In an audio message purportedly from an ISIS spokesman, the group announced that a pledge of allegiance from Nigerian-based Boko Haram has been accepted by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The 28-minute message, according to CNN, was posted online by ISIS supporters. And it says that the caliphate, or Islamic State, has expanded to western Africa and congratulated “our jihadi brothers” there.
“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,” IS spokesman Mohammed al-Adnani said in the message, using the Arabic name of the Nigerian terror group.
Abu Mohammed al Adnani, encouraged people to join fighters in Africa if they cannot make it to Iraq or Syria.
Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, had announced in an audio message last week that the Islamist terror group was going to ally with ISIS.
Jacob Zenn, a terror expert who lives in Nigeria, told CNN on Saturday the alliance would make sense for both groups.
“Boko Haram will get legitimacy, which will help its recruiting, funding and logistics as it expands,” Zenn said. “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.
“ISIS gets more international legitimacy as a global caliphate.”
Boko Haram, whose name translates as “Western education is sin,” has been waging a years long campaign of terror aimed at instituting its extreme version of Sharia law.
Much of this violence has taken place in Nigeria. But neighboring countries, such as Cameroon and Chad, have also been hit increasingly hard.