A U.S. intelligence officer told NBC News the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) will not likely team up with Nigerian radical Islamic group Boko Haram in any official capacity due to the group’s racism against black Africans.
“The Arab world is incredibly racist,” the officer explained. “They don’t see black Africans as equivalent to them.”
Boko Haram has repeatedly praised the Islamic State and showcases its flag in many videos, but the Islamic State has not shown any brotherly love towards their comrades in Africa, other than reports indicating that the groups are in communication. The officer also said there is no evidence that the two groups will merge soon.
“There are still questions of the ISIS view of Boko Haram and Nigeria,” the official claimed. “But Boko Haram does not operate in sync with ISIS. The Caliphates are separate.”
But as the International Business Times points out, race might not be an issue. During the Ferguson riots, the Islamic State attempted to tell protesters that blacks in America need to embrace Islam because the United States is “racist and oppressive.” The SITE Intelligence Group reported that many of the Islamic State social media accounts target black Americans.
Boko Haram soldiers number between 4,000 to 6,000, while the Islamic State boasts up to 31,000 terrorists. More Westerners have joined the Islamic State, as well, with as many as 2,700 in the terrorist group. Officials claim there is no evidence of Westerners within Boko Haram. Michael Sheehan, chairman of the Countering Terrorism Center at West Point, believes Boko Haram views the Islamic State as a big brother and would not have declared a Caliphate if the Islamic State had not done so first.
“Each of them has been successful, reinforcing their own optimism, and that’s not insignificant,” he said.
Boko Haram in its current form began to terrorize northeast Nigeria in 2009, which makes the group older than the Islamic State. However, they only declared the area a Caliphate two months after the Islamic State announced its Caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Both adhere to strict Islamic law and produce propaganda videos.