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Islamic State accepts Boko Haram allegiance

By Amy R. Connolly
Islamic State accepts Boko Haram allegiance
Flags flown by the Islamic State, a Sunni jihadist group. Self-proclaimed as a caliphate, it claims religious authority over Muslims worldwide. File Photo by Steve Allen/Shutterstock

ABUJA, Nigeria, March 13 (UPI) -- The Islamic State has accepted a pledge of allegiance from the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, according to an audio message purportedly from the IS leaders.

The 28-minute message, which has not been independently verified, said the caliphate, or IS, has expanded its reach to western Africa and congratulated "our jihadi brothers" there.

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A man who describes himself as IS spokesman, Abu Mohammed al Adnani, encouraged people to join the Boko Haram in Africa if they can't join in Iraq or Syria.

"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 said.

Boko Haram stared in 2002 as an opposition move to Western education. It forbids members of its group from taking part in any social or political activity that could be associated with Western society, including elections and receiving a secular education. The group regards Nigeria as being run by non-believers.

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