Boko Haram, the militant Nigerian Islamist group responsible for nationwide death and chaos since 2010, has now pledged allegiance to ISIS (Islamic State), a similar group operating in Iraq and Syria, in an audio clip posted online.
Boko Haram has wreaked murderous havoc in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, including the highly-publicized April 2014 kidnapping of 276 school girls, in the name of its perverted version of Islam. It aims to build an Islamic state in Africa, much like ISIS’ goal in the Middle East.
The Arabic language broadcast believed to have been issued by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau states, “We announce our allegiance to the Caliph…and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity, in hardship and ease.”
The “Caliph” referred to in the recording refers to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State and self-proclaimed caliph of the entire Muslim world.
The recording could symbolize a desire for increased coordination between international terrorist groups, and only portends further violence in Nigeria, a situation dreaded by local authorities. “It’s why we were appealing to the international community…Hopefully the world will wake up to the disaster unfolding here,” Nigerian government spokesman Mike Omeri told Reuters.
The recording was released in the wake of a recent bombing in the city of Maiduguri, which killed 50 people. The city has been under Boko Haram attack since the beginning of 2015.