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Africa Subsaharan
Nigeria claims it killed Boko Haram's Shekau in raid
2016-08-23
[AllAfrika] The Nigerian Army on Tuesday announced the death of three key commanders of the extremist Boko Haram sect.

The army said the terrorists were killed on Friday in a major air strike on their location in the dreaded Sambisa Forest.

The spokesperson for the Army, Sani Usman, said the leader of the terrorist group, Abubakar Shekau, was also inflicted with with "fatal injury" during the operation.

Mr. Sani, a colonel, said the bombardment was carried out on Friday while Mr. Shekau, who the Nigerian military had pronounced dead several times in the past years, was leading his group in performing the Friday prayers at a secret location called Tayye in the heart of the vast forest.

The military has repeatedly claimed credit for killing Mr. Shekau. But the sect denounced the claims each time saying its leader remained alive. At times, Mr. Shekau would appear in a video to prove he had not been killed.
Let's hope they've got him this time. We've grown tired of the teasing.
Link


Africa Subsaharan
Nigeria: Military Says Boko Haram Leader, Shekau, Wounded in Deadly Air Strike
2016-08-24
More on this story from yesterday.
[AllAfrica] The Nigerian Army on Tuesday announced the death of three key commanders of the extremist Boko Haram sect.

The army said the terrorists were killed on Friday in a major air strike on their location in the dreaded Sambisa Forest.

The spokesperson for the Army, Sani Usman, said the leader of the terrorist group, Abubakar Shekau, was also inflicted with with "fatal injury" during the operation.

Mr. Sani, a colonel, said the bombardment was carried out on Friday while Mr. Shekau, who the Nigerian military had pronounced dead several times in the past years, was leading his group in performing the Friday prayers at a secret location called Tayye in the heart of the vast forest.

The military has repeatedly claimed credit for killing Mr. Shekau. But the sect denounced the claims each time saying its leader remained alive. At times, Mr. Shekau would appear in a video to prove he had not been killed.

The military however insisted that the original Abubakar Shekau had long been killed, and that the so-called Abubakar Shekau said to be alive was a made-up character.

Giving further details of Friday bombardment, Mr. Sani gave the names of those killed in the raid as Abubakar Mubi, Malam Nuhu and Malam Hamman.

Our correspondent in Maiduguri said the air raid was not immediately reported because journalists have no access to the location. Military insiders also said the air force had no idea how successful the bombardments were until late Monday when the Army became aware of those killed and injured in battle.

Colonel Usman's statement reads in full:

"In what one could describe as the most unprecedented and spectacular air raid, we have just confirmed that as a result of the interdiction efforts of the Nigerian Air Force, some key leaders of the Boko Haram terrorists have been killed while others were fatally wounded.

"The air interdiction took place last week Friday 19th August 2016, while the terrorists were performing Friday rituals at Taye village,

"Those Boko Haram terrorists commanders confirmed dead include Abubakar Mubi, Malam Nuhu and Malam Hamman, amongst others. While their leader, so called "Abubakar Shekau", is believed to be fatally wounded on his shoulders. Several other terrorists were also wounded".
Link


Africa Subsaharan
CIA asset Boko Haram releases videos showing masked gunman with kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls
2016-08-16
CIA asset? Where did that idea come from?
[SOTT.NET] Footage purportedly showing Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
's new leader has emerged online, displaying a masked gunman demanding that Nigeria's government release their fighters in exchange for the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls.

The new video is thought to feature Abu Musab al-Barnawi, the recently appointed successor to Abubakar Shekau
... the lunatic leader of Boko Haram who has been reported dead at least eleven times, pledged his body and soul to ISIS, told his fighters to hang it up once or twice, and been fire by the Caliph and refused to step down ...
, who has not been seen since early 2015.

While as yet unverified, the video is similar to previous Boko Haram releases.

In the 11-minute clip, a man dressed in military clothing with a gun slung across his shoulder claims that a number of the kidnapped girls have been killed in Nigerian air strikes, while at least 50 young women in head scarves can be seen lined up against a darkened backdrop.

One of the captives, identified by the BBC as Maida Yakubu, is then directed to appeal to her parents to put pressure on the Nigerian government to release imprisoned Boko Haram fighters.

