Recent reports allege that Boko Haram is once again coordinating with al-Shabaab, or al-Qaeda in Africa. The two terrorist networks have exchanged information, tactics and training in the past, but recent activity between the two groups and an increasing amount of violence by both has experts worried. Both bent on establishing Islamic states in their respective geographic spheres, Boko Haram and al-Shabaab have both undertaken campaigns to erdaicate Christians from what they believe should be purely Islamic land. Those campaigns have seen to the destruction of numerous churches, the deaths of hundreds—if not thousand—and the uprooting of many more.
07/06/2014 Nigeria (NBC) – Boko Haram is trading tips with other terrorist groups as it plows on with a bloody campaign to carve out an Islamic state and deepens a crisis threatening to engulf central Africa in religious violence.
Emboldened by Nigeria’s failure to stamp out its al Qaeda-inspired insurgency, the militant group attained global infamy in April with the mass kidnapping of more than 300 schoolgirls. International attention was focused on the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls with Michelle Obama and teenage Taliban shooting victim Malala Yousafzai expressing their support. The U.S. and others stepped in to help track the girls down.
With no sign of the schoolgirls more than two months after their disappearance and new reports weekly of further Boko Haram attacks, experts warn the battle to contain the extremists has hit an impasse and the terror could spread beyond Nigeria’s borders.
Jacob Zenn, an expert on Boko Haram who has advised the State Department on the terror group, said worrying signs have emerged of the extremists communicating and sharing tactics with al Shabaab — an al Qaeda-linked group based in Somalia that is waging a bloody campaign in east Africa.
“Early in 2011, Boko Haram and al Shabaab did coordinate with some bombings, but until recently we did not see much activity,” he said. “Now, in the past few months, we’ve seen them sharing communications and tactics again – which is significant.”