The violent jihadist group aiming to put Nigeria under Islamic law is calling on its supporters to go to churches and kill Christians.
Boko Haram, in a video, also warns police to get out of the way because the group’s drive for Islamic law, or Shariah, will not be stopped.
Islam analyst Theodore Shoebat noted the jihadists sing an ominous song in the video that is “purely in accordance with Islamic tenets.”
They sing: “We are working for Allah and must bring Shariah to existence; we are committed to protecting Muslims from being annihilated by infidels. We are going to kill them. We will enter churches and slaughter Christians and barracks. We are calling on all Muslims to come out and fight jihad. If you joke, these infidels will annihilate Muslims. You see how they are killing our women and children.
In what analysts call one of Boko Haram’s most brazen video statements, the jihadists bragged that they’ve displayed their skill in northern Nigeria and against the “infidels” in the northern Plateau and Kaduna states.
U.S. Nigeria Law Group managing partner and Nigeria analyst Emmanuel Ogebe said the video is possibly a “recruiting tool.”
“The release of this video is probably a rallying call to embedded terrorists to deploy. Boko Haram is quite media savvy, and its main mode of communication is not conventional telecoms but videos,” Ogebe said.
Ogebe added that the vocal tracks on the video are filled with invectives to incite Muslims to jihad.
“The sound track of this video is laced with messages about attacks on Christians, even naming the states and location where they have ‘obliterated’ Christians and where they are going next,” Ogebe said.
Ogebe added that the video is merely a follow-up to a string of Boko Haram attacks, one of them against a military base.
“Just before the video’s release, Western media had hinted that there was no attack and that it was just the military that massacred prisoners by bombing their own barracks. This notwithstanding that Boko Haram has attacked military bases about four times in as many months,” Ogebe said.
He said it “took the terrorists releasing a video of their brazen attack on a military barracks to free imprisoned comrades to show the hollowness” of the New York Times article, he said.
“Clearly, in its propaganda war, Boko Haram seems also to have the advantage over the Nigerian army, thanks to this kind of misreporting,” Ogebe said.
With a growing casualty count that some estimates put at nearly 500 Christians this year, analysts wonder why Boko Haram’s actions aren’t garnering much media attention. Shoebat said the media isn’t interested.
“In all honesty I believe that to the mainstream media, even supposedly conservative outlets, reports on the slaughtering of Christians are not beneficial in regards to attracting the high numbers of viewers they seek,” Shoebat said.
“The far-left media, on the other hand, does not highly esteem Christianity, so why would they care about Christians being killed?”
Both Ogebe and Shoebat believe the recruiting video is timed to capitalize on a string of bold attacks. Ogebe pointed to an attempted jailbreak in the capital city Abuja.
The jailbreak came a week after Boko Haram issued a call to all of its sleeper agents around the country to begin attacks.
It was the first terror-related incident in the nation’s capital since last year at least, he said.
Despite even Boko Haram’s claims of responsibility for several attacks in the past year, Murtala Nyako, the governor of the Nigerian state of Adamawa, claimed that Boko Haram is a conspiracy hatched by President Goodluck Jonathan.
In a recent speech, Nyako attempted to deflect attention from any religious motivation and place responsibility for the violence on the military.
“It has bombed facilities of the United Nations and those of all and sundry; it has destroyed churches and mosques and targeted and killed a large number of Muslims and Christians irrespective of the ethnicity of their victims,” he said.
“It is therefore most unfortunate that in spite of professional advice to the Presidency including two memos submitted by my humble self, it does not seem to know what it is facing and the type of war it should be fighting; is it a war against terrorists, insurgents or as people are coming to believe a nurtured war against the people in Northern Nigeria? In short, is the massive killing of people and destruction of property and the environment state-sponsored?
Shoebat believes the lack of interest in Boko Haram’s actions is because the United States government opposes Christians overseas.
“Christians being killed in other countries does not affect American interests,” he said.
“The Bush administration removed Saddam, and that led to the mass persecution of Christians in Iraq, and the government was quite indifferent to this. Saddam was seen as a threat to American interests, and the wellbeing of Christians was completely out of this equation,” Shoebat said.
Shoebat added that the Obama administration has followed the pattern.
The Obama administration played a role in the removal of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Moammar Gaddafi in Libya and is supporting the current revolt against Bashar al-Assad in Syria by Sunni jihadists, he said.
“In each one of these particular situations, Christians are being killed as a result,” he said. “I believe that the current administration has a specific hatred toward Christians,” Shoebat said.
Shoebat said the pattern was also evident in the South Sudan move for independence.
“When Salva Kiir, the president of South Sudan, was supporting a revolution against the Muslim leader of North Sudan and persecutor of Christians, Omar al-Bashir, Obama personally told Kiir to cease his support of the revolt,” he said.
“Why would Obama assist Islamic revolutions against Arab leaders that would be detrimental to Christians, while at the same time preventing a revolution against a Muslim leader who kills Christians? It makes no sense, and is an indication as to the anti-Christian sentiments of the Obama administration,” Shoebat said.