"We are suffering here, the aircraft has come to bombard us and killed many of us. Some are maimed. Every day we are in pains and suffering. Some of our husbands that we married also are injured, some dead. No one cares for us," the girl is reported to have said.

Posted to Twitter on Sunday by a Nigerian journalist, the broadcast claims to be a message to the "family of Chibok girls".
Link


Africa Subsaharan
Nigerian army says Boko Haram defeated; group's disputed leader vows to fight on
2016-08-12
[UPI] The Nigerian Army said it has defeated Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
though the Lion of Islam group's leader, embroiled in a split in the group, said he will fight on.

Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, chief of Nigerian army staff, on Monday said the ability for Boko Haram to re-group in any part of Nigeria has been degraded. He said the group has failed to carry out attacks or suicide kabooms in northeast Nigeria
... a particularly crimson stretch of Islam's bloody border...
recently because it has been defeated.

During a visit to Nigeria's Plateau state, Buratai said the conflict with Boko Haram will come to an end through the efforts of Nigeria's Special Task Force and other security agencies.

"You can see that our efforts in the northeast has really paid off, as you can recall the incessant bombing of market places and different places of worships and populated areas has virtually stopped now," Buratai said. "I can assure ... the people of Plateau state that they will never witness Boko Haram attacks like you witnessed in the past."

"The Nigerian army has not only succeeded in rooting them from their camps in the northeast, we have been able to block these criminal elements from crossing down to these areas or building their camp anywhere in Nigeria," Buratai added.

Meanwhile,
...back at the Council of Boskone, Helmuth had turned a paler shade of blue. Star-A-Star had struck again...
Abubakar Shekau
... the lunatic leader of Boko Haram who has been reported dead at least eleven times, pledged his body and soul to ISIS, told his fighters to hang it up once or twice, and been fired by the Caliph and refused to step down....

-- who said he remains the leader of Boko Haram despite contradicting claims -- released a video in which he vowed to continue fighting.

"I ... made it a duty for myself [to fight] Nigeria and the whole world," Shekau said in the video released on Sunday in which he dismissed an Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
announcement that he was replaced by former Boko Haram front man Sheikh Abu Musab al-Barnawi.

He also dismissed indications that Boko Haram is undergoing a split and that he had died. He was last seen in March.

"We have no desire to fight our Moslem brethren," Shekau said. "I'm alive by the permission of Allah."
Link


Africa Subsaharan
Shekau's video evidence of growing tensions between Boko Haram factions
2016-08-12
[IBTIMES.CO.UK] A video released by the disputed leader of Nigeria-based terror groupBoko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
is proof that there are tensions between the two factions within the Islamist outfit, a security analyst toldIBTimes UK.

Abubakar Shekau recently released a 24-minute clip vowing he would continue to fight. The video camedays afterBoko Haram's ally, the Isis terror group, replaced Shekau with Abu Musab al-Barnawi, former Boko Haram spokesperson.

Shekau, however, denied he had been replaced and claimed Barnawi was staging a coup against him. He also accused Barnawi of being an infidel who condoned living in a non-Islamic society without waging jihad.

Following the new appointment, analysts warned the group had split into two factions, one loyal to Shekau and the other to Barnawi.

"The video is another reason to expect some tension between Shakau's faction and the faction of Al Barnawi," David Otto, CEO of global security provider TGS Intelligence Consultants, told IBTimes UK.

"Shakau is probably doing this video appearance to reassure his followers that he is still alive and in control. Without this type of assurance, most of his bully boyz will cross over to Barnawi's faction. This could be a strong message of defiance to [Isis] - Shakau will not give up his leadership without a fight."

Otto added that Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim) could be interested in allying with Shekau, given his refusal to accept Barnawi as his replacement.
AQIM was the original alliance. Bamawi's group split off when Shekau chose ISIS instead, as I recall. So we now have the amusing sight of both trading allegiances.
"We may never witness a physical battle between Shakau's faction and that of Barnawi, but a battle of ideology will ensue," he said. "This is an indication that technically the fight against insurgency in the region is just beginning."
Link


Africa Subsaharan
Nigerian gov't dismisses new BH leader as 'cheap propaganda'
2016-08-07
[ALLAFRICA] Erstwhile leader of Jama'atu Ahl as-Sunnah li-Da'awati wal-Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
, Abubakar Shekau, has released a recorded message a few hours after news of his successor was made public by ISIS.

