“We announce our allegiance to the caliph… and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity”
With a simple audio message, the die was cast. The fates of both organizations became intertwined. Boko Haram and Islamic State became allies.
Islamic State, a nascent political power has attempted to establish an Islamic Caliphate over the Middle East and North Africa. But with this alliance, it appears that their objectives have widened. In this expanded sphere of influence, they have attempted to seek allies with common ground.
Boko Haram is an organisation that has primarily confined its activities to Nigeria, making sorties into Cameroon, Niger and Chad. While it claims to be a terrorist organization, many of its methods which include kidnapping, drug smuggling and murder have more in common with a gang than they do a terrorist organisation. They have committed many high profile crimes, such as the kidnapping of 200 school girls in Nigeria and many suicide bombings across central Africa.
The joining of these two organizations adds legitimacy to the Boko Haram cause, while allowing Islamic State to gain a foothold in Africa without actually putting boots on the ground. It also would allow Islamic State to deflect much of the flak from itself onto Boko Haram by having them carry out their agenda.
But what if this is the start of a network of alliances, across the terrorist organizations of the world?
Hamas joins Al-Qaeda, Al Qaeda joins Al Shabaab, Hezbollah joins The Muslim Liberation front and they all join Islamic State before hooking up with the pirates in Somalia.
Suddenly where there were multiple organisations only one would exist, an organization entirely devoted to terrorism but large enough and diverse enough to conduct its activities in multiple spheres of influence.
It could use its members to attack, undermine and overthrow the government of any country in its way and once it did it could use that power base to create financial and military assistance to any of its subsidiary organisations. Subsidiaries occupying opposing powers could create the distractions required for the main organization to seize control of any country of its choice.
All of this is reliant on one thing and one thing only, common ground. For these factions to cooperate there must be a commonality between them and at the moment the only common ground is their mutual hatred of western governments. Their ideologies are a hotch potch of extremism and religious fundamentalism, each operating with its own interpretation of scripture and beliefs.
Intercession by religious leaders in respect of these movements could create the perfect conditions for an international terrorist organisation to wage a truly international jihad against those countries which do not practice their particular religion. Evidence of the beginnings of this Jihad can be seen in the singling out of Jewish people in the Paris massacres and the summary executions of Christians in Egypt. A unified organization would only exacerbate this disturbing trend to its natural conclusion, a religious world war.
© R Simmons. All Rights Reserved.