Boko Haram: Shekau On The Run Dressed As A Woman – Army

Months of military operations in the North East to clear the remnants of Boko Haram have forced the terrorist group’s leader Abubakar Shekau to go on the run – disguised as a woman.

The Nigerian Army disclosed this on Tuesday, citing information from captured insurgents.

“Credible information from arrested and surrendered insurgents indicated that the purported Boko Haram terrorist group factional leader, Abubakar Shekau could not bear the heat anymore as he has abandoned his followers, he is running for his dear life,” a statement by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, said.

“He is desperately trying to escape the theatre disguised as a woman dressed in Hijab. We reliably gathered that to avoid detection Abubakar Shekau alternates between blue and black coloured hijabs. He was last seen in a black hijab.”

This comes three days after Boko Haram freed three University of Maiduguri lecturers and 10 women it abducted in a deadly ambush on July 25, 2017.

READ MORE:
Boko Haram Frees Abducted UNIMAID Lecturers, 10 Women
Troops Neutralise More Boko Haram Terrorists In Sambisa, Rescue 46 Hostages

After years of brutal attacks and abductions which have left thousands dead, millions displaced and created a humanitarian crisis in the North East, the Nigerian military has decimated Boko Haram, declaring that the group defeated.

Its leader, the notorious Abubakar Shekau has, however, remained elusive and defiant in his videos, with the latest released on February 7.

The military which has recovered battle tanks and continued to clear terrorist’s camps in Sambisa Forest, under Operation DEEP PUNCH II, is confident that the battle is all but won.

With Shekau believed to be on the run and “last seen” wearing “a black hijab”, the army is calling on his remaining followers to surrender.

“We, therefore, call on all those remaining Boko Haram terrorists to know that they are following a coward moving about in hijab disguised as a woman,” the army said.

“We also request that all the remaining Boko Haram members come out from hiding and lay down their arms and be treated humanely.”

Beyond forcing Shekau to flee, the army said the concerted efforts troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in the ongoing clearance of Boko Haram, through Operation DEEP PUNCH II, has paid off in other ways.

“Troops have also rescued civilians being held hostages by the terrorists, recovered arms, ammunition, Improvised Explosives Diveces (IED) factories and making materials as well as other equipment,” the army said.

“Consequently, the terrorists are in disarray and scampering for safety while others were surrendering.”

The army assured Nigerians that concerted efforts are ongoing to arrest the fugitive terrorist leader and appealed to members of the public, especially residents of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states to be more vigilant, security conscious and be on the look our for Abubakar Shekau and other terrorists that might disguise as women to escape.

Shekau Releases New Video, Vows To Keep Fighting Against Nigeria

Boko Haram Leader, Shekau Threatens More Attacks

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has released a new video pledging to continue attacks days after Nigerian army repeated that the group had been defeated.

The factional leader said in the video which was released on Tuesday said that a recent effort to clear out Boko Haram’s stronghold of Sambisa forest in Borno State had failed and vowed to keep fighting against Nigeria and western education.

“The person that believes in nationalism is the one we are at war with, the person who believes in disseminating western education, which is replete with unbelief, is the one we fight”, Shekau said in the 11-minute video.

In the video, delivered in Hausa Language, Shekau expressed frustration on the continued hostility and loss of his supporters to Nigerian army.

He pleaded with his non-combatant members across Nigeria to pick up arms and help him fight till he drops dead. He added that the latest claim by the military that the group had been sent packing from Sambisa forest was false.

He boasted that he is still in Sambisa forest and still controls the territory.

“You, the military chief in Maiduguri, have been boasting of taking over Sambisa because you rescued women, telling lies to people. Where are the policewomen? Why didn’t you rescue them if you have indeed defeated us since it is our brethren that is holding them in the same Sambisa?,” he questioned in the video.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Boko Haram which means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language was “technically defeated” in December 2015.

Boko Haram’s capacity has been weakened since 2014 when it controlled swathes of territory in northeast Nigeria but it still poses a threat.

Last Sunday, Boko Haram fighters stormed a village in northeast Nigeria, killing two people, while six people were killed in an attack in northern Cameroon.

At least 20,000 people have been killed in nearly nine years of violence and more than 2.6 million made homeless, triggering a humanitarian crisis across the Lake Chad region.

