U.S Says No Meaningful Connection Between IS And Boko Haram

boko haram-isisUnited States officials Thursday said there is no evidence that suggests Boko Haram has received significant operational support or financing from Islamic State (IS).
An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in Washington, said more than a year after Boko Haram’s pledge of allegiance, it has no link with IS.
The official noted that after Boko Haram killed more than two dozen soldiers in Niger last week, it claimed the attack in the name of Islamic State-West Africa Province – a title meant to tell the world that it was an arm of the Syria-based extremist group.
The official suggested that Boko Haram’s loyalty pledge had so far mostly been a branding exercise designed to boost its international jihadi credentials, attract recruits and appeal to the IS leadership for assistance.
He said the U.S view of Boko Haram, which came to global reckoning in 2014 for its abduction of 276 school girls from Chibok in Borno State, as a locally-focused, homegrown insurgency likely to keep the group more to the margins of the U.S. fight against IS in Africa.
The official said U.S military’s attention was largely centered on Libya, home to IS’s strongest affiliate outside the Middle East and where the U.S carried out air strikes.
He stressed that “no such direct U.S intervention is currently being contemplated against Boko Haram.
“If there is no meaningful connection between ISIL and Boko Haram and we haven’t found one so far, then there are no grounds for U.S military involvement in West Africa other than assistance and training”, he told Reuters.
Another official referred to it as an African fight and U.S could only assist.
The official said “it is not American fight, rather, it is an African fight and we can assist them, but it’s their fight”.
Meanwhile, Sen. Chris Murphy, a Foreign Relations Committee member, said “whatever its cooperation with Islamic State, Boko Haram is so deadly that Nigeria and its neighbors need U.S. help to crush.
“I think we have an interest in combating this group regardless of their connection to ISIL”, Murphy said.