This came as the Federal Government, yesterday, dismissed as cheap propaganda reported appointment of a new leader for the sect, saying it was too late to employ such tactics to revive the defeated terrorist group

The Islamic state bad boy group on Wednesday announced Abu Musab al-Barnawi as the new leader of its West African affiliate, Boko Haram.

Shekau in the 10-minute 23-second audio message in Arabic and Hausa, said he was deceived, but vowed never to stray from the ideology of the Jama'atu Ahl as-Sunnah li-Da'awati wal-Jihad which he said had a basis in the Koran.

Shekau in the recorded message said nothing would deter the sect from pursuing its cause, even if they were called 'kwawarij', meaning those that opposed arbitration as a means to chose a new leader.

Meanwhile,
...back at the laboratory, Igor and Oleg were discussing what the quickest way might be to deal with the monster...
the Federal Government has described as cheap propaganda the report that ISIS had appointed a new leader for Boko Haram, saying it was too late to employ such tactics to revive the defeated terrorist organization.

The government, in a remark made by Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at the ongoing All Nigerian Conference of Editors in Port Harcourt, said: "By the way, don't believe the cheap propaganda by the global terrorist group, ISIS, which has reportedly named a new leader for Boko Haram.

"Our gallant military has put Boko Haram on the run and nothing will bring back the terrorists, not even the wishful thinking by ISIS."

Strategy Page: Boko Haram caught between the Nigerian air force and civilian village defence forces
Link


Africa Subsaharan
New Boko Haram leader is son of founder
2016-08-06
[UPI] The man named by the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
as Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
's new leader is the son of the latter group's founder, Mohammed Yusuf.

Abu Musab al-Barnawi was declared "governor" of the Nigerian organization in an Islamic State magazine. He is the son of Yusuf, who founded Boko Haram in 2002 and was killed by police in 2009, CNN reported Friday, citing an unidentified source.

Following a leadership split in the sect last month, which saw the rise of Boko Haram front man Abu Barnawi at the expense of longtime acknowledged leader Abubakar Shekau, Barnawi spoke in an interview of a change in direction. Christians, and not Moslems, will be Boko Haram's target, he said.

He told the magazine the plan is now to "blow up every church that we are able to reach" instead of sectarian violence against other Moslems.

"[Westerners] strongly seek to Christianize the society ... they exploit the condition of those who are displaced under the raging war, providing them with food and shelter and then Christianizing their children," Barnawi said in an interview translated by SITE Intelligence Group.

He added Boko Haram would strike back by "booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach and kill all those who we find from the citizens of the cross."

Barnawi has maintained a low profile within Boko Haram, a contrast to the fiery
...a single two-syllable word carrying connotations of both incoherence and viciousness. A fiery delivery implies an audience of rubes and yokels, preferably forming up into a mob...
and hot-tempered Shekau, BBC News reported.

Shekau still maintains some power, with loyal soldiers and crucially, control of schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria's Chibok forest in 2014. The kidnapping of the girls brought global condemnation and attention to Boko Haram, and the abductees are seen as a powerful bargaining chip, CNN said.
Link


Africa Subsaharan
Audio from Boko Haram's Elusive Chief Fuels Talk of Split
2016-08-05
[AnNahar] Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
's elusive leader Abubakar Shekau broke his silence Thursday to insist he was "still around" following reports Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
had replaced him, but his message fueled talk of a split within the jihadist group.
An interesting addition to the BBC article james posted in the comments yesterday.
Link


Africa Subsaharan
Islamic State Names New Leader of Boko Haram
2016-08-04
[WSJ] Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
said it appointed a new leader for Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
, in a sign that the Nigerian Islamist insurgency is retooling under the command of its Middle Eastern counterpart.

Sheik Abu Mossab al Bornawi
...could that be Mohammed Usman, (or possibly, as he was identified in another article in our archive, "Barnawi, 47, whose real name is Usman Umar Abubakar, hailed from Biu town in restive northeast Borno state") also known as Khalid Al-Barnawi alias Kafuri, Naziru, Alhaji Yahaya, Mallam Dauda, and Alhaji Tanimu? But he was arrested by the Nigerian authorities in April...
was recently assigned to take command of the Nigerian insurgency, whose war with the government has left more than 30,000 people dead.

