Boko Haram leaders were initially adept at identifying real social grievances in Nigeria and reframing these within an Islamist structure in order to mobilize segments of the population to their cause. Each major encounter between the military and Boko Haram members led to an evolution in the tactics used by Boko Haram. The 2009 military operations resulted in Boko Haram becoming far more inclined to utilize violence in order to achieve its goals. Abubakar Shekau uncompromising position with regards to the implementation of takfir led to the fracturing of Boko Haram and his demotion by the Islamic State from the leadership of Islamic State West Africa Province. The geo-political factors surrounding Boko Haram explain why the movement was able to metastasize in densely populated urban areas around the city of Maiduguri as well as more sparsely populated regions along the borders of Borno State.