AFP

Shekau Releases New Video, Claims Festive Period Attacks

Boko Haram Leader, Shekau Threatens More Attacks

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau released a video message on Tuesday claiming a series of attacks in northeast Nigeria during the festive season.

The shadowy leader released his first video message in months amid a surge in violence casting doubt on the claims by the Federal Government that the terrorist group is defeated.

“We are in good health and nothing has happened to us,” said Shekau in the 31-minute video message where he spoke in the Hausa language.

“Nigerian troops, police and those creating mischief against us can’t do anything against us, and you will gain nothing.

“We carried out the attacks in Maiduguri, in Gamboru, in Damboa. We carried out all these attacks,” he said.

The video then shows footage from a Christmas Day attack on a military checkpoint in Molai village on the outskirts of the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, which the military said was thwarted by troops after one hour of battle.

Boko Haram fighters in torn clothes were shown shooting from the back of battered pickup trucks.

Shekau’s message comes during an acceleration of Boko Haram attacks and just days after the terrorists killed 25 people outside Maiduguri.

In December, Boko Haram attacked convoys of Nigerian soldiers and dispatched suicide bombers into crowded markets in towns across northeast Nigeria.

At least 50 people were killed in November when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a mosque in Adamawa state.

But President Muhammadu Buhari said in his New Year address that Boko Haram has been “beaten”.

“Isolated attacks still occur, but even the best-policed countries cannot prevent determined criminals from committing terrible acts of terror,” said Buhari.

Shekau, a leader known for his lengthy, wild-eyed video messages, took over Boko Haram in 2009 after the death of its founder Muhammad Yusuf.

In 2016 Boko Haram suffered a major split, when the so-called Islamic State group recognised Yusuf’s son, Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi, as leader.

AFP

Wife Of Boko Haram Leader ‘Killed In Airstrike’ – Report

Boko Haram Leader, Shekau Threatens More Attacks

The Nigerian military on Wednesday said it was investigating reports that a recent bombing raid killed one of the wives of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.

Fighter jets attacked what was said to be “a large gathering of Boko Haram terrorists” at the Durwawa settlement, near Urga in the Konduga area of Borno state on October 19.

The bombing killed jihadists on the ground and triggered a fire, air force spokesman Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya said in an emailed statement.

“Efforts are ongoing to confirm the reported killing of Shekau’s wife, alongside other BHTs (Boko Haram terrorists),” he added.

The woman was identified only as Mallama Fitdasi. Mallama is an honorific in Hausa that translates as “madam”.

Adesanya said Fitdasi was “reported to have been representing her husband in a coordinating meeting with other terrorists at the location of the airstrikes”.

Shekau, a shadowy leader known for his lengthy, wild-eyed video messages, took over as leader of the group in 2009 after the death in custody of its founder, Muhammad Yusuf.

Shekau was known to have four wives, including one of Yusuf’s widows.

Another wife, Hassana Yakubu, was arrested in an army raid in the northeastern city of Damaturu in 2012.

She was released the following year with another of Yusuf’s widows, Mallama Zara, plus the wives of several other top commanders.

Boko Haram, whose eight-year Islamist insurgency has left at least 20,000 dead in northeast Nigeria, has long been factionalised.

But last year it suffered a major split, when the so-called Islamic State group recognised Yusuf’s son, Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi, as leader.

The United States has labelled Shekau a global terrorist and offered a reward of up to $7 million for information that brings him to justice.

In August, Nigerian forces conducted an unauthorised dawn raid on a UN compound in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, after rumours on social media that Shekau was hiding there.

Nigeria’s security forces have previously declared Shekau to be dead on at least three occasions, only for him to resurface in taunting video messages.

AFP

Chief Of Army Staff Gives Troops Deadline To Capture Shekau

Army Secures Land For Military University In Borno
File photo:

The Chief of Army Staff, Nigerian Army, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, has directed the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, to capture Abubakar Shekau, the self-acclaimed leader of the Boko Haram terrorist group, dead or alive.

The Theatre Commander has been directed to do so within 40 days.

This was made known in a statement by the Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, Director Army Public Relations.

The statement further urged the public to assist in providing information that would lead to the accomplishment of the task.

Read Also: Nigerian Army Insist Shekau Is Dead

Severally, the military had claimed that the Boko Haran leader had been killed, after which a man claiming to be him would reappear in a video in which he dismisses claims that himself as well as his members were killed.

