Thursday, 4 August 2016

Boko Haram: Abubakar Shekau Releases Audio Message, Says ‘still In Charge’

Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram's allegedly ousted leader, in an audio message on Thursday said he is still around despite his reported removal as head of the Nigeria -based jihadist group by the Islamic State (IS). "People should know we are still around. We will never cause any discord among the people, we will live by the Koran," Shekau said in a 10-minute audio message.

"This is our stand and we remain in our capacity as Jama'atu Ahlissunnah Lidda'awati Wal Jihad," he said using the Islamic name for the hardline jihadist group. His voice was recognised by an AFP journalist familiar with previous messages he has posted on social media. It was also confirmed as Shekau's voice by Berlin-based expert Yan St-Pierre of the Modern Security Consulting Group (Mosecon).

"The person who posted on the internet is a very reliable source," he said. Shekau's audio message was released in response to reports that he had been purportedly replaced by Sheikh Abu Musab al-Barnawi, a former IS spokesman. In the latest edition of IS's online weekly magazine Al-Naba, which was published on Tuesday, there was an interview with Barnawi in which he was introduced as Boko Haram's new leader.

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