Abubakar Shekau issues threats after recent split in movement over ties to Daesh.
Rafiu Ajakaye - LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) – Boko Haram has threatened the “mother of all attacks” on Nigeria’s capital, dismissing President Muhammadu Buhari and his military commanders as leading a government of “misguided elements” that must be crushed.
“Let the government of Nigeria and West Africa not celebrate or gloat over the division between us and our brothers....We will shock them with attacks never seen before, in no-distant time,” a hooded Boko Haram fighter said in a video released early Monday.
The video is the first to be published since a widely publicized split in the movement last week.
Standing in front of several hundred Kalashnikov-wielding Boko Haram fighters and flanked by men with anti-aircraft missiles, the speaker said Boko Haram remains loyal to Daesh chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi but would never recognize the authority of recently named West African leader of the group, Abu Musab al-Barnawy.
“They [the Abu Musab group] do nothing but to create division among our people without an iota of contribution to the jihad,” according to the speaker, who accused Daesh leaders of ignoring “our agitations...until the unsavory news [about al-Barnawy becoming wali]”.
The speaker said they would have nothing to do with Barnawy until they heard directly from the Daesh leadership.
The comments show there is doubt about the veracity of a recent interview in a Daesh-owned online magazine portraying Barnawy as Boko Haram leader.
Monday’s video also showed group leader Abubakar Shekau repeating his loyalty to Baghdadi but rejecting a truce or allegiance to Daesh-nominated leader, Barnawy, the son of the late Boko Haram chief Muhammad Yusuf.
“This is time to fight; it is the time of jihad,” according to Shekau who sported military fatigues and a Kalashnikov.
“We are not killing fellow Muslims. We are not calling Muslims non-believers. We fight and kill those who God has ordered to be fought, those we call non-believers are people so called by God,” Shekau said, apparently refuting an earlier accusation by the al-Barnawy group that he has become a senseless murderer.
The video was the first to show Shekau since he pledged allegiance to Daesh in March 2015. His lengthy non-appearance had led some analysts to speculate Shekau may have died or been instructed to stop making statements in deference to Baghdadi.