The jihadist group, ISIS, has accepted a pledge of allegiance from its Nigerian counterpart, Boko Haram.
In an audio message that has yet to be verified, a man who claimed to be the spokesperson for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS, said the group’s aim of establishing a caliphate has now been expanded to West Africa, the BBC reported.
The move followed a pledge of allegiance by Boko Haram to ISIS last week, as the Nigerian militant group faced increased military onslaught in recent weeks.
In an earlier audio, the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, said his group was reaching out to ISIS based on divine provisions in the Holy Quran, and as directed by the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad.
He said every Muslim must have a leader or risks dying in ignorance.
While Boko Haram seeks to create an Islamic caliphate in the north eastern part of Nigeria, ISIS is pushing a similar agenda in Iraq and Syria. ISIS also has a deadly presence now in Libya.
Boko Haram has recently suffered massive casualties following a reinvigorated onslaught from the combined armed forces of Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
Although Shekau did not mention the current onslaught against his group, he said there was need for unity between the two groups.
“In submission to the order of Allah “Azzawa Jal”, and submission to the order of the prophet peace be upon him to not separate from each other and to stay united as ummah as Jamaa’ah,” he said.
“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, in hardship and ease, and to endure being discriminated against, and not to dispute about rule with those in power, except in case of evident infidelity regarding that which there is a proof from Allah,” he said.
In the ISIS tape, a spokesperson who described himself as Mohammed al-Adnani – says: “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”.
The spokesman also urged Muslims to join militants in West Africa. He rejected suggestions that Iraqi forces and the US-led coalition have recently had a series of victories against IS in Iraq and Syria, the BBC said.