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Boko Haram Beheading Video Shows Similarities To ISIS

Boko Haram Beheading Video Shows Similarities To ISIS
Boko Haram bombings Global Panorama / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0


Boko Haram Beheading Video Shows Similarities To ISIS

Boko Haram Bombings

Image from Flickr by Global Panorama

There is an uncanny similarity between the operations of Nigerian Islamic terrorist organization Boko Haram and the ISIS, Fox News reported.

Translated into English, French and Arabic, the video released Monday by Boko Haram titled “Harvest of Spies” was originally reported by the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC), a group that monitors terrorism and terrorist groups on the Internet.

Veryan Khan, the editorial director of TRAC, found the operations of Boko Haram and ISIS more than similar: “I believe Boko Haram is more than just copying the Islamic State — their image is being ‘shaped’ at very least in the ISIS media wing.”

“Immediately after Baghdadi declared the Islamic State Caliphate, Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau did the same. We then started seeing (in the videos) the Islamic State flags being painted onto Boko Haram’s most prized possessions, their AFVs and tanks, most recently on Feb. 20 during the ops within the Northeastern Nigeria border.”

Similar to the videos released by ISIS, Boko Haram’s shows a local resident confessing of spying before footage was cut. The video later shows the decapitated body of that man, according to CNN.

Apart from taking a leaf out of cruelty carried out by ISIS, the Boko Haram logo incorporates the ISIS flag. Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s leader, then praises Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS.

Some other similarities found are propaganda strategies involving content representation, frequency and use of social media, said Jasmine Opperman, TRAC’s director of African operations.

Khan said, “Jan. 18, Boko Haram opened its first Twitter account — it was taken down within a week, but the group had never tried a campaign via Twitter before,” with Boko Haram gaining more than 3,000 followers in a short amount of time. “There was grassroots support for Boko Haram from Islamic State-affiliated Twitter accounts.”

Opperman said, “The ISIS is clear in its objectives — to expand the Islamic Caliphate Project by means of expansion and control.” He further added, “This is not only achieved by means of gaining physical control in areas, but gaining support and loyalty from individuals, groups and organizations. A pledge of allegiance from Boko Haram will serve this objective.”

Boko Haram is the lone terrorist group in Africa that holds and governs territory, according to Khan.

Opperman said, “Boko Haram’s power projection will gain an image boost with such a pledge.”

However, it is unlikely that Boko Haram can increase its capabilities “unless there is a concerted effort from the ISIS to ship in fighters and weapons,” Opperman added.

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