USA Today Reported:
Boko Haram's leader has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a new audio message, a group that monitors extremist activity said Saturday.
In the recording, a man claiming to be Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Nigerian terrorist group that has killed thousands, vowed to follow Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to SITE Intel Group, a U.S.-based organization.
Flashpoint Intelligence, a global security firm, confirmed the recording to NBC News. USA TODAY was not immediately able to verify the message.
Boko Haram, which kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls last year, has killed at least 13,000 people and forced nearly 1.2 million to flee to southern Nigeria, as well as neighboring Chad, Cameroon and Niger. Its name means "Western education is forbidden" in the Hausa language.
In recent months, Boko Haram has upped its threats, vowing nearly three weeks ago to disrupt Nigeria's elections, which had been moved by six weeks to March 28 over security concerns related to the group