Boko Haram pledges alliance with Islamic State

_78679058_bokoMarking an entwining of pan-Islamist terror groups, Boko Haram, the brutal Nigerian militant group, has promised an allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The leader of Nigeria’s Boko Haram militants, Abubakar Shekau, released a voice recording on March 7 through Boko Haram’s Twitter account.

“We announce our allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims, Ibrahim ibn Awad ibn Ibrahim al-Husseini al-Qurashi [commonly known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State group],” said the voice on the message, which is still unconfirmed, but is believed to be the voice of Shekau.

Abubakar Shekau used Arabic, but the message included French and English subtitles. There has been no official statement regarding the authenticity of the message as he was not pictured in the message.

According to analysts, Boko Haram’s bid to forge an alliance with the Islamic State group in sub-Saharan Africa will provide only a propaganda boost for now, but in the long term it could internationalise a conflict restricted to Nigeria for nearly six years.