Boko Haram chief voices support for IS ‘caliph’
Published — Sunday 13 July 2014
LAGOS: The head of Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists, Abubakar Shekau, has voiced support for the extremist Sunni Islamic State (IS) militant group, which has taken over large swathes of Iraq and Syria, in a new video seen Sunday.
“My brethren… may Allah protect you,” Shekau said in the video given to AFP on Sunday, listing IS chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Al-Qaeda head Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Taleban leader Mullah Omar.
Baghdadi has proclaimed himself the new Islamic “caliph” and has urged all Muslims to obey him.
The IS has been condemned by Muslim scholars and other Islamist movements, including Al-Qaeda affiliates, for being too extremist.
In the 16-minute video, Shekau’s Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a June 25 bombing in the capital Abuja and an attack hours later in Lagos, which the authorities tried to cover up.
Shekau also mocked the social media campaign Bring Back Our Girls, which emerged to call attention to the plight of the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped on April 14 by the Islamists from the remote northeastern town of Chibok.
“We were the ones who detonated the bomb in filthy Abuja,” Shekau said, referring to the attack a popular shopping center that killed at least 22 people.
Later that day, a huge blast rocked the Apapa port district of Lagos, which the authorities blamed on cooking gas explosion, with no casualties.