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ISIS ACCEPTS BOKO HARAM’S ALLEGIANCE PLEDGE
Adedayo Ogunleye, Abuja
The extremist Islamic terror group, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS, has reportedly accepted Nigerian terror group Boko Haram’s pledge of allegiance.
ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani announced this on Thursday in a speech distributed across social media, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
In the same speech, Adnani stated that ISIS intends to take over Paris, Rome, and Andalusia, and destroy Big Ben and the White House.
Boko Haram leader Abu Shekau had made a pledge of allegiance on Saturday via an audio recording uploaded on the Internet.
“We announce our allegiance to the Caliph… and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity, in hardship and ease,” Shekau said in the clip.
The Boko Haram leader also called upon Muslims everywhere “to pledge allegiance to the Caliph.”
The implications of this development may be far reaching according to security experts.
Jacob Zenn, Nigeria-based terror expert stated, while speaking with the CNN on Saturday, that the development will give Boko Haram legitimacy in the global terror network.
“Boko Haram will get legitimacy, which will help its recruiting, funding and logistics as it expands.
“It will also get guidance from ISIS in media warfare and propaganda. Previously, Boko Haram was a sort of outcast in the global Jihadi community. Now, it is perhaps ISIS’s biggest affiliate,” Zenn said.
This website reported recently that Ahmed Salkida, a conflict journalist who had contact with the Boko Haram leadership in 2013-2014, warned of a possible ISIS – inspired change in Boko Haram leadership following Shekau’s pledge of allegiance.
Salkadi also stated that the methodological transformation of Boko Haram into a well-organized terror and propaganda machine is enough evidence of a burgeoning alliance between the two terror groups.
However, the coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mike Omeri had dismissed reports of such alliances, asserting instead that the pledge of allegiance made by Abu Shekau to ISIS leadership was “a confirmation that the insurgents in the North east were having a hard time in the hands of the coalition of Nigerian and multi-national forces”.
Omeri described the pledge was “an act of desperation and comes at a time when Boko Haram is suffering heavy losses”.