US Intelligence Suggests ISIS Don't Work With Boko Haram

US Intelligence Suggests ISIS Don't Work With Boko Haram

According to the reports of American Intelligence officials, racism will stop ISIS operating in Northern Africa from teaming up with Boko Haram sect. 

“The Arab world is incredibly racist," explained a U.S. intelligence official. "They don't see black Africans as equivalent to them."

The official added that ISIS may show "affinity" with Nigeria's insurgents, "but they stop short of allegiance," NBC News reports.

Furthermore, the official continued, whereas Boko Haram has in the past year released videos to show "affiliation" with groups like ISIS, there's no fact of either group sending members to fight with the other. And while Boko Haram has praised ISIS, and shown the ISIS flag in videos, ISIS has not move.

"There are still questions of the ISIS view of Boko Haram and Nigeria," said the official. "But Boko Haram does not operate in sync with ISIS. The caliphates are separate."

There was fear last October when Boko Haram announced its caliphate that the two might team up, but there's no reason that's happening, according to the official.

READ ALSO: Twitter Shut Down Alleged Boko Haram Account 

The sects differ in various ways. Both use social media, but the ISIS campaign is much more sophisticated - using more than 20 languages - and efforts to communicate the Islamic rationale for its work.

Boko Haram posts increasingly slick videos on the web, like one released Tuesday, February 17th, that menaces the leaders of Cameroon, Benin and Chad, but its prime recruiting tool is older and simpler than social media.

Boko Haram," said another official, "uses fear."

The body of their caliphates also differs. ISIS tries to substitute the bureaucracies it found in conquered territories with its own, while Boko Haram has been satisfied simply taking over villages and cities and establishing Sharia courts that border out rough justice.

Intelligence officials said that other than a few fighters who've crossed the border into Nigeria from Cameroon, Chad and Niger, the numbers of foreign fighters in Boko Haram are minimal.

There's no evidence, they say, of any North Americans or Europeans fighting in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: March 28 Election Will Not Be Held – Boko Haram 

But even if there is no link beyond shared values between the groups, ISIS may be a role model for Boko Haram, said chairman of the Countering Terrorism Center at West Point, Michael Sheehan.

The two sects also share a crucial quality: a charismatic leader. Intelligence officials say that just as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's persona is central to ISIS, Abubakar Shekau's "fiery persona" has made him a strong commander-in-chief of Boko Haram - one who would be difficult to substitute.

It should be noted that Twitter has suspended the previous account supposedly set up by Boko Haram militants.

However, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau shared a video via new account @Urwatu_Wutqa.


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Khadijah Thabit (Copyeditor) Khadijah Thabit is an editor with over 3 years of experience editing and managing contents such as articles, blogs, newsletters and social leads. She has a BA in English and Literary Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Khadijah joined in September 2020 as a copyeditor and proofreader for the Human Interest, Current Affairs, Business, Sports and PR desks. As a grammar police, she develops her skills by reading novels and dictionaries. Email:

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