An insurgency in Nigeria by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram has left thousands dead, shaken Africa's biggest country and worried the world. Yet it remains a mysterious - almost unknowable - organisation. Through exhaustive on-the-ground reporting, Mike Smith takes readers inside the conflict and provides the first in-depth account of the violence and unrest. He traces Boko Haram from its beginnings as a small Islamist sect in Nigeria's remote northeast, led by a baby-faced but charismatic preacher, to its transformation into a hydra-headed entity, deploying suicide bombers and abducting schoolgirls. Interspersed with history, this book delves into the roots of this unholy war being waged by a virtually unknown organisation, which is set to shape the destiny of Africa's most popular and economically most popular state - and perhaps affect the future of Africa.