Boko Haram: ISIS’s Strategic Ally in Africa
By admin August 4, 2017

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Boko Haram, known in Arabic as Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad (People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad), is an Islamist militant group best known for causing havoc through abductions, bombings, and assassinations. Founded in 2002 to oppose the influence Western education, organizational goals shifted in 2009 to forming an Islamic State.

Designated a terrorist group in 2013, Boko Haram declared a caliphate in 2014 and gained worldwide notoriety in April of that year for the kidnapping of almost 300 schoolgirls from Chibok, Nigeria. Boko Haram is no stranger to making headlines for violence as it is estimated that the group’s insurgency is responsible for more than 20,000 deaths and the displacement of about 3 million people over the last eight years.

Acting President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, had a closed meeting with the leaders of the Nigerian military to review the worsening Boko Haram violence in the northeast region of the country. Insurgents have carried out around 90 separate or multiple suicide attacks within Maiduguri in the past four months. Just this week, members murdered seven more people during a village raid in Yola, about six hours south of Maidguri.

Boko Haram’s level of aggression in Nigeria is quite alarming, but the most dangerous element of the syndicate may be its connections to ISIS. A few weeks ago, a Boko Haram faction tied to ISIS, known as “Shekau,” resurfaced with the kidnapping of a Nigerian oil prospecting team. At least 37 people are reported to have been killed. The Shekau division, named after its leader, has been working alongside terrorists led by al-Barnawi who was named Boko Haram’s commander by Islamic State in August of 2016. al-Barnawi’s and now Shekau’s IS affiliations gives their blocs access to the benefits sub-Saharan trade routes used to transport weapons from Libya where Islamic State is active.

The results of a Pew Research Center poll released this week revealed that 18 out of 38 countries surveyed cited ISIS as the “top threat.” Respondents ranking ISIS the most imminent global security hazard before risks including climate change, cyberattacks, and the global economy were mostly concentrated in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the United States. Nigeria’s survey responses named “ISIS,” “Condition of the global economy,” and “Large number of refugees” as almost equal worries.

As ISIS continues to lose ground in the Middle East and reaches out to partners in other regions, like supporters in the Philippines, it may soon seek to form a stronghold in Nigeria as well. Reports may declare that ISIS is on the way to defeat, but we must remain cautious not to ignore connections between seditious groups that could prolong the lifespan of the terrorist organization.


Further Reading:

Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamist Group?

Seven Killed in Early Morning Attack on Adamawa Village

Following Osinbajo’s Order, Military Chiefs Arrive in Maiduguri to Tackle Boko Haram

Globally, People Point to ISIS and Climate Change as Leading Security Threats

Boko Haram Wing Tied To IS Marks Resurgence By Kidnapping Oil Workers

Thanks for sharing !

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