Boko Haram declared loyalty to Islamic State in 2015, and Mr. al Bornawi told al Naba, Islamic State’s weekly newsletter in a Tuesday article that the two groups have decided "to fight and unite under one umbrella."
I wonder if something was removed from the article in rewrite. Mr. al Bornawi until now was a leader of Ansaru, formally Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan (Vanguard for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa), the educated, Al Qaeda-trained splinter group that specialized in kidnapping and killing foreigners because they were much too refined to join Boko Haram in kidnapping and killing locals. They broke off from Boko Haram in 2012, back when both groups were affiliated with Al Qaeda in North Africa.
Mr. Al Bornawi didn’t specify who had assigned him, but the publication’s use of the term suggested that Islamic State itself promoted him to lead the Nigerian insurgency, which has lost significant ground over the past 18 months and seen several of its leaders tossed in the clink
I ain't sayin' nuttin' widdout me mout'piece!
or killed.

Tuesday’s interview speaks to a new challenge facing Africa’s largest democracy: that Islamic State is increasingly backing and supervising Nigeria’s homegrown insurgency.

"Infidel forces" have "stripped the group of some territories, which we are working on retrieving," Mr. al Bornawi said in the interview.

For months, Nigerian officials have warned that Boko Haram members are slipping into the Sahara, joining Islamic State in Libya, or for meetings in Sudan. Intelligence reports and officials in neighboring countries have supported that view, and Islamic State’s announcements from Libya have referenced several Nigerian fighters. Boko Haram, for its part, has renamed itself Islamic State West African Province.

"There is no more Boko Haram," a Nigerian counterterrorism official who works with detained forces of Evil said. "As far as they’re concerned, they consider themselves to be ISIS [Islamic State]."

The terror group’s new leader didn’t say what happened to Abubakar Shekau, the former face of Boko Haram.

It also isn’t clear if Mr. Shekau’s followers support the change in management: In his comments, the new leader seemed to suggest that Mr. Shekau had killed too many Moslems, a significant departure from the doctrine shared by Boko Haram and Islamic State, who both believe that only their supporters are true Moslems.

"I’m not confident over the long-term sustainability of this," said Jacob Zenn, a fellow at the Jamestown Foundation research group in Washington, D.C. "I don’t think he has support from the Shekau factions."
Link


Africa Subsaharan
Regional armies struggle in last push against Boko Haram
2016-07-26
"You'll all be able to go home soon. Boko Haram is nearly finished," Niger's Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum told a crowd of refugees seated quietly on dusty, sun-baked flats.

His words of optimism were belied by the dozens-strong security detail required to protect him as he toured his country's southern border.

Seven years into an insurgency that spread from Nigeria into Chad, Niger and Cameroon, regional armies are now in a final push to defeat Boko Haram, a once obscure Islamist sect turned deadly militant group.

But lingering divisions in the countries' multi-national joint task force (MNJTF) are complicating that mission.

"If there's no strategy to attack Boko Haram together, we won't ever finish with them," Mahamadou Liman Ali, an opposition lawmaker from southern Niger, told Reuters in Niamey.

At a time when the world's wealthy nations are focused on the fight against Islamic State and al Qaeda, financial support for the MNJTF's efforts against Boko Haram, which has pledged its allegiance to IS, have fallen short of targets.

That has left the task force's members - including Chad, the region's capable but increasingly reluctant military powerhouse - to shoulder the bulk of the costs of fighting the group.

Boko Haram's victims, which include 2.4 million displaced, live in hope that this month-old offensive - dubbed Operation Gama Aiki, or "finish the job" in the local Hausa language - might succeed where others have failed.

Some have doubts. From where he stays in southern Niger, refugee Usman Kanimbu sees smoke rising from the coalition's air strikes on insurgent positions in Nigeria, the home he fled.

"We've fled eight times. Each time we arrive somewhere Boko Haram attacks again. We would keep running, but we can't afford to anymore," he said. "I'm not sure this will ever end."

FRAGILE PROGRESS

As the sun sets over the Nigerian border, a featureless expanse of sand and scrub trees, soldiers from Niger peered over an earthen bern at territory held by Boko Haram.

