They make a lovely couple

How sweet; the worst people in the world are joining forces. Daesh has accepted Boko Haram’s offer of allegiance. I’m sure that was a tense wait for Boko Haram, before the approval came through – would they be murderous and loathsome enough? But apparently Daesh has decided they have enough potential to be accepted.

Islamic State (IS) has accepted a pledge of allegiance from Nigeria’s militant group Boko Haram, according to an audio message.

In the tape, which has not been verified, an IS spokesman says the aim of establishing a caliphate has now been expanded to West Africa.

Last week, Boko Haram posted a message saying it wanted to join ranks with IS.

And then, shyly, it waited to hear.

In the tape, a man – who describes himself as IS spokesman 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 urges Muslims to join militants in West Africa, rejecting suggestions that Iraqi forces and the US-led coalition have recently had a series of victories against IS in Iraq and Syria.

IS has forged links with other militant groups across North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

In November, Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi accepted pledges of allegiance from jihadists in Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Maybe someday – and maybe soon – all of humanity will unite in a vision of death.



  1. Phillip Hallam-Baker says

    I can’t quite see why this happened or in the direction it did. Boko Haram gains nothing from associating with ISIS but it can certainly damage them.

    ISIS has been losing ground for the past two weeks. Tikrit is now encircled by the Iraqi army backed by US air power and Iranian ground forces. The question that is worrying policy makers right now is not whether ISIS will take over Baghdad but where all the fighters are going to pop up next after the fall of Mosul. Defeating ISIS is the easy part, stopping them regrouping and starting fresh trouble is much harder.

    Capturing territory is much easier than occupying. ISIS has effectively shut down all economic activity in the areas it controls. They control some of the oil fields but they have not been able to run any of the refineries in their territory or the distribution mechanisms for crude oil. So their ability to fund themselves through smuggling is very limited. The Taliban and Al Qaeda funded their operations through opium smuggling which is rather more practical.

    ISIS began the beheading videos because they were in decline. They are evidence of weakness, not strength. So quite what Boku Haram think they will gain from tying themselves to a dying cause is a mystery. While they have positioned themselves to take recruits from ISIS after it collapses and establish themselves as the successor to the caliphate, Nigeria is a long way from Iraq.

    This announcement should probably be taken as a sign that Boku Haram is in trouble as well.

  2. Trebuchet says

    Tikrit is now encircled by the Iraqi army backed by US air power and Iranian ground forces.

    Nitpick: As I understand it, US airpower is NOT being used around Tikrit because of the heavy Iranian involvement there.

  3. Phillip Hallam-Baker says

    Trebuchet, at a recent conference the US and Iran issued identically worded statements denying that they were co-ordinating their actions. Which has been taken as a signal that both are doing exactly that.

    Not bombing troops on our own side is generally considered part of the definition of being backed…

    At this point the city is invested and it is going to be mostly up to the ground forces. But Iraq/Iran might well push ISIS back into the palace complex and then have the US destroy it.

  4. lorn says

    Last I read the US was withholding airstrikes around Tikrit simply as a method of increasing Iraqi training, experience, confidence, and ownership. The Iraqis, and Iranian militia, have more than enough heavy artillery on hand to take care of the attack, to deal with any counterattack, and to have some reserve capacity to handle contingencies. I hear the US maintains drones and observers in the area, and air power on-call, to prevent any strategically damaging reversals. The plan seems to be to allow the Iraqis and Iranian militias to do things their way even if it means they waste their efforts, take unnecessary casualties, and lose some of the smaller battles.

    This is the answer we have come up with to answer problems we have faced since Korea. The issue, in a nutshell, is how a stronger third party can intervene in a regional conflict without emasculating, disheartening, or fostering dependence of the people we are seeking to help.

    This is similar to what parents have to do when helping their kids to do something as mundane as riding a bicycle. If they are ever going to be able to go out their own you have to allow them to fall and do some risky stuff to build confidence and competence while doing your best to keep them from any catastrophic failures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *