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    Islamic State Has Spread its Influence to Nigeria's Boko Haram Terrorists

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    The Islamic State has spread its dangerous influence far beyond the Middle East: Boko Haram, a terrorist movement in African, has evidently been inspired by the success of IS radicals in Syria and Iraq, and dream of establishing a caliphate in Nigeria.

    MOSCOW, December 13 (Sputnik), Ekaterina Blinova — The Islamic State has spread its influence far beyond the Middle East: Boko Haram, an African Islamic militant group which has been terrorizing Nigeria and its neighbors since 2002, is evidently copying the IS movement.

    "Outside observers see the Islamic State's influence, for example, in the tactics, rhetoric and even online media presence of the Boko Haram rebels of northeast Nigeria and neighboring border areas," Agence France-Presse reported.

    Experts note that the Islamic State has already displaced al-Qaeda as "a source of inspiration" and it's likely that IS's rapid rise is winning much more support in Africa.

    "[The Islamic State] can inspire and motivate perhaps to a greater extent than AQ, which has never motivated people. Al-Qaeda is negative, about smashing things; IS is also smashing things, but [it is] building something. IS has effaced the colonial boundaries, in a very concrete way," Former CIA officer Michael Shurkin stated, as quoted by Agence France-Presse.

    Experts stress that although Boko Haram terrorists do not necessary receive orders from the Islamic State's leadership, they are obviously copying the infamous extremist movement.

    "[Boko Haram] has more recently begun to model its ideological and military doctrine after the Islamic State and, in turn, has started to receive recognition from the Islamic State," Jacob Zenn, an Africa specialist for the Jamestown Foundation emphasized.

    Remarkably, both ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Boko Haram head Abubakar Shekau are demonstrating "direct inspiration" and "even a cross-fertilization of ideas," experts point out.

    "There are no direct operational contacts. But it is quite clear that Boko Haram is paying attention to the IS and the IS is paying attention to Boko Haram," underscored Peter Pham, the head of the Washington-based Africa Center at the Atlantic Council.

    Meanwhile Boko Haram has changed its tactics: experts point to the fact that African insurgents are moving from sporadic terror actions towards "standing their ground." The Islamist African movement has already occupied about 20,000 – 40,000 square kilometers (7,700 – 15,400 square miles) and has maintained its control over ten local governments. Like the Islamic State's insurgents, Boko Haram terrorists march with tanks and heavy equipment, seized from Nigeria's military, in an obvious show of force.

    "While much of the world has been focused on the rise of the Islamic State, another proto-Islamic state has been waging a campaign of terror while dreaming of a caliphate in Nigeria," warns the New York Times, adding that Boko Haram killed about 2,000 people in the first six months of 2014, as many as it murdered during the past four years.

    Topic:
    Boko Haram Violence in Central Africa (77)

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    Daesh, terrorism, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Nigeria
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