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MUST SEE: Boko Haram Releases Video Of 'Members Observing Eid-l-Kabir Prayer In Niger State’


Aug. 05, 2020

A video clip of members of the Shekau-led faction of Boko Haram in Niger state has surfaced online.
No less than 100 persons could be seen observing the Eid -l-Kabir prayer in an undisclosed bushy area.
While the date of the video is unknown, Eid -l-Kabir was celebrated by Muslim faithfuls across the globe on Friday, July 31.
After the prayers, three of the supposed insurgents sent Eid greetings in Hausa, English, and Fulfulde.
“It is we the Jamahatu Ali Sunna li Dawatul Jihad in the location of Niger State. We want to send our Sallah salutation, first of all to our imam, Abu Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Abubakar Shekau,” said one of the men dressed in a Nigerian police uniform.
Photo credit: Bulama Bukarti
The insurgent group has held sway in the north-east for over a decade. The claim of its presence in Niger, a north-central state, is a new development and indication that it may be spreading to the region.
Bulama Bukarti, an analyst and human rights lawyer who shared the development on Twitter, said: “This video, if genuine, is further evidence that BH has expanded to the north-central.”
“The dense forest there is a perfect haven for terrorists and if the group is able to consolidate its presence in Niger, it can easily target Abuja as well as to other states like Kwara and Kogi.”
He also expressed concern that the insurgents may have killed some military officers and taken possession of their uniforms.
“It’s interesting that two of the fighters were respectively wearing Nigerian military & police uniforms. This indicates that they might’ve recently killed security forces and got their uniforms. This is because in their past video, the only speaker from Niger was in mufti,” he said.
This is as the United States' Africa Command has said that the Islamic State and Al-Qaida terrorist groups were gradually taking over the West African region after being displaced in Syria and Iraq.
Commander of the US Special Operations Command, Africa, Maj. Gen. Davin Anderson, noted that the extremist groups have begun deploying strategies to re-establish themselves in the region and expand further in the continent without drawing attention.
Speaking during a virtual media briefing with journalists on Tuesday, the commander disclosed that the Al-Qaida has expanded in Mali, and had moved into northern Burkina Faso, where they attacked infrastructure, took out local governance and security forces, and are now controlling the local economy and exerting control over the population.
He said, “We are seeing them continue to move further south in Burkina Faso towards those littoral nations in the Gulf of Guinea, and also further west towards Senegal and West Africa. So that’s a concern to us as we watch them continue to move throughout the region.”
He observed that some aggrieved local terrorist groups were being galvanized into a larger ideology and movement, stressing that al-Shabaab, an affiliate of al-Qaida, was already instigating instability in Somalia in order to destabilize the horn of Africa.
Anderson stated that the extremist group is exploiting the humanitarian crisis in the Sahel to gain deeper roots in the region and in West Africa with Islamic State, West Africa, and Grand Sahara.
The groups, according to him, have established affiliates or leverage local grievances and consolidate this into a larger movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, Mozambique, as well as in Somalia.
He noted, “They are looking to Africa to try to find a means to re-establish themselves. And we can’t forget that al-Qaida has African roots and has a lot of African connection as well.
“That’s very concerning to us because it’s a deliberate strategy, and part of that strategy is to be quiet about how they act, how they expand. They’re not looking to advertise a lot of what they’re doing.”
The commander said Africa needs to be conscious of their plot and understand how to counter it.
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