I'm no expert but from various things I've read there seems to be a subtype of militant group that seems to be becoming more widespread.
- Raids towns, recruiting child soldiers and raising funds from these raids (e.g. via kidnapping)
- Creates regional fear through indiscriminate attacks and brutal collective punishments
- Builds a cult-like part religious, part mystical mythology or mystique around itself and/or leader
- Has a vague ideology but practical aims are more around fuelling own growth
- Originated as a semi-religious protest group against a local power seen as being oppressive, and became extremely violent following an attempted crackdown
- Government crackdowns seem to make them stronger
- There seems to be something important along the lines of, operating like a network of self-sustaining militias that fuel themselves through raids and kidnapping and are loosely steered by a central leadership that sets main targets, punishes disloyalty and has relationships with corrupt officials, but doesn't micro-manage these groups or try to reign in their violence. Sort of like a bandit franchise.
- (Less sure about this one) Drug use by militants encouraged, particularly amphetamines
They seem to be very different to other "militant" or "rebel" groups (e.g. those in European conflicts or in South Sudan), and very different to "terrorist" networks.
I'd like to find out more about these kinds of groups, about whether they are something modern or whether there are similar examples through history, whether it's a particularly African thing or whether it exists elsewhere, etc ... but to do this I need to know what it is I'm trying to research.
Is this any recognised sub-type of militant group along these lines?