Boko Haram chief voices support for IS ‘caliph’ and mocks Bring Back our Girls campaign.
Boko Haram, and its leader, Abubakar Shekau. More than 10,000 people have died in its insurgency since 2009 (AFP).
LAGOS (Arab News): The head of Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists, Abubakar Shekau, has voiced support for the extremist Sunni Islamic State (IS) militant group, which has taken over large swathes of Iraq and Syria, in a new video seen Sunday.
“My brethren… may Allah protect you,” Shekau said in the video given to AFP on Sunday, listing IS chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Al-Qaeda head Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Taleban leader Mullah Omar.
Baghdadi has proclaimed himself the new Islamic “caliph” and has urged all Muslims to obey him.
The IS has been condemned by Muslim scholars and other Islamist movements, including Al-Qaeda affiliates, for being too extremist.
In the 16-minute video, Shekau’s Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a June 25 bombing in the capital Abuja and an attack hours later in Lagos, which the authorities tried to cover up.
Shekau also mocked the social media campaign Bring Back Our Girls, which emerged to call attention to the plight of the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped on April 14 by the Islamists from the remote northeastern town of Chibok.
“We were the ones who detonated the bomb in filthy Abuja,” Shekau said, referring to the attack a popular shopping centre that killed at least 22 people.
Later that day, a huge blast rocked the Apapa port district of Lagos, which the authorities blamed on cooking gas explosion, with no casualties.
An AFP investigation has revealed the blast was a deliberate attack involving high explosives.
“A bomb went off in Lagos. I ordered (the bomber) who went and detonated it,” Shekau said in the video, which shows him flanked by at least ten gunmen in front of two armored personnel carriers and two pickup trucks (Arab News).
Malala: I Wish to See My Nigerian Sisters Released
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl-child education campaigner, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban, has called on Boko Haram terrorists to free the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.
Malala, who commenced a three-day visit to Nigeria on Saturday, celebrated her 17th birthday in Abuja at a dinner held in her honour at Transcorp Hilton hotel.
She spoke exclusively after the dinner that ended at about 10.40 p.m, the News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) reported.
“On my 17th birthday my wish is to see every child go to school and I want to see my Nigerian sisters being released from their abduction and I want them to be free to go to school and continue their education,” she said.
This has been Boko Haram’s response (DT),
Boko Haram issued a new video yesterday mocking the bring back our girls social media campaign that highlighted the plight of the 223 schoolgirls kidnapped by the group in north-east Nigeria.
In a taunting broadcast apparently released to mark the girls’s third month in captivity, Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said the girls would not be freed until the government released the “army” of Boko Haram fighters held in Nigerian jails. Shekau also claimed responsibility for three bombings last month and voiced support for the Islamic State, the fellow extremists who have seized much of northern Iraq.
The video, video obtained by AFP, served as a direct snub to Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl and women’s rights campaigner who arrived in Nigerian capital, Abuja, over the weekend to voice support for the bring back our girls campaign.
Ms Yousafzai, who moved to Britain after being shot by the Taliban, met with parents of the missing girls yesterday and was also expected to hold private talks with Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian president.
However, as she did so, serious doubts emerged about the girls’ chances of ever being rescued. In briefings with The Telegraph over the weekend, Western diplomats said that despite the huge international publicity that the social media campaign has generated, the efforts to find the hostages were little further on than they were back in May, when Britain, America and France began to help. With neither a prisoner swap or a rescue considered likely, they said there was little real prospect of any “breakthrough” in the case in the foreseeable future.