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Sahel and Libya under attack: the Strategy behind Boko Haram´s pledge of formal allegiance to ISIL.

March 08,2015-by Joseph Jones.  Nigeria’s Boko Haram group (BH), now somewhat allegedly weakened by a multinational AU (African Union) force that has dislodged BH from a score of northeastern towns, reportedly pledged formal allegiance to the Islamic State group (ISIL).

BH´s pledge to ISIL came in an Arabic audio message with English subtitles from terrorist leader Abubakar Shekau and posted Saturday on Twitter, according to the SITE Intelligence monitoring service. The existence of the Twitter account, increasingly slick and more frequent video messages from Boko Haram, the beheadings, and a new media arm all are considered signs that the group is being helped by ISIL (propagandists and maybe military experts).

According to SITE , BH´s pledge to ISIL comes as the Nigerian Terror Yihadists reportedly are concentrating forces in the northeastern town of Gwoza, for a showdown with the Chadian-led AU multinational force.

But why Boko Haram joins ISIS and open at the same time an instance of rapprochement with Al Qaeda in Maghreb AQIM?  There may be two answers to this question: the first is that BH want to join ISIL  as a symbolic gesture, like Islamic Terrorists should stick together. The second alternative is that BH-now an appendix of ISIS- have decided to join forces with the franchise of ISIS in Libya and -why not?- with AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Maghreb) and start a military offensive in order to conquer enough territory in Niger (or maybe Chad), to enable them to join forces south of Libya. The objective could be to solidify ISIS in the region, specially in Libya and start threatening the Southwest of Egypt.

If the latter strategy is the one ISIS Libya plus BH are about to implement, that means bad news for North Africa and the Sahel, but also means that BH expansion through Nigeria would not be the first priority for 2015. The Region has also a strategic value for organized crime, since the cocaine “South American” route and Asia´s heroin route transit the Sahel in order to get to the Mediterranean Sea (Exclusive Analysis for Africa Security News) .