The skies above the borderlands now rumble daily with the sound of fighter jets. Chadian troops have ventured onto Lake Chad, a Boko Haram stronghold. Regional military officers say they are taking back ground from the insurgents.

The task force may indeed be making headway against Boko Haram, which has fewer footholds than it once did. Its leader, Abubakar Shekau, may even be dead.

But the MNJTF is a far cry from what it was conceived to be, a dedicated 8,700-strong force blending soldiers from Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Benin.

Instead, the nations rely on their own armies to deal with Boko Haram threats. Troops from Chad, which has the region's strongest military, reinforce when needed then head back home.

"Each force is based in its country of origin. There's no integrated force with battalions moving in perfect coordination," said Vincent Foucher, West Africa researcher at International Crisis Group (ICG).

The need for operational integration in the fight against an enemy that knows no borders was exposed during a similar regional offensive early last year.

After troops from Chad and Niger drove Boko Haram from a string of towns in Nigeria's far north, they waited in vain for the Nigerian army to arrive and hold them.

"We were there for three or four months, but the Nigerian troops that were meant to take over from us were not ready," Niger's Brigadier General Abdou Sidikou Issa told Reuters.

Niger and Chad withdrew, according to a source with knowledge of the operation, because they feared becoming an occupying force. Issa said the troops were overstretched logistically, however. Either way, the vacuum they left allowed Boko Haram to reclaim positions and carry on cross-border raids.

"That's what's created problems for us again today," Issa said.

The MNJTF was meant to prevent a repeat of those kinds of incidents. The African Union endorsed the force in January 2015 and a headquarters was established in Chad's capital N'Djamena to coordinate forces against the ever-evolving threat of Boko Haram.

The AU has struggled to rally contributors to foot the bill for the MNJTF's $700 million budget, however. Donors, led by Nigeria and France, pledged $250 million in February, just over a third of what was needed, but dispersal has been slow. The United States has also aided with intelligence and training.



A senior MNJTF officer, who asked not to be named as he was not authorised to speak, told Reuters the money received so far was so little that it only had covered the cost of 11 vehicles and some radio equipment, with the individual armies bearing the rest of the costs.

"There are all these declarations of intentions, but, in concrete terms, nothing has been done yet," he said.

A spokesman for the MNJTF did not respond to a request for comment.

"HURTING"

A Boko Haram attack last month on Bosso, in southeastern Niger, which killed 32 soldiers and a number of civilians, was the kind of incident the MNJTF was created for.

But rather than the multinational force kicking into action as it is supposed to, Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou had to fly to N'Djamena to lobby neighbour Chad for help.

Having played a lead role along with France in a 2013 intervention in Mali to drive back jihadist groups there, Chad's President Idriss Deby has become indispensable in the fight against West African Islamists.

But with low oil prices now causing Deby economic headaches at home and little direct financial support coming from his allies, analysts say he has grown resentful.

Two weeks after President Issoufou's visit, Reuters visited a half-finished hotel complex in the southern Niger city of Diffa that had been fully booked out by the Chadian army. The Chadians were nowhere to be seen. Dozens of bungalows sat empty.

It would take more than a month for them to arrive.

Excluding its oil sector, after 7 percent growth in 2014, Chad's economy contracted by 1.5 percent last year, according to the International Monetary Fund. Oil output rose to record levels, but low prices meant revenues dipped.

"This is costing (Deby) a lot of money. There's a big budget crisis ... He's definitely hurting," said Nathaniel Powell, a researcher with the Swiss-based Fondation Pierre du Bois.

A Chadian government official did not respond to a request for comment.

Niger's tiny army - 15,000 troops to cover 1.2 million square kilometres (463,300 square miles) of territory - is overstretched by Boko Haram, but also by the overflow of unrelated Islamist violence from Mali to its west.

Cameroon has meanwhile deployed thousands of troops, including special forces, to its north to secure its own territory against a suicide bombing campaign.

And while Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has shown more willingness than his predecessor to take on the insurgents, decades of graft have hollowed out his military and it now faces resurgent militancy in the oil-producing Niger Delta.

The senior MNJTF officer said the regional neighbours would continue to improve the force. In the meantime, they had no other choice than to act.

