The military campaign by Nigeria and neighboring nations to combat the West African militant group Boko Haram has been hampered by a failure among those countries to share crucial intelligence — sometimes even within their own security services, American and other Western officials say.
Western partners have balked as well. The Pentagon and American intelligence services have struggled at times to provide information quickly about Boko Haram militants to the African countries — Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria — without violating restrictions on what can be shared from spy satellite imagery or electronic eavesdropping within rules for not disclosing sources and methods.
Until recently, Western officials and analysts said, Britain and the United States provided only sanitized intelligence reports to the Nigerian military. The countries feared that more detailed information might be misused by an army that human rights groups say has committed abuses against civilians as it battled Boko Haram, which has pledged loyalty to the Islamic State.
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