Boko Haram claims new Islamic caliphate

Aug 25, 2014, 7:03 PM EDT
A screengrab taken on July 13, 2014 from a video released by the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram and obtained by AFP shows the leader of the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau.
AFP/Getty Images
Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist group operating in Nigeria’s north, said that it now controls the northeastern city of Gwoza and has added it to the ‘Islamic Caliphate’ it claims it has established in Nigeria. 
 
The claims were made in a video featuring the group’s leader Abubakar Shekau and released on Sunday as Thomson Reuters reports:
 
Abubakar Shekau's videoed speeches, often as chilling for a rambling incoherence as for any message they contain, have become a regular feature of the militant leader's bid to project himself as public enemy number one in Africa's biggest economy.
 
His forces have killed thousands since launching an uprising in 2009, and are seen as the biggest security threat to the continent's leading energy producer.
 
In the latest one released through his network late on Sunday, the militant who says he is fighting to create an Islamic state in Nigeria, said his forces were now in control of the hilly border town of Gwoza, near the frontier with Cameroon, after more than a week of fighting there.
 
"Allah has granted us success in Gwoza because we have risen to do Allah's work," Shekau says, reading out a statement off a notebook, with two masked gunmen on each side of him and three four wheel drive vehicles behind him in thinly forested bush.
 
"Allah commands us to rule Gwoza by Islamic law. In fact, he commands us to rule the rest of the world, not only Nigeria, and now we have started."
 
Nigeria's military is denying the group's claims despite local reports that dispute their denials, as Deutsche Welle points out:
 
According to Nigerian military officials, "The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Nigerian state is still intact." Local newspaper 'This Day' quoted Major-General Chris Olukolade as saying the claim by Boko Haram that they now control Gwoza, was "false and empty." However, security sources and some witnesses said police and the military were being pushed out of Gwoza by Boko Haram fighters.

 

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