789 and 1799. The situation however changed as nationalism, anarchism and other secular political movements emerge during the 1800s to challenge divine rule by monarchs. Modern terrorism initially was antimonarchical, embraced by rebels and constitutionalists during the late stages of French Revolution and in Russia by the Peoples Will Organization.

Terrorism has assumed a global dimension and is a threat to the corporate existence of any nation. Over the years, terrorist attacks had been recorded in many nations of the world. In Nigeria, the spate of terrorism is on the increase, the most recent was the bombing of the United


Nations building in Abuja where people were killed and injured. Terrorism remains a criminal act and should be treated as such. It causes damage to public properties, endangers lives of the civil populace, causes death or bodily harm and remains a serious offence which has been facilitated to arms, ammunitions and weapons of mass destruction.

Nigeria as a nation-state is under a severe internal socio-economic and security threat. These threats has social, economic, political and environmental dimension. Each of these dimensions has greatly affected the nation‟s stability and can be traced to the ethnic militia armies, ethnic and religious conflicts, poverty, terrorism, armed robbery, corruption, economic sabotage and environmental degradation. One of these threats that will be discuss in this long essay is how domestic terrorism has affected the Nigeria foreign policy using Boko Haram insurgency which is one and most recent domestic terrorists group in Nigeria as a case study.

Domestic terrorism is the broadest form of terrorism and it started in the United States of America and it involves car bombing and international hacking. Domestic terrorism is defined as the unlawful use of force or violence committed by a group of two or more individuals against persons or property to intimidate or coerce government. Terrorism in Nigeria did not just start in this dispensation of democracy it started since inception it has been “an orchestration” of the military dictatorship in Nigeria. What seems to be terrorism in Nigeria today is Boko Haram but that is not true there have been other terrorist groups that have existed before Boko Haram, like the O‟dua People‟s Congress, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Movement for the Actualization for the Sovereign State of Biafra, Niger-Delta Volunteers Force, Ogoni Youth, Bakassi Boys etc. and some of which has been silenced by the deafening roars of the Boko Haram insurgency (Martins Library).


The main focus of all architects of foreign policy is to vividly articulate their country‟s national interest which serves as a guide in their relations with other nations in the international system. The emergence of terrorism in Nigeria due to the rise of Islamic fundamentalist in northern Nigeria has greatly undermined the country‟s foreign policy drive. Boko Haram activities in Nigeria have led to the negative reactions from groups and nations that have been affected by its activities in the country thereby leading to deterioration of foreign relations of these countries with Nigeria. The operations of terrorism in Nigeria have moved from the sphere of domestic or internal politics to the international domain.

Terrorist acts in Nigeria by Boko Haram and other terrorist groups have generated so much interest from the international community raising questions as to the potency of government‟s strategy to deal with the menace. This is because the audacity of the groups has continued unabated amidst government claims of winning the war, every day casualty‟s increase at alarming rates after each attack making the general public to lose confidence in the system. According to the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report (2012), Nigeria moved from 16th position in 2008 to 11th position in 2009 and 12th position in 2010 and now 7th position Global Terrorism Index of 7.4. Nigeria is worse than Sudan which is ranked the 11th and Mali 34th. Some international analysts have blamed the surge in terrorist activities in the country on „mirror politics‟ which has characterized the country‟s political scene since independence. This scenario has led to Nigeria losing its respect in the comity of nations as no country will be inclined to establish a mutual relationship with a country where terrorist activities have remained unchecked.



This study seeks to examine the effect of domestic terrorism on Nigeria‟s foreign policy. This is imperative considering the fact that protracted and intractable security challenges arising from domestic terrorism will cast blight on Nigeria‟s image in international politics with the devastating implications for the efficiency, consistency and relevance of its foreign policy pursuit. The emergence of terrorism in Nigeria has not only dented the country‟s image at the international level, but has also greatly affected its foreign relations policy in recent times. The activities of the Boko Haram insurgency have led to the negative reactions on the part of the countries that want or will want to relate with Nigeria. Apart from the loss of interest in establishing vibrant relations with Nigeria, there is reduction in the economic investment in the country. Also the activities of the Boko Haram insurgency has spoilt the image of Nigeria in the international system because Nigeria as a big brother of Africa who engages in different peace keeping operations within Africa and in the international system is not really actively involved in peace keeping mission anymore because it also battling with issue of terrorism at home which has deprived the country of achieving one of its foreign policy objectives. The attacks of Boko Harm insurgency has moved to her neighboring countie

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