I’ll fight Nigeria, whole world, Boko Haram’s Shekau boasts in new video

This screengrab taken on August 8, 2016 from a Boko
Haram video released by the Nigerian Islamist extremist
group Boko Haram and obtained by AFP. Vanguard File
"I... Abubakar Ash-Shakawy (Shekau), the leader of
Jama'atu Ahlissunnah Lidda'awati Wal Jihad, made it a
duty for myself (to fight) Nigeria and the whole world,"
Shekau said in the video released on Sunday, using the
group's name since it declared allegiance to the so-called
Islamic State.
Last week, Shekau said in an audio message he was still
head of the group despite his purported replacement by
Sheikh Abu Musab al-Barnawi, a former Boko Haram
"We have no desire to fight our Muslim brethren," Shekau,
who last appeared in March, said in the 24-minute video.
Shekau ridiculed suggestions that he was dead, and looked
more composed and energetic than in previous
"I'm alive by the permission of Allah," he said in his speech
in Arabic and Hausa, adding that he would only die when his
time came.
In the video he is wearing camouflage gear and holding a
machine gun, standing between two Islamist fighters in
balaclavas armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
He taunted President Muhammadu Buhari's administration
and condemned Western countries including the United
States, France, Germany and "the tyrants of the United
Nonsense (UN)".
At the end of his speech -- apparently filmed in Boko
Haram's stronghold in the Sambisa forest of northeastern
Nigeria -- he fired off rounds of ammunition into the air.
His absence in recent months had sparked speculation
about his fate and whether he had been deposed as Boko
Haram's chief.
Barnawi's appointment was contained in a magazine issued
by the Islamic State group, to which Boko Haram pledged
allegiance in March last year.
Shekau dismissed Barnawi as an infidel who condoned
living in an un-Islamic society without waging jihad.
Shekau became leader after Nigerian security forces killed
the group's founding chief Mohammed Yusuf in 2009.
Omar Mahmood, a security analyst with US-based Foreign
Policy Research Institute who has spent the past five years
researching Boko Haram, said Shekau was removed
because of his highhandness and ruthlessness.
"One thing that has remained constant, however, is the
focus on attacks against regional security forces, with
Muslim civilian deaths still ignored. This aspect seems to be
a key concern for IS propagandists," Mahmood said.
"By contrast, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, the man announced as
the new leader, clearly stated in his al-Naba interview that
attacks against Muslim civilians, mosques and markets will
not be a staple of his leadership."
Sources close to Boko Haram said Barnawi, aged in his
early twenties, is none other than Habib Yusuf, the eldest
son of group founder Yusuf.
They said he was put under Shekau's care following the
death of his father, but the pair fell out over ideological and
operational differences.
Boko Haram has been blamed for some 20,000 deaths and
displacing more than 2.6 million people since it launched a
brutal insurgency in Nigeria in 2009.
Nigerian forces, with the support of regional troops, have
recaptured swathes of territory lost to the jihadists since
they launched a military campaign in February 2014.

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