The Onset of Global Violent Extremism and Its Nexus with Human Trafficking

Reference work entry


Violent extremism is an emerging global threat instigated by extremist groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram. These organizations thrive only as a result of the consistent recruitment and indoctrination of new members. To date, preventative measures for those who are vulnerable to exploitation and recruitment have been under-researched in counterterrorism studies. More emphasis is placed on exploring the behaviors and patterns of those already identified as active participants in extremist groups. Recently, case studies have indicated parallels between the factors and patterns found in the recruitment and training of trafficking victims and the radicalization of adults and youth to these extremist causes. This chapter examines patterns currently employed by extremist enslaving groups that mirror those of human traffickers, including recruitment patterns, grooming protocols, coercive manipulation, power dynamics, and psychological coercion. Finally, it suggests gaps within and needed additions to treatment protocols and practices necessary to be developed in the counter-trafficking field that might also support treatment and practices in countering violent extremism.


Boko Haram ISIS Violent extremism Recruitment patterns Coercion Gender-based violence Conflict-related sexual violence Terrorism Yazidi 


  1. Abdulazeez MA, Oriola TB (2018) Criminogenic patterns in the management of Boko Haram’s human displacement situation. Third World Quarterly, 39(1):85–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adigun M (January 01, 2018) Boko Haram’s Radical Ideology and Islamic Jurisprudence.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Agbiboa DE (2013). The Ongoing Campaign of Terror in Nigeria: Boko Haram versus the State. Stability: International Journal of Security and Development, 2(3).Google Scholar
  4. Ahram AI (2015) Sexual violence and the making of ISIS. Survival, 57(3):57–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Asfura-Heim P, McQuaid J, CNA Corporation (2015) Diagnosing the Boko Haram conflict: Grievances, motivations, and institutional resilience in northeast Nigeria. Arlington, VA.Google Scholar
  6. Barau AS (2018) Boko Haram: Protection issues for displaced and distressed women and children in Northern Nigerian cities. London, England: IIED.Google Scholar
  7. Bloom M, Daymon C (2018) Assessing the future threat: ISIS’s virtual caliphate. Orbis, 62(3):372–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brown D, Silke A (2011) The impact of the media on terrorism and counterterrorism. In A Silke (Ed.), The psychology of counter-terrorism (pp. 89–108). Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, London.Google Scholar
  9. Clark CP (2017) How ISIS is transforming | RAND, from Accessed 1 Nov 2018.
  10. DeMarni Cromer L, Cunningham K, (2016) Attitudes About Human Trafficking : Individual Differences Related to Belief and Victim Blame. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 31(2): 228–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gerwehr S, Daly S (2006) Al-Qaida: Terrorist Selection and Recruitment.: Rand Corporation National Security Research Division, Arlington, VA.Google Scholar
  12. Hopper E, Hidalgo J, (2006) Invisible Chains: Psychological Coercion of Human Trafficking Victims. Intercultural Human Rights Law Review 185.Google Scholar
  13. Ikeora M (January 01, 2016) The role of African traditional religion and “Juju” in human trafficking: Implications for antitrafficking. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 17, 1:1–18.Google Scholar
  14. Kaplan E (2006) Tracking down terrorist financing. from Accessed 1 Nov 2018.
  15. Onuoha FC, United States Institute of Peace (2014) Why do youth join Boko Haram?Google Scholar
  16. Malik, N. (2016) Trafficking terror: How modern slavery and sexual violence fund terrorism. The Henry Jackson Society, London.Google Scholar
  17. Maiangwa B, and Olumuyiwa Babatunde A, (2015) Daughters, brides, and supporters of the Jihad : revisiting the gender-based atrocities of Boko Haram in Nigeria. African Renaissance. 12, no. 2: 117–144.Google Scholar
  18. Shelly L, Hartikainen S, Institute for Security and Development Policy (2010) Human trafficking and conflict. Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm, Sweden.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Shelley LI (2010) Human trafficking: A global perspective. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (2016) Terrorism. from Accessed 1 Nov, 2018.
  21. The International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (2015) Human trafficking in Nigeria. Geneva, Switzerland: IMADR.Google Scholar
  22. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2017) Handbook on children recruited and exploited by terrorist and violent extremist groups: The role of the justice system. Author, New York, NY.Google Scholar
  23. Walker A, United States Institute of Peace (2012) What is Boko Haram?Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer International Publishing AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.A.R.M.A.N. (Asylee Refugee Migrant Assistance Network)San FranciscoUSA

Personalised recommendations