What started as an elite university student talking shop in the late 1990s has evolved today into a disparate group of radicals, bank robbers and disaffected.
In Maiduguri, extreme poverty, corruption, and ruthless local soldiers helped shape extremist insurgency.
Ending insurgencies is hard, as are needle-in-a-haystack manhunts in lawless areas where distrust of the government and foreigners runs high.
Public protest and social media in Nigeria, and in places like New York and Washington, have created a tipping point for help in recovering the abducted school girls.
The US, Britain, China, and France have all offered help. But they are limited in what they can do on the ground, and Nigeria may hesitate to appear too welcoming of such aid.
President Obama, with teenage girls of his own, has called Boko Haram's kidnapping of more than 250 school girls an 'outrage.' Eight more girls were taken on Tuesday.
Boko Haram threatens to sell hundreds of girls it kidnapped last month. The World Economic Forum on Africa opens in Abuja Wednesday, drawing even more global attention to the crisis.
President Goodluck Jonathan should avail Nigeria of the same international help, for example, used to track and capture Joseph Kony of the Lord's Resistance Army in eastern Africa.
With intensified struggle between Boko Haram and Nigerian military, should a conversation begin about African multinational force intervention?
In the wake of bloodshed around major military barracks in Maiduguri, one of Boko Haram's leaders has released two videos. What's really going on in northern Nigeria conflict is very unclear.
A spirit of nihilism in Nigeria's north country ramps up even as corruption in the capitol seems more pronounced and problematic.
Nigerian state governors in meeting with Susan Rice allegedly accuse Nigerian federal security of colluding with Boko Haram backers to perpetuate conflict.
A killing of insurgents in northern Nigeria may have actually been a heinous attack on local young men merely rounded up and detained, according to a New York Times account.
Nigeria's recently suspended central bank governor said the disappearance of oil revenues damaged his ability to prop up Nigeria's currency, pointing to oil sector corruption.
For the most part, Africans used to get along with gays and homosexuals even if they might not agree with the behavior. Then came 2013 and widespread retribution.
Nigeria's radical Boko Haram fighters have launched multiple killing sprees in past months -- blasting villages and often scaring off the Army in the northeast region. What gives?