Mr. Barnawi’s dying couldn’t be independently confirmed, and to many Nigerians, the navy chief’s assertion just isn’t conclusive proof of it. The nation’s navy had beforehand claimed to have killed the Boko Haram chief, Mr. Shekau, solely to have him later flip up alive, generally gloating in movies.
In his information convention, Basic Irabor mentioned of Mr. Barnawi, “He’s lifeless and stays lifeless.”
The U.S. State Division and the U.S. Africa Command mentioned they had been conscious of the studies of the dying of Mr. Barnawi, however couldn’t affirm them.
Mr. Barnawi’s demise, if true, could be a blow to his group’s fortunes within the area. However it could not have an effect on the management construction. It has lengthy been unclear who actually runs his extremist pressure.
The true energy was lengthy considered Mamman Nur, as soon as a prime chief within the authentic Boko Haram group. In northeastern Nigeria, ISWAP remains to be sometimes called ‘‘the Mamman Nur faction’’ — that means a faction of Boko Haram, versus the group led by Mr. Shekau.
Mamman Nur, nevertheless, is believed to have died in 2018, and safety specialists within the area say it’s troublesome to know precisely who’s on the group’s helm now.
Nonetheless, Colin P. Clarke, a counterterrorism analyst on the Soufan Group, a safety consulting agency based mostly in New York, mentioned, “With out risking overstating the importance, the dying of al-Barnawi is extraordinarily essential” as a result of ISWAP has enormously expanded its territory in recent times.
He added, “With the current dying of Shekau, jihadism in West Africa is present process a transition, as teams vie for sources and recruits.”
Eric Schmitt contributed reporting from Washington.