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ICC Note:

Sunday, the leader of Boko Haram, a radical Islamic insurgency based out of northeast Nigeria that has slaughtered Christians and burnt churches to the ground for years, declared two predominantly Christians towns as part of the Islamic caliphate. While it remains unclear what additional threat the self-proclaimed caliphate will pose to the Nigerian state and minorit Christians in the country’s north, many in the West see the declaration as a clear sign that greater action needs to be taken in conbatting Boko Haram and other Islamic insurgencies across Africa. To help Christians in Nigeria displaced by the violence, donate to ICC’s Hand of Hope—Africa Fund here, please be sure to note your donation by writing “HH-Africa” in the comment box.

08/27/2014 Nigeria (WND) – Boko Haram has established a reputation for ruthlessness in Nigeria, killing Christians, burning Christian churches and driving people from their homes at will. The number of fatalities isn’t even known because of the extent of the terror inflicted on the population.

Still, Boko Haram comes in second place in the terror race to ISIS, the Islamic jihadists who have taken over parts of Syria and Iraq after driving out Christians and all symbols of their faith and terrorizing the populace through beheadings and crucifixions.

Hussein Solomon, a political science professor at the University of Free State in South Africa, believes Boko Haram’s Islamic state will succeed financially.

“They have the money as they are involved in kidnappings and received lucrative funds from this,” Solomon said.

And he said the group has full control of a large sections of Yobe and Borno states.

He noted Shekau praises ISIS, now called the Islamic State, “so we may see some connections developing.”

The expectation now is that Boko Haram will expand operations.

“The immediate impact of their declaration of an Islamic state will be even more sophisticated attacks and better trained Boko Haram fighters,” Solomon said.

Cameron Thomas, Africa area manager for International Christian Concern, said that while Shekau made clear the declaration meant Gwoza no longer has anything to do with Nigeria, “it remains unclear whether Boko Haram’s self-declared Islamic state is intended to coexist with, or compete against, the caliphate established by the Islamic State in parts of Iraq and Syria.”

Thomas believes the West should focus on the impact on the region’s Christians.

“Shekau’s declaration, made in a 52-minute long video that also captured summary executions of unidentified but likely Christian civilians, should serve as a rallying point around which the international community must come together in providing support to the Nigerian state in its battle against Boko Haram,” Thomas said.

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