Tomi Oladipo: Islamic State and the kidnap of Nigerian schoolgirls

The recent kidnapping of 110 schoolgirls from Nigeria shows that Boko Haram is still a dangerous force in Nigeria – despite President Muhammadu Buhari claiming that the group had been technically defeated.

BBC Africa security correspondent Tomi Oladipo looks at the strength of the militant Islamists, and their links to the Islamic State group.

Was IS involved in the kidnappings?

Not directly. However, a Boko Haram faction loyal to IS was behind the abductions, as well as that of the wives of police officers and university lecturers last year in Maiduguri, the main city in the north-east.

Image caption Gunmen raided the school in Dapchi, taking away the girls

The faction is known as the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (Iswap) – a name aimed at showing that IS has expanded beyond the Middle East and North Africa.

It is officially recognised by IS, with Abu Musab al-Barnawi as its leader. He is believed to be the son of Boko Haram’s founder, Mohammed Yusuf, who was killed in police custody in 2009.

IS helps Iswap run a sleek propaganda campaign. Apart from this, direct links between the two appear to be minimal.

What led to the split?

Continue Reading This Article At BBC News


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