Though Nigeria’s Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIS over a year ago, and has intermittently been presented as an “ISIS affiliate” since then, US officials today said they have found “no meaningful connection” between the two groups.
According to a new assessment, which the US hasn’t publicly released but some officials detailed to the media, they’ve found no evidence that ISIS has provided any financing or any operational support for Boko Haram since the pledge.
Not that Boko Haram necessarily needs it. The group has been a huge thorn in the side of the Nigerian government, operating with virtual impunity across the country’s northeast and sometimes inflicting huge casualties in attacks on pro-government villages.
Boko Haram got its start in 2002, as an anti-technology group that often attacked with bows and arrows, and machetes. After a 2009 massacre at the hands of the Nigerian military, the group was believed virtually destroyed, but reemerged with a much more aggressive attitude, and more modern weaponry. Since then, they’ve displaced millions within Nigeria and kill several thousand people yearly.