The Islamic State And Boko Haram Have Officially Joined Forces

The Islamic State and Nigerian Islamic terror group Boko Haram officially joined forces.

Last Saturday, Boko Haram's leader posted an audio message offering a partnership with its fellow Sunni militants, the BBC reports.

A translated version reportedly said,

We announce our allegiance to the caliph... and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity. We call on Muslims everywhere to pledge allegiance to the caliph.

The Islamic State accepted the proposal with a 28-minute audio message posted online by its supporters, according to CNN.

An ISIS spokesman in the message said,

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.

He went on to urge jihadists unable to travel Iraq or Syria to go to Africa instead.

Boko Haram continues to raid villages throughout Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad and its members killed thousands in the process.

The Nigerian government requested more international assistance in combating Boko Haram, which is said to have better equipment and more dedicated soldiers than the country's army.

Newsweek reports at least 50 people were killed by four bombs in the recent attack in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri that "bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram."

The Islamic State, on the other hand, is said to be getting hammered by Iraqi Kurds backed by Western airstrikes and is now in danger of losing one of the largest Iraqi cities it controls.

Terror expert Jacob Zenn told CNN the partnership will greatly benefit the two groups.

On Saturday, he said,

Boko Haram will get legitimacy, which will help its recruiting, funding and logistics as it expands. It will also get guidance from ISIS in media warfare and propaganda. Previously Boko Haram was a sort of outcast in the global Jihadi community. Now it is perhaps ISIS's biggest affiliate.

The Islamic State's other allies include terror groups in Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Citations: Islamic State accepts Boko Harams allegiance pledge (BBC), Boko Haram Pledges Allegiance to Islamic State (Newsweek), ISIS leader purportedly accepts Boko Harams pledge of allegiance (CNN)