ISIL has officially acknowledged Boko Haram’s pledge of allegiance. This acknowledgement thus automatically transforms Boko Haram into an ISIL affiliate in West Africa. The acceptance of the pledge of allegiance was conveyed through an audio message posted by ISIL.
Mohammed al-Adnani, the spokesman for the Islamic State, has stated that the Iraq-Syrian based global jihadist group has accepted the Nigerian Sunni terror group into its fold. The incorporation of Boko Haram into ISIL effectively expands ISIL’s infiltration into Africa. There already exists Sunni jihadist groups – based in Libya and Egypt – which have sworn an oath of allegiance to ISIL; and they have even conducted attacks on behalf of ISIL.
The recent beheading of over 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya was perpetrated by an ISIL affiliate based in Northern Libya. ISIL’s affiliate in Egypt, Sinai Province, has also conducted multiple attacks against Egyptian security forces as well as their Israeli counterparts.
The inroads being made by ISIL into Africa has imperiled an already fragile security environment in the Continent – with incapable and unstable government being at the most risk of subversion.
Boko Haram is currently fighting a multinational coalition of counter-terrorism forces; and its pledge of allegiance to ISIL was an attempt to buttress itself from active and increasingly effective anti-terrorism military campaigns being conducted against it.