“The excellent news from the audio is that Shekau’s loss of life just isn’t even near unifying Boko Haram,” Audu Bulama Bukarti, an skilled on extremist teams in Africa on the Tony Blair Institute for World Change, mentioned on Twitter. “These repugnant terrorists will eat up themselves by killing one another.”
He mentioned that whereas it was unclear who’s now main Boko Haram, some fighters loyal to Mr. Shekau have begun a counterattack, killing ISWAP members and abducting their wives and youngsters.
Mr. Shekau got here to guide Boko Haram after its founder, Mohammed Yusuf, was killed in police custody in 2009. From an early age, he drifted towards militancy and aggression, arguing with the trainer who taught him the Quran and haranguing folks he preached to within the streets, those that knew him mentioned.
He took the group in an much more murderous route, massacring civilians, attacking church buildings and navy installations and bombing markets. The kidnapping of ladies at a college in Chibok drew the world’s consideration to Boko Haram, however Mr. Shekau rejected the pleas of the households and world leaders alike to return them. Most of the kidnapped women had been married off to Boko Haram fighters, and lots of are nonetheless lacking at the moment.
At one level, Mr. Shekau pledged allegiance to ISIS, and initially ISIS appeared to acknowledge him because the chief of their West African operation, terrorism analysts mentioned. However then ISIS accepted a pledge from ISWAP and got here to treat ISWAP as its department in West Africa. Boko Haram and ISWAP turned rivals.
In late Could, experiences had trickled out that closely armed ISWAP members had arrived at Mr. Shekau’s hide-out within the Sambisa forest. When he realized that there was no solution to escape, he detonated a suicide vest he was carrying, the experiences mentioned.
The Nigerian navy, which has largely retreated to garrison cities within the northeast somewhat than making an attempt to regulate the countryside, mentioned it was investigating. This can be very tough to verify Mr. Shekau’s loss of life definitively, and he has been falsely reported as lifeless earlier than — by some counts, eight instances.