With Shekau Missing In Two Recent Boko Haram Videos, Is This The Sect’s New Leader?
Two months ago, the Boko Haram terrorists group released a video with Abubakar Shekau, the sec’t leader who has been the face of its monstrosity in the past years conspicuously missing.
In the 10-minute video which bear a new name and logo “Islamic State in West Africa” a new face which for the first time since the sect started pushing out propaganda videos surfaced sparking speculations that Shekau may not be alive.
The Nigerian military have in the past claimed to have killed Shekau at least twice since the insurgency battle began, but the elusive leader have several times come out to debunk the claims. “Here I am, alive”, Shekau had boasted in one of Boko Haram’s video in October 2014, where he stated ” I will only die the day Allah takes my breath,” in response to a claim by the Nigerian military that he has been killed.
In one of his videos in 2013 after he was declared wanted by the United States government with a $23 million bounty placed on his head and that of four others including top members of Al-Qaida in the Mahgreb, Shekau had said he remains invincible to those who have declared him wanted. Shekau’s bounty was $7 million.
Aside the US, the Nigerian government offered N50 million for information leading to his capature, while a Nigerian Muslim group, Muslims Against Terror also place a bounty of $10,000 to be given to any one who can capture the eccentric Shekau dead or alive, but nothing of such seem to have come to past except for reports of his death which he promptly countered by appearing in new videos. The Nigeria military however believes that the Shekau appearing in several videos is an impostor of the original shekau which it claimed was killed in 2013, the same period the videos denouncing his death were released by the group.
While the July, 2015 video released without Shekau sparked speculations about his likely death, the second video with Shekau missing again may just be proving skeptics right.
The question now being asked is whether Shekau is still alive and whether the man pictured above who seems to have appeared in the last two videos is the new leader of the sect.