Boko Haram militants claim that they are turning Nigerian into an Islamic caliphate. The Muslim extremist organization is in control of three known towns, and continues to gain power and influence in the region.
In a video, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is seen announcing, "Thanks be to Allah who gave victory to our brethren in Gwoza and made it part of the Islamic caliphate...By the grace of Allah we will not leave the town. We have come to stay.”
The militants conquered Gwoza Aug. 6, destroying homes and killing many residents. Some survivors have fled to surrounding mountains, as well as bordering nation Cameroon.
The exact number of Boko Haram members is unknown; however, militants are believed to be recruiting fighters in Cameroon, Niger and Chad. Some officials fear that Boko Haram are working with Islamic State terrorists.
Raffaello Pantucci, senior research fellow of Royal United Services Institute said, "They have been quite active and I think this is worrying people.”
Publication date: August 28, 2014