Supposedly dead Boko Haram leader alive?

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - OCTOBER 3, 2014

A new video has been posted online showing the purported leader of Nigeria’s Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, alive - and dismissing the Nigerian military’s claim that he is dead.

Last week, the Nigerian military announced that a man posing as the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, in videos had been killed and in August 2013 said that Shekau could very well be dead himself.

Analysts have questioned the credibility of the Nigerian military’s claims.

Boko Haram, or "Western education is a sin" in the Nigerian Hausa language, rose to global notoriety after it kidnapped 276 female students from Chibok, in Nigeria’s Borno State in April this year – the Nigerian government is still to secure their release.

A Nigeria journalist Ahmad Salkida, who has good contacts within Boko Haram, said on his Twitter account last week that he had it “on authority that Shekau is well and alive”.

Is it is not clear when or where the video, obtained by the AFP news agency, was made.

The BBC’s Hausa Service editor, Mansur Liman, also said the man speaking appears to be the same Abubakar Shekau in other Boko Haram videos.

In the video, Shekau says his fighters shot down a Nigerian air force jet that went missing three weeks ago. A heavily bearded man stands on the back of a pick-up truck firing an anti-aircraft gun into the air.

He mocks the Nigerian military for poor propaganda when it claimed that he had been killed.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian military has had some recent success against Boko Haram after preventing the town of Konduga, near Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, from falling into the jihadists’ hands.

However, several towns and villages are still under the militants’ and if indeed Shekau is still alive, it is going to make it hard for Nigerians (especially in the affected towns) to believe the information coming from the Nigerian military.

Photo caption: RESURRECTED? A new video has been posted online showing the purported leader of Nigeria’s Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, alive - and dismissing the Nigerian military’s claim that he is dead.