Daesh-linked group says Boko Haram leader is dead


The leader of Nigerian extremist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has killed himself, according to a jihadi organization linked to the Daesh group.
An audio recording purportedly from Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, the leader of the Islamic State West Africa Province, or ISWAP, said Shekau detonated explosives killing himself after a battle between the two groups.
The audio message follows media reports last month that Shekau, one of Africa’s most wanted men, blew himself up to evade capture by ISWAP fighters. Neither Nigerian authorities nor Boko Haram have confirmed Shekau’s death. There had been several false reports about Shekau’s death in the past, with Shekau later appearing in videos to refute them. Al-Barnawi, a son to the founding leader of Boko Haram, the late Mohammed Yusuf, made the statement in an audio message heard this week by The Associated Press in the native Kanuri language.
The audio message, which last about 28 minutes, had what is reportedly Al-Barnawi’s voice, lacing his speech with quotes from the verses of the Qur’an. The audio was obtained from a former jihadist who provides intelligence to the government and is familiar with Al-Barnawi’s voice. “He never thought this would happen to him even in his dream, but by the power of God we destabilized him; he became confused and fled to forest where he spent five days, wandering and stranded,” he said.
“We followed him again where we faced him with heavy fire. He ran away, then our troops called on him to surrender so that he would be punished.”