In 2014, the military claimed that one Mohammed Bashir, who had been acting or posing in videos as the deceased Abubakar Shekau, was killed in a counter-terrorism operation in the north-east.

Read Also: Boko Haram Leader, Shekau Reappears In Video

On March 17, Shekau reportedly reappeared in a new video in which he dismissed claims of his death.

In a 27-minute video in which he spoke in Hausa and Kanuri, he described the claim as a lie, insisting that his so-called caliphate was ‘running smoothly’.

He also criticised countries in the Lake Chad area fighting the group under the Multinational Joint Task Force.

Specifically, he singled out Cameroon which reportedly announced that its soldiers killed about 60 Boko Haram fighters and arrested scores of others while freeing about 5000 hostages.

Shekau described the news as all false and claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings recorded in Northeast Nigeria at the time.

Read Also: Federal Government Admits Shekau Is Alive

Eventually, on March 28, the Federal Government admitted that the leader of the Boko Haram sect, was not dead but alive and hiding somewhere in the Sambisa forest.

The Minister Of Defence, Mr Mansur Dan-Ali, addressing journalists explained that it had been difficult to arrest the sect leader because the insurgents normally wear masks to conceal their identities and divert attention.

Mr Dan-Ali, however, said the military had then taken over the Sambisa forest and would soon capture the leader of the sect.

Read More: Army Says Sambisa Forest Is Under Its Control

Boko Haram Leader, Shekau Threatens More Attacks

Boko Haram Leader, Shekau Threatens More AttacksBoko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has released a new video where he threatened to resume fresh killings in Nigeria.

Boasting that he is still alive and cannot be killed until his mission is completed, the Boko Haram leader said his men are all alive and have not been killed.

The 14-minute video followed the reports that he had been injured, and that some of his key were men killed in an air strike at a location where they gathered for prayers in Borno State, North-East Nigeria.

Alos Read: Boko Haram Leader, Shekau Reappears In Video

This is the second video the terrorist leader will be releasing in 2017, after a 27-minute video in which he criticised countries in the Lake Chad area fighting the terrorists under the Multinational Joint Task Force.

Also in December 2016, Shekau faulted claims by the Nigerian Army that Boko Haram insurgents had been chased out of the Sambisa forest.

Federal Government Admits Shekau Is Alive

boko haram, shekau, videoThe Federal Government has finally admitted that the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, is not dead but alive and hiding somewhere in the Sambisa forest.

Addressing journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister Of Defence, Mr Mansur Dan-Ali, explained that it has been difficult to arrest the sect leader because the insurgents normally wear masks to conceal their identities and divert attention.

Mr Dan-Ali however said the military has taken over the Sambisa forest and will soon capture the leader of the sect.

Fatally Injured

In August 2016, the Nigerian Air Force had said it killed some key members of the group and wounded many others, including the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, during an airstrike in Taye Village, Borno State.

However, in September, a video purportedly released by the factional leader of the insurgent group, debunked the military’s claims.

A man claiming to be Shekau appeared healthy in the video, speaking in Arabic, Hausa and Kanuri languages.

Running Smoothly

More recently, Shekau, reportedly reappeared in a new video in which he dismissed claims that many of his members have been killed.

According to the AFP, Shekau released a 27-minute video in which he spoke for about 20 minutes in Hausa and Kanuri, criticising the countries in the Lake Chad area fighting the group under the Multinational Joint Task Force.

He was said to have singled out Cameroon which reportedly announced that its soldiers killed about 60 Boko Haram members and arrested scores of others, while freeing about 5,000 hostages.

Speaking in the video, Shekau reportedly described the claim as a lie, insisting that his so-called caliphate was ‘running smoothly‘.

Boko Haram Claims University of Maiduguri Attack

Boko Haram Claims University of Maiduguri AttackTerrorist group, Boko Haram, has said it was behind Monday’s twin suicide bombing at the University of Maiduguri in Borno State, Nigeria, which claimed four lives including the suicide bombers.

An audio recording purported to be that of the leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau, was posted on social media late on Monday. The authenticity of the recording is not yet verified.

We Will do It Again

The recording said: “There is no need for long explanation. The bomb that went off in the University of Maiduguri today in the morning, our brothers detonated them. May Allah accept their souls.