"If we wait, Boko Haram isn't going to wait for us, are they?" he said.
Link


Africa Subsaharan
Boko Haram Internally Fractured Over ISIS Ties, U.S. General Says
2016-06-24
[Haaretz] Nigerian bandidos Lions of Islam Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
have fractured internally, with a big group splitting away from shadowy leader Abubakar Shekau over his failure to adhere to guidance from ISIS, a senior U.S. general said on Tuesday.

Marine Lieutenant General Thomas Waldhauser, the nominee to lead the U.S. military's Africa Command, suggested the internal division was illustrative of limits of ISIS' influence over Boko Haram so far, despite the West African group's pledge of allegiance to it last year.

"Several months ago, about half of Boko Haram broke off to a separate group because they were not happy with the amount of buy-in, if you will, from Boko Haram into the ISIS brand," Waldhauser said at his nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Shekau, he said, had not fallen into line with ISIS instructions, including by ignoring calls for Boko Haram to stop using children as jacket wallahs.

"He's been told by ISIS to stop doing that. But he has not done so. And that's one of the reasons why this splinter group has broken off," he said, adding that ISIS was trying to "reconcile those two groups."

Rooters reported on June 9 that U.S. officials had seen no evidence that Boko Haram has so far received significant operational support or financing from ISIS. The assessment suggested Boko Haram's loyalty pledge had so far mostly been a branding exercise.
Link


Africa Subsaharan
Nigeria Cautious over 'Proof of Life' Chibok Girls Video
2016-04-15
[AnNahar] Nigeria's government on Thursday said it was studying a "proof of life" video showing 15 of the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
, as parents and their supporters marked the second anniversary of the kidnapping.

The footage, shown on CNN, is the first time any of the missing girls have been seen since a previous Boko Haram video in May 2014, when about 100 were seen in Islamic dress reciting the Koran.

A total of 276 girls were kidnapped from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, northeast Nigeria
... a particularly crimson stretch of Islam's bloody border...
, on April 14, 2014. Fifty-seven escaped in the immediate aftermath.

Three mothers and a classmate of the 219 schoolgirls still missing confirmed the identities of the girls in the images broadcast on Wednesday night.

A senior government source told AFP it had received the video, which shows the girls in black hijabs, stating their names, that they were kidnapped from Chibok and saying they were "all well".

The video was said to have been shot on December 25 last year.

But the source said they were keen to avoid the problems encountered by the previous administration, which prematurely announced talks with Boko Haram elements and even a ceasefire.

"Our intelligence and security authorities... received a similar video in July last year and when they followed the lead it led to a cul-de sac," he revealed.

Contact could not be made and it was impossible to determine the identities of the purported Boko Haram members who sent it or if the move had the blessing of the group's leadership, he added.

Boko Haram has long been known to be factionalism, comprising groups of ideologically sympathetic fighters who do not always act under the direct orders of senior commanders.

In an indication the latest video and the previous unpublicized message may have come from one of these factions, the source also said the government had received a ransom demand last July.

The group asked for one million euros ($1.1 million) for 10 of the girls, the source disclosed.

That lends weight to theories the Chibok girls were split up following the abduction and were being held separately in different locations, complicating any possible talks or rescue bid.

AFP has also seen photographs of five girls that were sent to the government in mid-January this year as part of the same bid for negotiations.

Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau has previously said the girls would be released in exchange for Islamist fighters held in Nigerian custody.

Boko Haram has used kidnapping as a weapon, seizing thousands of women and maidens of tender years, and forcibly conscripting men and boys, in a conflict that has killed an estimated 20,000 since 2009.

The men and boys have been forced to fight in Boko Haram's ranks, while the girls and women have been turned into sex slaves and even jacket wallahs.

Human Rights Watch
... During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, HRW received a pledge from the Foundation to Promote Open Society, of which George Soros is Chairman, for general support totaling $100,000,000. The grant is being paid in installments of $10,000,000 over ten years.Through June 30, 2013, HRW had received $30,000,000 towards the fulfillment of the pledge....
said this week some 952,000 of the 2.6 million people displaced by the violence were children, who had been "robbed" of their right to education by attacks on schools.

UNICEF said separately there had been a sharp rise in the use of kidnapped children as human bombs. Three-quarters of the child bombers in attacks from January 2014 to February 2016 were girls.
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