Boko Haram Release New Video Says Shekau Is Alive and Well


Boko Haram released a new propaganda video on Wednesday in which an unidentified fighter read a statement in Hausa and Arabic, flanked by more than a dozen armed fighters.

The fighter claimed that the leader of the terror group, Abubakar Shekau who was not in the video, was still alive and in charge of the Islamist group, just as at least 17 people were killed in a series of suicide bomb attacks in Yobe and Borno on the same day.

“Our leader, Abubakar Shekau is alive and remains our leader,” he said.

Shekau himself has not been seen on video since February and had not spoken until an audio message last month where he disputed the Nigerian military’s claims of successes against the insurgents.

The shadowy leader’s absence has sparked rumours about whether he is still alive or whether he might have been deposed as leader.

The militant speaking to the camera on Wednesday said army claims that some 200 fighters had surrendered in the border town of Banki last month and that hundreds of women and children were released, were a “complete lie”.

The 17-minute video was posted under the name “Islamic State in West Africa Province”, which Boko Haram has used since its pledge of allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in March.

“Our allegiance remains with al-Baghdadi,” the militant said in the video.

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