The Epoch Times learned that Abubakar Shekau, the mastermind of terrorism in Africa’s longest-running Islamic State affiliate known as Boko Haram, has died.
Although Nigerian troops have not issued a statement, Shekau’s death from a suicide explosion late Wednesday night was reported to the Epoch Times on Thursday by Nigerian military sources and defense consultant David Otto.
Shekau’s death Confirmed According to The Wall Street Journal on Friday, it cites information shared by conflict mediators, unnamed Nigerian officials, and West African espionage agencies.
“He died with three Henchmans after losing the battle with his rival group Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP),” Otto wrote in a text from neighboring Cameroon in the Epoch Times.
“He refused to surrender. Some of his commanders either surrendered or were killed by the same group that split from his faction in 2016,” Otto said on the phone.
The fundamentalist terrorist movement was founded in 2009 by Muhammed Yusuf, who died in police detention. Shekau appeared as his successor, killing more than 30,000 people and causing a spectacular murder that kidnapped thousands of civilians for ransom.
His group attracted Western attention after mass kidnapping 300 girls in a private school in 2014.
Boko Haram declared a partnership with the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant in March 2015, but was rejected by ISIS in support of a separatist faction within his group named after ISWAP. Over the last four years, better organized and equipped ISWAPs have proven a more effective battlefield threat to the Nigerian army, military experts have observed.
“This will tatter Boko Haram, one of the most powerful and deadly terrorist groups in the world,” Otto said. “If anyone wants to take over him, they will have to face the same anger from the relatively strong and organized ISWAP faction. Besides, Boko Haram has a terrifying Sunnah forest. So they don’t have an area or base to call themselves. The place where his troops evacuated is now under the flag of ISWAP. The Shekau faction is Jamaatu Alice Sunnah Lida, It took the name of Awati Wal Jihad (JAS).
“JAS will probably follow Aboubakar Shekau to the tomb, leaving only one major faction to be dealt with by the Nigerian army. It chooses to float around ISWAP and perhaps the horrified private sector to survive. JAS’s stubborn rebel. “
Shekau’s death, if finally proven, will launch ISWAP into an indisputable leadership role in the war on terrorism in Nigeria under the banner of the Islamic State, Otto says.
“This means that ISWAP could win more fighters and monopolize the jihadist forces in West Africa,” he said. “But that could create further distrust within the remaining senior JAS jihadist circles who believe the fighting would destroy the already damaged reputation of both Boko Haram factions.”
A few months before his death, Shekau’s JAS retreat After losing hundreds of fighters in a battle between Nigerian troops and Chad troops in the Lake Chad region, according to Nigerian media.
According to Otto, ISWAP’s rival forces hunted down Shekau and his bodyguards on Wednesday, killing or surrendering more than 30 commanders. Shekau reportedly surrendered and entered into an hour of negotiations ordered to pledge allegiance to ISWAP’s top leader, Abu Musab Alvarnawi.
Most media explanations were that his reaction was to commit suicide by exploding his suicide vest. “His body only embarrasses the commander of ISWAP, so he can never be found,” Otto said.
What undermines ISWAP’s public image is that the current leader of ISWAP is the son of Muhamed Yusuf, the founder of Boko Haram, who succeeded Aboubakar Shekau as the leader of JAS.
“ISWAP instigated the death of a man who recognized Boko Haram worldwide after kidnapping about 300 girls in Chibok in April 2014,” said Otto.
“ISWAP is expanding its activities,” said Rev. Radiper Thompson, based in Lagos, a security specialist and advisor to the Christian Society of Nigeria.
“Boko Haram is another face of a terrorist hydra that can be freely thrown away, as is the Fula herder militia,” Thompson told The Epoch Times.
He is concerned that ISWAP and arms suppliers in the Middle East and North Africa will be empowered to overwhelm Nigerian troops to caliphize the wealthiest countries in Africa.
“A likely scenario is that ISWAP and her global supporters are making a big move and Nigeria is about to experience a big military attack,” he wrote in an email to The Epoch Times.
“The Nigerian government is infiltrating moles high up, and the Biden administration’s US policy direction seems willing to give incentives to terrorists in our territory,” Thompson said.
“Sensing the resurgence of the Hillary Clinton agenda, global terrorist intellectuals may believe that the United States will not hit the eyelashes when Nigeria goes out of control. In West Africa a few weeks later in Nigeria With the movement of the large army and heavy equipment, we can conclude that the long-awaited Armageddon has finally arrived. “
Douglas Burton may be reached at [email protected]