There are strong indications of a possible link between the Islamic State and Boko Haram as the Republic of Chad has intercepted a large cache of different types of weapons sent from the affiliate of the former in Libya to some members of Nigeria’s ferocious Islamic death cult in the Lake Chad region.
The Associated Press reports that the weapons were seized two weeks ago, underscoring the increasing ties between Boko Haram and the Islamic State, which now has a foothold in Sirte, Libya and Chad.
This is even as the U.S. officials warned of deepening links between the Islamic State and Boko Haram and prodded Chad’s ruling strongman, Idriss Deby Itno to introduce reforms for the sake of long-term stability.
This revelation was brought to light in Ndjamena by the commander of US special operations in Africa, Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc, on a day (Thursday) the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power came for a visit.
The visit to Chad by America’s U.N. envoy and top U.S. military officials highlighted the country’s precarious position dealing with a multitude of hostile militant groups and unstable neighboring governments.
Although Boko Haram pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State last year, the operational connection has been unclear.
Bolduc said the groups clearly share “tactics, techniques, and procedures,” from the way they conduct complex ambushes and set improvised explosive devices like roadside bombs, to how they undertake high-profile attacks on hotels.
The nexus between Boko Haram-IS may pose the greatest immediate threat.
Suggesting the relationship is expanding, he said Chad on April 7 intercepted a “large cache of different types of weapons” sent from Libya and intended for the Lake Chad region. These included small arms, machine guns and rifles.
“You can, I think, draw a conclusion,” Bolduc told reporters.
The implication was that the weapons were sent by the Islamic State, which has established a foothold along Libya’s Mediterranean coast, near the city of Sirte.
Given the range of threats here, he said the “Lake Chad Basin region is Ground Zero” is in the fight against extremism in Africa.