Boko Haram, the Nigeria-based Islamist terror group, has pledged allegiance to ISIS, according to an audio message purported to be from Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.
In the audio, which was posted online Saturday, the speaker says Boko Haram is announcing its “allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims, Ibrahim ibn Awad ibn Ibrahim al-Husseini al-Qurashi,” which is another name for ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
CNN has not been able to independently authenticate the message.
Boko Haram, whose name translates as “Western education is sin,” has been waging a yearslong campaign of terror aimed at instituting its extreme version of Sharia law.
Boko Haram’s tactics have intensified in recent years, from battling Nigerian government soldiers to acts disproportionately affecting civilians — such as raids on villages, mass kidnappings, assassinations, market bombings and attacks on churches and unaffiliated mosques.
Much of this violence has taken place in Nigeria. But neighboring countries, such as Cameroon and Chad, have also been hit increasingly hard.