IT is not the first sign that Islamic State is breaking out from the caliphate it has established across parts of Iraq and Syria and becoming a potential global franchise.
But the announcement by the mass-murdering Boko Haram jihadists in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy and most populous nation, that they are joining up with Islamic State and submitting to the authority of the caliphate’s brutal leadership is deeply alarming. It is an indication of how rapidly the most extreme forms of Islamic extremism are gaining momentum far beyond Iraq and Syria.
In recent months Islamic State has attracted other jihadist groups, large and small, to its cause. Affiliates in Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and even Afghanistan, long the jihadist preserve of the Taliban, have pledged binding oaths of loyalty to Islamic State and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.