“Do not deceive the people by saying it is a mosque. What mosque? Where you carry out unbelief? Has the prophet ever done anything like democracy in his mosque? You keep disrespecting the Prophet Mohammed.

“You build mosques and then carry out Jewish practices in them? If you are told it is bad practice, you continue to claim you love the prophet. We shall go to the hear-after and conclude this trial in the presence of Allah. We will do it again. We shall continue doing that. We shall not stop.

“We do not recognise anybody who mixes Islam with something else. Is a lie they are not Muslims. If truly you are Muslims then repent. Buhari, we are angry with you. Kukah Shekah, may Allah kill you, we are not angry with you.

“Nigerians, we are not angry at you. But the things you have made it compulsory, as an act of worship to be angry with you. We do see your skins. Anyone who is an unbeliever, Allah says we should oppose him. We detonated the bombs.

“Liars! Liars! Liars! We thrashed you this week in Sambisa. You did not kill any one of our men. You lying Shekah!”

The group is making the claim a day after the attack. A professor of Veterinary Medicine, Aliyu Mani, was one of those killed in the early morning attack while 17 people were injured.

Survivors say the attack was carried out by a seven year old boy who detonated his bomb while Muslim worshipers were praying at the junior staff quarters mosque.

The attack was the first on the university since the nearly six-year-old insurgency began.

Remain More Vigilant

The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, while condemning the attack, reassured communities in Borno and others in the Northeastern part of the country that his administration would continue to ensure that terrorism does not triumph over peace-loving Nigerians.

He restated the need for Nigerians to remain more vigilant even as the security agencies continue to use all means at their disposal, to combat the remnants of insurgents and their sponsors.

Boko Haram’s insurgency has killed about 15,000 people and displaced more than 2 million.

In early 2015, the group controlled an area the size of Belgium but has been pushed out from most of territory by the Nigerian military with help from neighboring countries.

The group has, however, stepped up attacks in the past few weeks as the end of the rainy season facilitates movements in the bush.

Army, Terrorists Clash In Rann, Borno State

Army, Terrorists Clash In Rann, Borno StateFour Nigerian soldiers have been injured and at least 15 members of the Boko Haram sect were killed in a fresh clash in Rann town in Borno State.

A source told Channels Television that the soldiers were able to repel an attack by the terrorists early on Friday.

This follows the military’s declaration of totally clearing out Sambisa forest with some members of the Boko Haram sect on the run.

In the meantime, the Nigerian Air Force’s Augusta helicopter has been deployed to pick one of the four soldiers severely wounded in the clash.

The soldier has been taken to 133 Reference Hospital in Kaduna where he is receiving treatment.

This incident comes a day after the leader of the terror sect, Abubakar Shekau, appeared in a new video, claiming his group has not been defeated.

The Army responded describing the video as a piece of propaganda that should be disregarded.

The Acting Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman, maintained that the Nigerian Army “has captured and occupied the last known stronghold of the terrorists group in the Sambisa forest”.

“We would like to reassure the public that this video is nothing but mere terrorists propaganda aimed at creating fear in the mind of people and to remain relevant.

“Therefore, there is no cause for alarm, more so as concerted effort in clearing the vestiges of Boko Haram terrorists wherever they might be hiding is still ongoing.”

Army Flags Off ‘Operation Rescue Finale’ In Sambisa Forest

Army Flags Off ‘Operation Rescue Finale’ In Sambisa Forest, Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau,The Nigerian Army has flagged off another clearance operation in the Sambisa forest tagged “Operation Rescue Finale”.

The Theatre Commander of the counter insurgency war tagged Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, disclosed this to journalists in a news conference in Maiduguri.

Irabor said the focus of the latest operation on Sambisa is to rescue Chibok girls and other hostages and also rid the forest of remnants of insurgents inhabiting there.

The Theatre Commander said that operations were temporarily suspended in the Sambisa forest due to terrain issues occasioned by the rains.

According to him, the troops have been empowered and have the operational capacity to carry out the task ahead.

“The focus of the operation is to rescue the Chibok girls and every other hostage that is in Sambisa and ensure that every other element of the Boko Haram has been displaced. We’ll take them out completely.

“Primarily, commitment of targets by artillery and the air component is already in progress; the subsidiary operations which are ally to the operation is ongoing,” he noted.

Irabor has also cautioned against rushing to the social or mainstream media with information acquired about soldiers killed in battle, suing for patriotism and empathy.

