The Nigerian militant group Boko Haram has pledged its allegiance to the Muslim terrorist group Islamic State in a statement made by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekaumade.
“We announce our allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims Ibrahim ibn Awad ibn Ibrahim al-Husseini al-Qurashi and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity.”
Boko Haram is just the latest in a string of Jihadist groups to pledge their allegiance to Islamic State and is probably the most well known and established. Boko Haram has staged a military campaign to establish its own Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria over the last six years. In recent months it has killed hundreds in a spate of car bombings and shootings. It also has a long history of mass kidnappings of children for converting to their extreme Islamic beliefs.
The pledge surprises few and has been expected by many western security services. Just how this pledge will translate in to actions on the ground in Iraq and Nigeria is yet to be established but will probably take the form of an exchange of ideas, tactics, preaching of extremist ways and the recruitment of new members for both organizations.