ICC Note: Nigerian radical-Islamic militant group Boko Haram is having internal divisions recently over disagreements about loyalty to the Islamic State. Boko Haram pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in early 2015, but this alliance has not proved to be very beneficial for the Nigerian-based group so some wish to distance themselves and maybe re-attach themselves with other terrorist group, Al-Qaeda. Boko Haram has now split between those wanting to work more closely with ISIS and those wishing to distance themselves from what they deem a failing Islamic State. This split is concerning for various reasons; since ISIS is more multi-regional in their focus and are interested in attacking Western culture all over the world, there is fear that the faction of Boko Haram that wants to ally with them will take up a similar mission. Boko Haram has traditionally been a militant group internal to the country of Nigeria, focusing on the persecution of Christians and Western culture within the country rather than looking beyond the borders as well. The implications of this split within Boko Haram are not yet completely clear, but Boko Haram remains a threat to Christians in Nigeria and perhaps elsewhere.
By Florence Taylor
06/22/2016, Nigeria (Christian Today) – Boko Haram has suffered an internal split after a group rebelled because leader Abubakar Shekau failed to adhere to guidance from Islamic State, a senior US general said on Tuesday.
There is a concern that the splinter group might work more closely with ISIS, including by adopting its transnational focus, which has been absent from Boko Haram so far.
Marine Lieutenant General Thomas Waldhauser, the nominee to lead the US military’s Africa Command, suggested the internal division was illustrative of limits of ISIS’ influence over Boko Haram so far, despite the West African group’s pledge of allegiance to it last year.
“Several months ago, about half of Boko Haram broke off to a separate group because they were not happy with the amount of buy-in, if you will, from Boko Haram into the ISIL brand,” Waldhauser said at his nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Shekau, he said, had not fallen into line with Islamic State’s instructions, including by ignoring calls for Boko Haram to stop using children as suicide bombers.