OPINION: BOKO HARAM’S ALLEGIANCE TO ISIS: IMPLICATIONS FOR NIGERIA

The recent pledge and acceptance of allegiance by Boko Haram Terrorist (BHT) to the Caliphate of ISIS has added another dimension to the threat of terrorism in Nigeria. It is envisaged that BHT would seek to consolidate on its newly acquired global jihadist status by undertaking more devastating attacks. Thus attacks on airports, educational institutions, leisure facilities, national gathering and other high value targets could be imminent. The allegiance also opens an avenue for borderline converts as those with sympathies for ISIS but unable to link up with it, may join BHT, as directed by ISIS. Furthermore, more lone wolf attacks could be instigated in Nigeria by ISIS utilizing its internet indoctrination/radicalization programme as the internet is accessible to many Nigerians with very limited control by the Government of Nigeria. Additionally, it is most likely that BHT would receive support from ISIS in the areas of training/operational tactics, media strategy, acquisition of weapons and recruitment which could leverage the group into a more lethal and ruthless fighting force.
In view of the above, there is need for parent to close monitor their children activities, especially in the area of using social media network, educating them on the terrorist groups’ recruiting antics.

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