A Break Down Of Current Boko Haram/Yusufiyya Factions And Organizational Structure

Before I begin: This article will appear in parts on the blog roll. While these parts are being written and posted, I will not have time to handle any other topics, save one or two outstanding ones (including an analysis of the Shekau Caliphate video two months late, and a breakdown of forces involved in this war). So unless the Army captures Shekau, Al-Barnawi or Sheikh Bukar alive, or Boko Haram storms a Government House somewhere, I will not (If Allah Wills) digress of from this series.

I am not a scholar or much of a writer, so pardon my errors of grammar and typography.


Fulan Nasrullah….

The Yusufiyya Movement is a broad ideological front with several autonomous factions all of him rose out of the remains of the followers of Muhammad Yusuf left after the 2009 Maiduguri Crisis.

Ideological Foundations

There are four known factions within the broad Yusufiyya Movement, namely:

1. Jamaa’atu Ahlis-Sunnati Lid-Da’wati Wal-Jihad i.e Group Of The People Of The Traditions (Of The Prophet, prayers and peace be upon him) For The Call/Propagation And The Striving, led by Abubakar Shekau

2. Jamaa’atu Ahlis-Sunnati Lid-Da’wati Wal-Jihad of Sheikh Bukar Al-Barnawi. This group also differentiate themselves as Jamaa’atu Ahlis-Sunnati ‘Alal-Haqq Wal-Jihaadi Fii Sabilillah I.e Group Of The People Of The Traditions (Of The Prophet, prayers and peace be upon him) On The Truth And The Striving In The Cause Of Allah.

3. Ansorul-Muslimiina Fii Bilaadis-Sudaan I.e Helpers Of The Muslims In The Lands Of The Sudaan (Sudaan is a generic classical Arabic term referring to all the Muslim lands stretching from Senegal to the Sudan-Ethiopian border), led by Abu Usamah Al-Ansori (said to be Muhammad Haruna Bello).

4.  Harakatul-Muhajiriina Wal-Mujahidiin I.e Movement Of The Emigrants And Those Who Strive, led by Khalid Al-Barnawi.

All four factions/groups started out on the Yusufiyya Call of Muhammad Yusuf, a call which strongly believes that Contemporary Education (as I prefer to call it) is kufr (disbelief) and thus Haraam (prohibited), because of such beliefs and theories as evolution etc taught in schools.

Note: This Yusufiyya belief has no basis in Islam and in the Sunnah (Traditions) of the Prophet (May Allah Mention him favourably in the presence of the Angels and Put Peace on him). This Yusufiyya doctrine has been refuted by the preachers and teachers of the Salafi Call in Nigeria including Sheikh Abu Yahya As-Salafi in Kaduna, Sheikh Muhammad Auwal Aadam aka Albanin Zariya in Zaria, and the late Sheikh Ja’afar Mahmud Assam of Kano. The last who were assassinated by suspected Boko Haram gunmen.

As a side note, I must add that the correct position of the Islamic Shari’ah (yes the bad old Shari’ah that the world seems to fear so much) is that some of Contemporary Education is Kufr (disbelief) and some is Haraam (prohibited). Evolution falls into the former and mixing of the sexes in co-ed schools or in classes falls into the later.
A point of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) which Muhammad Yusuf probably missed or choose to ignore is that what is Haraam (prohibited) does not necessarily translate into Kufr (disbelief). Thus a man may engage in alcohol consumption which is Haraam and for he is to be flogged mercilessly, yet that does not make him a Kaafir (disbeliever in the Oneness of Allah and the Message/Messengership of His Prophet).

Again the Fuqohaa (Jurists) of Islam have said that if one has no other alternative e.g all the schools in his area are schools required to teach evolution in their curriculum and mix the sexes in classrooms, then one is permitted to attend such schools, provided one doesn’t not believe in evolution and similar theories as true or possible, provided that unless one is absolutely required to one doesn’t associate with the opposite sex that is not legal to him I.e not one’s close relation e.g husband, wife, father, uncle, aunt, sister, brother, child etc.

A Muslim (and this agreed upon by the scholars of the Salafi Creed) doesn’t become a Kaafir (disbeliever in the Oneness of Allah) if he studies evolution because he must, as long as he doesn’t accept it as truth, he doesn’t believe in it, and he hates it.

Three of the factions (those of Sheikh Bukar, Khalid Al-Barnawi, Abu Usamah Al-Ansori) still hold on to the Yusufiyya Creed, while the faction of Abubakar Shekau has become more Takfiri in outlook, call and outlook.

Takfiriyuun (Takfiris) are extreme Muslims who misuse Takfir (declaring a disbelieving ‘Muslim’ a Kaafir/disbeliever) and pass declarations of apostasy on Muslims for even mistakes that they made out of ignorance.

In Dikwa, Buni-Yadi and Gamboru, Shekau’s forces rounded up as many educated Muslims that they could find and executed them, after Shekau declared Takfir on them for going to school.

Also Shekau and his factions are sworn enemy of the Izala Movement an Islamic revival movement in Northern Nigeria, because the group runs schools that emphasize on a combination of Islamic and Contemporary Education.

Again Shekau’s assassination squads have assassinated over a dozen Muslim clerics in Northern Nigeria for criticizing his actions and he labelled them apostates.

Shekau’s Faction

Officially known as Jamaa’atu Ahlis-Sunnati Lid-Da’wati Wal-Jihaad, which translates into English as ” Group Of The People Of The Traditions (Of The Prophet, Peace and Salutations be upon him) For The Call/Propagation And The Striving”.

Area Of Operations/Control

Shekau’s faction of the Yusufiyya Movement controls Buni-Yadi and several other towns and villages on Yobe State and the northern part of Borno State.

The faction is very active in Yobe State, running camps and bases across that state, the northern part of neighbouring Borno and across the international border in Niger and Chad.

Administrative Division

The over decision making authority of the group is Shekau in his capacity as the Amir. He is advised however by a 10 man Majlisush-Shuraa (Assembly of Consultation), five of whom are senior field commanders while the other five run specialized departments.

From what I have gathered, the basic organization of field units in the Shekau faction, is between 8 and 12 men including the cell amir. In urban areas outside the conflict zone, these cells are made up of as little as 3-5 men (as was the case of the cell mopped up by the Directorate Of Military Intelligence earlier this year in Kaduna City).

For convenience I have labelled the 3 man cell level, Level One, while the 8-12 man units are Level Two.

Above the Level Two units lie Level Three units, made up of up to ten Level Two style units under a Level Three amir, and having anywhere between 80-120 men.

One source claims that there are up to 120 Level Three units within the Shekau faction. However a more reliable source, puts the Level Three units as around June 2014 as 100-105. That is at least 9,000 fighters.

Above the Level Three are Level Four units said to be made up of five Level Three units each.

Part One Ends Here….

Part Two will continue with a breakdown of the various organs of Jamaa’atu Ahlis-Sunnah of Shekau.

Copyright Fulan Nasrullah and Fulan’s SITREP. Do not use without explicit written permission from me.


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