Boko Haram now appears intent on governing

The Wall Street Journal reports: After seizing another village in Nigeria’s northeast last month, Boko Haram militants took a step in their transition from terror group to governing authority. They rounded up the men and ordered them to wear pants as the prophet Mohammed did, several inches above the ankle.

Otherwise, a Boko Haram commander told a crowd of men, they would be killed. “So we folded our trousers,” said Birgamus Kadams, a 26-year-old who was among the group of several hundred residents of Garkidi village the militant addressed.

Like 1.5 million other Nigerians, Mr. Kadams fled his home, in his case to the government-held town of Yola. But the world he left behind is changing.

After years of sowing chaos—bombing mosques, gunning up markets, kidnapping children, and leaving thousands dead, Boko Haram now appears intent on establishing order in towns it holds.

Fighters are imposing rigorous Islamic law in a bid to carve out a corner of a strategic, oil-rich country—just as its fellow jihadists in the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are doing. [Continue reading…]

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