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Islamic State accepts Boko Haram allegiance pledge.

Islamic State militants have accepted a pledge of allegiance by Nigerian-grown Boko Haram extremist group, a spokesman for the Islamic State movement said Thursday, reports AP.

Boko Haram has been weakened by a multinational force that has dislodged it from a score of northeastern Nigerian towns.

But its new Twitter account, increasingly slick and more frequent video messages and a new media arm all were considered signs that the group is now being helped by IS propagandists.

Then on Saturday, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Sheka posted an audio recording online that pledged allegiance to IS.

On Thursday the Islamic State group's media arm Al-Furqan, in an audio recording by spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, said that Boko Haram's pledge of allegiance has been accepted, claiming the caliphate has now expanded to West Africa.

Al-Adnani had urged foreign fighters from around the world to migrate and join Boko Haram.

"We announce our allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims ... and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity, in hardship and ease, and to endure being discriminated against, and not to dispute about rule with those in power, except in case of evident infidelity regarding that which there is a proof from Allah," said the message.

The Boko Haram pledge to IS comes as the militants reportedly were massing in the northeastern Nigerian town of Gwoza, considered their headquarters, for a showdown with the Chadian-led multinational force.

Boko Haram killed an estimated 10,000 people last year, and it is blamed for last April's abduction of more than 275 schoolgirls. Thousands of Nigerians have fled to neighboring Chad.

The group is waging a nearly 6-year insurgency to impose Muslim Shariah law in Nigeria. It began launching attacks across the border into Cameroon last year, and this year its fighters struck in Niger and Chad in retaliation to their agreement to form a multinational force to fight the militants.

Boko Haram followed the lead of IS in August by declaring an Islamic caliphate in northeast Nigeria that grew to cover an area the size of Belgium. The Islamic State had declared a caliphate in vast swaths of territory that it controls in Iraq and Syria.

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Publication:AKIpress News Agency
Geographic Code:6NIGR
Date:Mar 13, 2015
Words:376
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