He believes the impact of recent suicide bombings in the capital city of Borno state is due to alertness of troops cooperating with other agencies which has led to the arrest of a female suicide bomber by the Police.

The arrested girl, according to the Theatre Commander has been giving the Army useful information.

As part of the success story of ongoing operations, the Theatre Commander added that between the months of October and November, a total of 5,235 hostages have been rescued consisting of 2,054 children and 1560 women.

The Army for the umpteenth time also warned insurgents to take advantage of the “Operation Safe Corridor” and surrender or face execution.

Abubakar Says Quality Governance Critical To Nation Building

Abdulsalami Abubakar, Nation Building, Quality GovernanceFormer Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), says the quality of governance is a critical element in a sustainable peace building process.

General Abubakar noted that it would require full security and resumption of normalcy, to sustain the current efforts in ending the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’s northern region.

He made the recommendation on Monday at the multi-purpose hall of the Modibbo Adama University of Technology in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

The former military President delivered a speech on “Post-conflict Peace Building and Reconstruction in the Lake Chad Basin” at a conference in collaboration with the Nigerian Army.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, was the special guest at the event.

He informed the gathering about the mandate of the military in the fight against terror, its achievement so far and the role it plays in a post-war effort to rebuild and reconstruct liberated territories from Boko Haram terrorists.

General Buratai also briefed reporters about the Army’s position on the recent video of the purported Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.

On his part, Adamawa State Governor, Mohammed Jibrilla, applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to ending insurgency, especially in northeast Nigeria.

Subsequently, General Abubakar in company of the Army Chief, Governor Jibrilla and other dignitaries proceeded to commission two hostels at the university.

Military Describes Shekau’s Claims As Mere Propaganda

Army, Nigeria, Boko HaramThe Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman says the latest video by terror group Boko Haram has confirmed its earlier suspicion that the purported factional sect leader of the group is mentally ill and unstable.

This is following the release of a video purportedly by by the factional leader of insurgent group, Boko Haram, debunking earlier claims by the military that Shekau was killed or badly wounded in an air strike in September.

“In it, the purported leader of the group in his usual insane manner made all sorts of assertions to the point of threatening various towns, groups and individuals.

“He also tried albeit failingly to deny the air raid by the Nigerian Air Force in which he was wounded.

“The video has shown beyond all reasonable doubt the earlier suspicion that the purported factional terrorists group leader is mentally sick and unstable.

“The ranting is also another sign that the end is near for him, which is part of the signs of all wicked people,” Colonel Usman said in a statement on Sunday.

Chibok Girls

The Army also urged the public that they should not be bothered by the content of the video clip as the military remained determined to clear out the remnants of the terrorists and rescue all persons held hostage especially the abducted Chibok school girls.

He said, “The facts on the ground speak for themselves. It is public knowledge that the military has been making concerted efforts to clear the remnants of the terrorists and rescue all persons held hostage by them especially the abducted Chibok Secondary School girls.

“This is a task that will be accomplished, no matter how long it takes. We are determined in this regards. Already thousands of persons have been rescued by troops from the terrorists.

“The video has further shown that he has derailed and no longer believes and practices the Islam he professes to follow; as he was absent at the last Eid prayers video. It is equally reported that he could not even lead prayers.

“The public should not be fooled by this individual.

Boko Haram video, Chibok girls, Ahmed Salkida ,Aisha Wakil

President Muhammadu Buhari had told the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 71st UN General Assembly in New York that Nigeria would welcome intermediaries from the United Nations as a show of commitment, to swapping the abducted Chibok girls with Boko Haram fighters in custody.

But Colonel Usman said: “No nation or society would believe him or any Boko Haram terrorist based on antecedent and as he has shown over times to be irrational and therefore unreliable especially when it comes to negotiations on the release of the abducted girls. Therefore he must release them unconditionally.”

“Gone For Good”

He therefore called on the residents of Maiduguri, Kano, Kaduna and Zaria not to panic as the military has “more than what it takes” to defend them and deal decisively with the remnants of the terrorists group.

He added that “Boko Haram terrorism as it was known, is gone for good”.

“We are just counting down to the day when all the few remnants will be totally wiped out or brought to justice.”

Colonel Usman, however, notes that a window still exists for the repentant militants who are willing to lay down their arms and adhere to the rule of law.