Jacob Zenn

The Jamestown Foundation, Analyst of African and Eurasian Affairs

Jacob Zenn is an analyst of African and Eurasian Affairs at The Jamestown Foundation and frequent contributor on Nigeria to the West Point CTC Sentinel. In November 2013, Mr. Zenn provided testimony on "The Continuing Threat of Boko Haram and Ansaru" before U.S. Congress, and in February 2013 he testified before Congress on "Islamist Militant Threats to Eurasia."

Mr. Zenn consults on countering violent extremism in Nigeria, Central Asia and Indonesia and on the international law and best practices related to freedom of association, including a program in South Sudan.

Mr. Zenn received a J.D. from Georgetown Law, with the commendation of a Global Law Scholar in 2011, and earned a graduate certificate in international relations from Johns Hopkins SAIS campus in Nanjing, China in 2007. Mr. Zenn speaks Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian, Spanish and Russian fluently.



Boko Haram: “We're Not Only In Nigeria Anymore”

Boko Haram's communications strategy appears to be shifting as the group attempts to tie itself to the international jihadi narrative argues Jacob Zenn.

Jacob Zenn

09 Feb 2015


The Power of Boko Haram: Local Roots, International Jihad

Africa's largest country is being destabilised by the violence of Boko Haram. The group's power results from its use of ideology and ethnicity, as well as its links to other jihadi groups, writes Jacob Zenn.

Jacob Zenn

06 Feb 2015


Boko Haram: The Islamic State of West Africa?

As Boko Haram continues to claim territory in northeastern Nigeria, Jacob Zenn looks at the similarities in ideology and tactics between the group and ISIS in Iraq and Syria. While there has not been collaboration or declarations of an alliance from either group, Zenn posits that a future declaration may not be improbable.

Jacob Zenn

23 Sep 2014


Five Questions on...Boko Haram

As Boko Haram continues to operate with near impunity in Northern Nigeria and neighbouring states, Jacob Zenn answers five questions on who they are.

Jacob Zenn

24 Jun 2014

Top of page >