Boko Haram also releases video proclamation that shows massacre of men in a ditch
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
GWOZA, NIGERIA (ANS) -- The leader of the Nigerian-based terror group, Boko Haram, has declared an "Islamic caliphate" -- an Islamic state led by a supreme religious and political leader -- in the towns and villages it has recently seized in north-eastern Nigeria.
The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar
Boko Haram is following in the footsteps of the equally vicious killers of Islamic State (IS), formerly known as ISIS, who have seized huge swathes of both Iraq and Syria, and driven out most of the Christian population, while desecrating their houses of worship.
Both groups seem intent on outdoing each other with their heinous killings and then posting their savage acts on social media.
The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, the terrorist behind the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls four months ago, made his statement about setting up the Islamic state, during a 52-minute video which also shows a group of about 20 men in civilian clothes apparently being shot dead with assault rifles as they lie in a ditch.
As this is shown, the rebel leader stands alongside two masked rebels and reads a prepared script during which he congratulated his fighters for seizing Gwoza earlier this month, and then said, "Thanks be to Allah who gave victory to our brethren in (the town of) Gwoza and made it part of the Islamic c aliphate."
A group of about 20 men about to be killed by Boko Haram -- apparently for the benefit of their latest propaganda video
Gwoza, which had 265,000 residents in the last census, is the biggest town under Boko Haram control. It has raised its flags over the palace of the Emir [King] of Gwoza, the town's traditional ruler, residents say.
Nigeria's military spokesman Chris Olukolade responded with the leaders claim and dismissed the declaration by saying. "The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Nigerian state is still intact," he said.
The BBC said in a story, that "it was not clear if Mr. Shekau has pledged allegiance to Islamic State, which controls parts of Iraq and Syria."
However, in his previous video, released in July, Shekau congratulated the Islamic State (IS) for its advances in Iraq and Syria but did not say whether they were allies - there is no evidence that the two groups have been working together.
IS has seized much of northern Iraq in recent months, leading the US to launch air strikes.
Last week, the militants sparked global outrage by beheading US Christian photojournalist James Foley.
She kau, who has been designated a global terrorist by the United States and sanctioned by the UN Security Council, stated, "By the grace of Allah we will not leave the town. We have come to stay."
Boko Haram members in action
Thousands of people have been killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria, since 2009 when Boko Haram began its bloody insurgency.
Gwoza is not far from Chibok, where Boko Haram kidnapped the more than 200 schoolgirls in April.
Nigeria's police say it is still looking for 35 police officers who went missing after Boko Haram attacked a police academy in Liman Kara, near Gwoza last week.
Residents say the militants seized the college but it is unclear who now controls it.
Nigeria declared a state of emergency in three north-eastern states in 2013 but the insurgency has continued and even intensified.
Experts, he said, have described Boko Haram's gains in recent weeks as unprecedented, saying the group was closer than ever to achieving its goal of carving out a strict Islamic state across northern Nigeria.
Boko Haram, whose name translates roughly to "Western education is a sin," has stated that the sole purpose of its campaign of violence is to establish an "Islamic state like during the time of Proph et Muhammad."
It has murdered thousands of Christians, burned down their homes and churches, and continues to spread terror in the land of my birth
Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria's population of 158.2 million and live mainly in the south, while Muslims account for 45 percent and reside primarily in the north, according to Operation World.