Tags: Emerging Threats | ISIS/Islamic State | boko haram | isis | christians | killings | cameroon

Boko Haram Adopts ISIS Strategy in Targeting Christians

By    |   Monday, 20 April 2015 02:02 PM

The latest attack on Christians by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram appears to indicate that the group is adopting the same murderous tactics as the Islamic State to demonstrate their allegiance to ISIS' goal of erasing Christianity from its home region.

"Boko Haram is probably the most lethal Islamic extremist group in the world. They want a pure Islamic State," Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, tells Fox News.

Since Boko Haram's March release of a video, via Twitter, in which they pledged allegiance to ISIS, their attacks have increased in number and become more brutal. ISIS responded by posting a message in which the terror group's spokesman Mohammed al-Adnani accepted the group's pledge.

"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," he said, according to Al Jazeera.

Since voicing their allegiance to ISIS, the militant Islamic group has gone on several killing rampages across the north of Nigeria, with little being done to stop them. In one village in neighboring Cameroon, Boko Haram members disguised themselves as preachers before slaughtering at least 24 people, according to the New York Post.

"Since Boko Haram's support for ISIS began to increase, however, the West African terrorist group has exhibited a new level of military sophistication and strategic ambitions, which has resulted in the expansion of its territorial control into large portions of northeastern Nigeria, and an increase in its presence in the surrounding nations of Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

"This new allegiance is of significance to the jihadist cause, as it internationalizes a conflict that has been otherwise confined to West Africa," wrote Vanessa Hayford of The Atlantic Council of Canada last month.

Hayford notes some differences between the groups, estimating that Boko Haram was responsible for roughly 10,000 deaths in 2014, compared to ISIS' estimated 5,500 murders.

In addition, Boko Haram has engaged in indiscriminate killing and seems less concerned with maintaining control over territory they seize, while ISIS' terror has been marked by a pattern of local, targeted killings with obvious political motives.

They do, however, share an affinity for using rape and sexual violence as a tactic of terror, according to a United Nations report released this month.

"For the first time, (the report) articulates how sexual violence is integrally linked with the strategic objectives, [and] ideology ... of extremist groups," says Zainab Hawa Bangura, the U.N. Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

The tactic poses a particular challenge, because as non-state actors they are sophisticated and organized in a way that nation states are not.

"They communicate with each other and they are using modern technology tools to actually implement a medieval mentality against women. So we don't have the tools and that's why we are working very closely with the Security Council to be able to better understand who they are, where they come from and how we can respond," she said.

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The latest attack on Christians by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram appears to indicate that the group is adopting the same murderous tactics as the Islamic State to demonstrate their allegiance to ISIS' goal of erasing Christianity from its home region.
boko haram, isis, christians, killings, cameroon
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2015-02-20
Monday, 20 April 2015 02:02 PM
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