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Via Daily Beast:

The so-called Islamic State has different strategies in different parts of the world, but in Africa and in Europe, certainly, its core objective is becoming clear: to kill Christians. Its long-term goal: to provoke a new Crusade, reviving the holy wars of many hundreds of years ago in the belief that this time around Islam will win.

In practical terms, this focus on a single pervasive, easily targeted enemy is useful to a “caliphate” under pressure that is trying to keep its troops in line.

The way ISIS has handled its Nigerian disciples in the terror organization called Boko Haram, best known for kidnapping girls and using women and children as suicide bombers, is a perfect case in point.

Earlier this month, a man named Abu Musab al-Barnawi announced that he had taken over the infamous Boko Haram organization. And his first message as Boko Haram’s leader was as clear as it was concise—on his watch, the group’s main focus will be killing Christians.

According to an interview published this month by the self-proclaimed Islamic State group (ISIS), al-Barnawi threatened to bomb churches and kill Christians, but will no longer attack places used by Muslims.

The man described as the new wali, or governor, of ISIS West Africa Province (as Boko Haram wants to be known), said there is a plot by the Western nations to Christianize the region and also claimed that charity organizations are being used to achieve this, according to an interview published in the Islamic State newspaper al-Nabaa and translated by SITE Intelligence Group.

“They strongly seek to Christianize the society,” he said of these charities. “They exploit the condition of those who are displaced under the raging war, providing them with food and shelter and then Christianizing their children.”

The man who now runs Boko Haram said the group will deal with Christians by “booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach, and killing all of those who we find from the citizens of the cross.”

Not only were al-Barnawi’s intentions clear, his agenda for Boko Haram also appears to be a clear script written by ISIS, to whom he answers. The new leader will be expected to deliver results that his predecessor, Abubakar Shekau, failed to achieve. […]

This new global emphasis on “cross worshippers” is a return to the group’s jihadist roots, harking back to the 1998 declaration by Osama bin Laden, Ayman Zawahiri and others that they would wage war on “Crusaders and Jews” around the world. A return to fundamentals is often the strategy of an organization trying to regain focus and rationalize its structure.

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