With Boko Haram leader Abubaker Shekau (pictured) recently pledging his allegiance to Iraqi and Syrian terrorist group Islamic State (IS), this week, IS accepted their pledge, according to the BBC.
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In the unverified audio tape message, IS spokesman Mohammed al-Adnani lauds what he calls “the expansion of the caliphate” in acceptance of Shekau’s offer to join their ranks.
“We announce to you to the good news of the expansion of the caliphate to West Africa because the caliph… has accepted the allegiance of our brothers of the Sunni group for preaching and the jihad,” al-Adnani says.
An Islamic caliphate is a territory headed by a supreme religious or political leader.
In addition, al-Adnani encouraged more West Africans to join Boko Haram.
The BBC reports:
The spokesman also urges Muslims to join militants in West Africa, rejecting suggestions that Iraqi forces and the US-led coalition have recently had a series of victories against IS in Iraq and Syria.
As previously reported by Face2Face Africa, many have suspected that IS and Boko Haram are already working together due to similarities in social media execution.
However, months before Boko Haram made its Twitter debut, many have speculated in IS’ involvement in the Nigeria-based terrorist group due to the devastating impact and seemingly unending manpower, arms, and artillery they possess, which has often left the Nigerian army outmanned and outgunned in comparison.
On Wednesday, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan confirmed those suspicions, declaring that Boko Haram terrorists had indeed traveled to the Middle East to train with IS in an interview he gave to Voices of America.
“So we know the links are there. But even now, we may not know the degree of linkages as to how much funds are coming in from them, the kind of volume of weapons coming in from them, the nationalities coming from them,” President Jonathan said.
“But the training, because some of the Boko Haram members go to have their training in the ISIS camp and come back.”
At Shekau’s pledge, Nigerian officials called his allegiance a “sign of weakness.”
Army Spokesman Col. Sami Usman Kukasheka said, “There is no surprise that he [Shekau]
is craving for support from fellow terrorists across the world.”
“Basically he’s just trying to create panic to create a plea for help that will not even come because very soon we will see to the end of the insurgency in Nigeria.”
The Multinational Joint Taskforce (consisting of Chad, Benin, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria) launched their offensive against Boko Haram on March 1st.
So far, they have reportedly reclaimed the towns of Michika, Gulak, Madagali, Buni Yadi, Baga, Ngala, Bama, Banki, Dikwa, and Banki from Boko Haram. At press time, Boko Haram still only has control of four towns (Chibok, Gwoza, Marte, and Monguno).
Meanwhile, IS continues making headlines with its mass executions and beheading of foreign journalists.