Islamic State accepts Boko Haram pledge of allegiance – Telegraph.co.uk

Posted: Friday, March 13, 2015

Al-Adnani had urged foreign fighters from around the world to migrate and join Boko Haram.

“We announce our allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims … and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity, in hardship and ease, and to endure being discriminated against, and not to dispute about rule with those in power, except in case of evident infidelity regarding that which there is a proof from Allah,” said the message.

J. Peter Pham, director of the Africa Centre at the Atlantic Council, a think tank in Washington, noted Isil’s quick acceptance of Boko Haram’s allegiance and said that the bond highlights a new risk.

“Militants finding it increasingly harder to get to Syria and Iraq may choose instead to go to northeastern Nigeria and internationalise that conflict,” he said.

The leader of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau (AFP)

In the past – as was the case with Isil affiliates in Egypt, Yemen and Libya – it took weeks for the Islamic State to respond to a pledge of allegiance.

“The prompt – one might even say ‘fast-tracked’ – acceptance by the so-called Islamic State of Boko Haram’s pledge of allegiance” underscores that both needed the propaganda boost from the affiliation, Mr Pham added.

The Boko Haram’s pledge comes as the militants reportedly were massing in the northeastern Nigerian town of Gwoza, considered their headquarters, for a showdown with the Chadian-led multinational force.

Boko Haram kidnapped 275 Nigerian schoolgirls in April 2014

Boko Haram killed an estimated 10,000 people last year, and it is blamed for last April’s abduction of more than 275 schoolgirls. Thousands of Nigerians have fled to neighbouring Chad.

The group is waging a nearly 6-year insurgency to impose Islamic law, or Sharia, in Nigeria. It began launching attacks across the border into Cameroon last year, and this year its fighters struck in Niger and Chad in retaliation to their agreement to form a multinational force to fight the militants.

Boko Haram followed the lead of Isil in August by declaring an Islamic caliphate in northeast Nigeria that grew to cover an area the size of Belgium. After their blitz last year, Islamic State extremists declared a caliphate in the vast swathes of territory they control in Iraq and Syria and imposed their harsh interpretation of Islamic law.

The Nigerian group has also followed Isil in publishing videos of beheadings. The latest one, published March 2, borrowed certain elements from Isil productions, such as the sound of a beating heart and heavy breathing immediately before the execution, according to SITE Intelligence Group.

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