In the past, the terrorist put out videos mocking the Nigerian government for announcing his death prematurely. This time, it doesn’t look like a video will be forthcoming.
Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, the Islamist Terrorist group that kidnapped over 200 mostly Christian schoolgirls in Nigeria in 2014, is believed to have detonated explosives that killed him on Wednesday.
The explosion occurred when fighters with the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) tried to capture him in his hideout located in the Sambisa Forest.
ISWAP is the breakaway faction of Boko Haram opposing Shekau’s indiscriminate violence against civilians and operates more as a protection racket taking “taxes” in exchange for “protection” and punishing those that work with the government. It’s believed that their leader is Abu Musab al-Barnawi, one of the sons of Boko Haram’s original founder, Mohammed Yusuf.
Boko Haram under Shekau was incredibly violent — using women and children as suicide bombers. It’s believed that Shekau commanded between 1,500 and 2,000 militants and ISWAP has approximately 5,000. ISWAP has called Shekau a “tumor” to be extracted and since 2016 has been taking territory away from Boko Haram and driven them into the Sambisa Forest.
The Nigerian intelligence agency is investigating the incident when Shekau went ka-boom, and while they’re being cautious about confirming Shekau’s demise, this time it was a terrorist vs terrorist conflict instead of the usual military vs terrorist event. It’s kind of embarrassing, but if it means Shekau is dead, let’s not dwell too long on that.
Let’s all remember what a piece of crap this guy was:
The report was obtained by The Washington Post and confirmed as authentic by two Nigerian officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
The Nigerian military and regional forces have declared Shekau dead at least four times since 2009. After such announcements, Shekau released video messages, mocking the government while firing bullets into the air.
The deaths of extremist commanders are notoriously hard to verify — especially in the dense bush where Boko Haram has carved out its stronghold. If a body turns up, Yerima said, the Nigerian authorities will rely on genetic testing before issuing any confirmation…
…“We should take this with a pinch of salt because this is the fifth time Shekau has been officially killed,” said Bulama Bukarti, a Nigerian conflict researcher in London focused on Boko Haram.
In previous cases, military officials have taken credit for Shekau’s death. This is the first time his demise has been linked to extremist adversaries.
Source: Washington Post
Let’s hope that Schrödinger’s terrorist isn’t just merely dead but really most sincerely dead this time.
Here’s a primer on Boko Haram by the BBC: