According to recent reports, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), now known as the Islamic State (IS), is advising Boko Haram in it’s quest to establish the caliphate in northeast Nigeria. A radical Islamic insurgency lead by Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram has taken control of several town throughout Nigeria’s northeast Borno and Adamawa States, claiming them for the caliphate and imposing Sharia law on residents that neither escaped nor we killed. Reports of Christian mean being beheaded, their wives being sold into slavery, and their children being forcefully converted to Islam have many worried.
09/08/2014 Nigeria (The Independent) – The Boko Haram gunmen who swept into the township of Gulak brought with them a new message. Rather than sowing afresh the terror they have brought to swathes of north-east Nigeria by opening fire, the jihadists insisted they were here to stay and residents would not be harmed.
For Nigerians who have died in their thousands at the hands of Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgents, such assurances were always going to be treated as hollow lies. Scores fled and today officials said the reality was that many in Gulak were killed in the weekend attack.
As Michael Kirshinga, a resident of the strategically important settlement, put it: “They assured us that they will not attack us, but people began to run for their lives. Some of us have fled for fear that, after subduing the soldiers, the insurgents will turn their gun barrels on us.”
The attack on Gulak may have ultimately conformed to Boko Haram’s grimly familiar modus operandi of spreading panic and spilling blood with murderous raids, bombings and beheadings.
But the attempt to persuade its victims that it meant no harm and the raising of jihadist flags over the township was the latest evidence of a new – and yet more chilling – direction in Boko Haram’s five-year campaign to bring havoc to Africa’s most populous nation.
The group earlier this year succeeded in monopolising global attention – and outrage – when it kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok in April, 200 of whom remain missing.
But while the West has since concentrated its focus on the “caliphate” or religious fiefdom declared by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) in Iraq and Syria, a similar announcement by Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau – and a series of territorial gains – has passed largely unremarked outside Nigeria.