Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | boko haram | abubakar shekau | ISIS

Boko Haram Leader Resurfaces, Reaffirms Ties to ISIS

Boko Haram Leader Resurfaces, Reaffirms Ties to ISIS
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau speaking in a May 2014 video released by the Nigerian terror group. (AP Photo/File)

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Wednesday, 19 August 2015 10:43 AM Current | Bio | Archive

New questions about Boko Haram have been mounting since Sunday's release of an audiotape apparently featuring the voice of the Nigerian-based terrorist group's leader Abubakar Shekau.

On the tape, Shekau — who had been presumed dead by many — proclaimed "I am alive" and underscored Boko Haram's alliance with the Islamic State (ISIS).

The message was addressed to "the Caliph of the Muslims, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi [leader of ISIS], may God protect him." Shekau made obvious a theme he has declared before and that has caused growing concern in Washington and other Western capitals: that Boko Haram, the premier source of terrorism in Nigeria and Chad, Cameroon, Mali and other African neighbors, marches in tandem with ISIS, which oversees a terrorist state in Iraq and Syria.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest and other administration spokesmen are likely to be questioned about the latest hint of a Boko Haram-ISIS alliance when President Barack Obama returns to Washington from his summer holiday after Labor Day.

Any discussion of Boko Haram focuses on the shocking kidnapping of more than 200 girls at the Chibok secondary school in Nigeria in April 2014.

In vowing to rescue the girls shortly after taking office on May 29 of this year, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari also promised to shut down Boko Haram in three months.

"President Buhari's three-month deadline is being taken more seriously than those given by his predecessors," Patrick Smith, editor of the much-respected 55-year-old Africa Confidential, told Newsmax.

"For all sides it will be the most significant test of the new government's security policy."

Shekau's audiotape openly challenged Buhari and his deadline, declaring "this lying leader, and I mean Buhari, has raised his weapons and has claimed that he will come for us in three months. Oh Buhari, why did you not say three years? We will continue to fight you, God willing, until the entire earth is ruled by the rule of God almighty."

The stunning eight-minute-long audiotape follows weeks of worldwide speculation about Shekau, whose fiery speeches on Boko Haram's YouTube videos have almost always featured the terrorist leader with his AK-47.

He has not been seen in the more recent Boko Haram videos, prompting speculation that the magnetic terrorist leader had been killed or incapacitated.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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New questions about Boko Haram have been mounting since Sunday's release of an audiotape apparently featuring the voice of the Nigerian-based terrorist group's leader Abubakar Shekau.
boko haram, abubakar shekau, ISIS
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2015-43-19
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 10:43 AM
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