The Islamic State appeared to endorse a pledge of loyalty from the Nigeria-based militant group Boko Haram on Thursday, signaling an alliance of interests between terrorist groups that share a reputation for brutality but are not known to have collaborated operationally.
In a speech distributed on social media, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, a spokesman for the Islamic State, praised the recent declaration of allegiance by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.
The expressions of mutual admiration come as both organizations have committed a series of new atrocities even while facing expanded pressure from regional militaries seeking to oust the militant groups from separate territories they seized in Iraq and northern Nigeria.
The declared alliance is believed to be largely for propaganda purposes. U.S. intelligence officials said that they have seen no evidence of any operational ties between the groups, nor any willingness by Boko Haram to take orders from afar.
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