Boko Haram video reinforces schism with Daesh

Message released for Eid al-Adha displays no sign of allegiance to Daesh

Boko Haram video reinforces schism with Daesh FILE PHOTO

By Rafiu Ajakaye

LAGOS, Nigeria

A faction within Nigeria’s Boko Haram terror group released an Eid al-Adha video message Wednesday that further underlined tensions within the group and its movement away from Daesh.

The group is led by Abubakar Shekau, who in March last year pledged allegiance to Daesh and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

“We would want greet all our brothers in the faith and let them know this greeting is coming from the leadership of Abubakar Shekau, who is the leader of our group and we use this medium to reinforce his leadership,” a man in a white robe said after Eid prayers at a mosque in the Sambisa forest, the group’s main stronghold in northeast Nigeria.

Unlike previous videos, there was no sign of Daesh banners or any acknowledgement of al-Baghdadi during the 13-minute footage. The speaker also referred to the group as Jama’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihad -- the name it used before it was commonly called Boko Haram.

Shekau, who the Nigerian military claims to have seriously wounded in an airstrike last month, also failed to appear in the video.

The two factions within Boko Haram are led by Shekau and Abu Musab al-Barnawy, son of the late leader of the group who Daesh recently acknowledged as the leader of its “West Africa province”. That recognition brought the split into the open, with Shekau accusing al-Baghdadi of ignoring him and his followers.

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