The past year a tactical victory over ISIS (c State of Iraq and Syria) has always been heralded by the international media and the Western coalition. However, it should not overlook the fact that ISIS remains a threat to the world.
The world should begin to realize that ISIS has a transnational agenda going forward when they claim to establish the Khilafah in 2014. That's when the peak of its triumph, and they use that influence to infiltrate local jihadist groups to countries outside the Middle East, including in weak countries in Africa such as Nigeria.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa (about 180 million people), with land area equal to the combined France and Germany. But ironically, one of the biggest senders of hajj in the world has for years faced a bloody rebellion, in which the main actor is Boko Haram, the phenomenal militant who carries Islamic jargon in his movement.
Boko Haram, this group has an original name Jamaah Ahl Sunnah lid Da'wah wal Jihad was founded in 2002 by Mohammed Yusuf al-Barnawi, a radical Islamic charismatic figure. Boko Haram himself in local language means “refusing or forbidding western education”, a campaign promoted by Joseph the founder.
Mohammed Yusuf is famous as a convincing preacher, it is said that he was able to make anyone present in his lecture agree with everything he said . He himself was later killed by the police in 2009 and triggered a rebellion in Nigeria.
After the death of Yusuf, the leadership of Boko Haram was replaced by Abu Bakar Shekau whose videos were widely circulated on the internet. Some people consider that he is actually more a leader of the mafia than religious extremists because his style is reckless and often cries in front of the camera.
Boko Haram's action only attracted international attention when at the end of 2014 succeeded in controlling three states in northeastern Nigeria and kidnapping hundreds of female students in May of the same year.
Unlike the Taliban in Afghanistan, who took the initiative to establish a shadow government, or ISIS in Syria that ran a caliphate. Boko Haram seems more interested in creating chaos, slaughtering villagers, kidnapping women and children. Some girls are enslaved and sold. Others were forced to commit suicide bombings. UNICEF, the UN children's agency said, that last year Boko Haram used 135 children as suicide bombers.
In 2015, Abu Bakar Shekau made a bail and declared his group merged with the ISIS caliphate and Boko Haram promoted using new name is ISIS West Africa Region (ISWA). Meanwhile, Abu Bakar Shekau was asked as Guardian (Governor) of ISIS for the region.
One year later, this group experienced a split, marked the rise of the name of Abu Mus'ab Al Barnawi (son of the founder of Boko Haram) as a new leader, replacing Abu Bakar Shekau because it was seen as too extreme, deviating from the ISIS caliphate theological guidelines. This chaos has made Abu Mus'ab write a 124-page Arabic book explaining the reason for Shekau's dismissal.
Fired from ISIS, Abu Bakar Shekau did not move, he and his remaining men continued to rebel against the government in the style of Boko Haram. He also continued his hobby of uploading rambling monologue videos on the internet.
Meanwhile, the new Nigerian ISIS leader who was more low-profile, had never appeared in a propaganda and economical video claiming responsibility for a terror attack. . This is in contrast to Abu Bakar Shekau who is narcissistic and publicly thirsty. Media reports The National 19455 stated that ISIS made wells for residents' water needs, distributed seeds and fertilizers to farmers and provided safe pastures for shepherds. “If you are a shepherd, driver or merchant, they will not” touch “you, just follow the rules of those who govern the area,” said a shepherd, who often came out and entered ISIS to move his livestock. “They do not 'touch' civilians, only security guards.”
In the past few months, the activities of Nigerian ISIS militants have shown an increase in the strategic Lake Chad valley, the area close to the Chad, Niger and Cameroon borders but has tended to government ignored. ISIS attacks targeting security personnel and military facilities that increased throughout July-September were strongly suspected of aiming to stockpile weapons for larger operations going forward.
Elissa Miller Middle Eastern researcher in his writings on The Arab Weekly revealed that the fear of the local population from the terror of Boko Haram was also 'exploited' by ISIS in Nigeria. Reports say, ISIS protects local residents from Boko Haram attacks, they promise stability and services that failed to be provided by the Nigerian government and military .
By protecting local residents from Boko Haram attacks – something that citizens do not get from Nigerian military – ISIS seems to want to make a significant difference with Boko Haram militants in the eyes of local residents, in addition to eroding people's trust in the government.
Such ISIS tactics are not new. In Afghanistan, ISIS took advantage of the lack of government presence and the prolific warlords of the Taliban by appearing as 'protectors'. Likewise when they began to grow in Libya, ISIS promised stability and service to the population of the city of Sirte which was ostracized by the new government because it was considered the basis of the dictator Muammar Kaddafi's followers.
As reported by ISIS combatants in Nigeria. If the number is valid, it can be said that ISIS Nigeria is the largest branch of ISIS.
Observers of the African uprising believe that ISIS relations in Nigeria with its center in the Middle East are currently limited, and again the ranks in this group are local people, there are no foreign combatants because it is difficult to get here.
But even so, taking into account the transnational nature of ISIS, the rise of this group in Nigeria must not be underestimated, let alone militants with the same ideology have previously experimented in other African countries, namely in Libya.
- The Guardian: Boko Haram May Be Planning 'Something Big' https://guardian.ng/news/boko-haram-may-be-planning-something-big-salkida/  Long War Journal: c State Releases Photos from Deadly Raid on Military Base Near Lake Chad https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2018/08/c-state-releases-photos-from-deadly- raid-on-military-base-near-lake-chad.php
- Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi: The c State West Africa Province vs. Abu Bakr Shekau: Full Text, Translation and Analysis http://www.aymennjawad.org/21467/the-c-state-west-africa-province-vs-abu
- Elissa Miller: ISIS Expanding North and West Africa https://thearabweekly.com/isis-expanding-north-and-west-africa
- The Economist: The Fight Against C State is Moving to Africa https: //www.economist. com / middle-east-and-africa / 2018/07/14 / the-fight-against-c-state-is-moving-to-africa
- The National: ISIS Affiliate Establishes Stronghold in West Africa https : //www.thenational.ae/world/africa/isis-affiliate-establishes-stronghold-in-west-africa-1,725708
This Article Was Published On : ISLAMI.CO
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