Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | ISIS | Appoints | Leader | Boko Haram

ISIS Appoints New Leader for Boko Haram

ISIS Appoints New Leader for Boko Haram

(AP Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 03 August 2016 12:19 PM

The Islamic State militant group has named a new leader to its West African affiliate Boko Haram.

Abu Musab al-Barnawi will be replacing Abubakar Shekau, according to U.K's International Business Times.

David Otto, the CEO of global security provider TGS Intelligence Consultants says new attacks are more likely because al-Barnawi may be looking to show his leadership skills.

"ISIS could simply want a change of leadership for a fresh start, so we should expect new attacks from this potential leader — to show he is up for the job."

"His first actions in office could be deadly. He may want to show the world that Boko Haram targets are not limited to the lake Chad region but can also spread to the west and Europe," Otto said, adding that West Africa might see an influx of western foreigners and homegrown terrorists.

In the weekly Islamic State magazine al-Barnawi said his group "remained a force to be reckoned with," according to the BBC.

Rumors have spread that Shekau has died, since he has not appeared in ISIS videos in the past year.

Nigeria is leading an offensive against Boko Haram, with 8,700 troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, and Benin. The offensive has recaptured several territories and freed thousands of civilians.

Otto said that the Islamic State may be concerned about the loyalty of Boko Haram.

"Speculation of Shekau's demise could be affecting the operation and loyalty of other Boko Haram cells in the region. This could be frustrating for ISIL, as they considered Boko Haram one of their most powerful wilayats," Otto said, referring to an administrative division.

Islamic State's leader al-Baghdadi believed former leader Shekau was "erratic, and a man with a very vicious persona," Otto added. Some members have left Boko Haram to form splinter groups, and al-Baghdadi usually won't accept groups that do not show unity.

Al-Barnawi left Boko Haram in 2013, Otto said, to form a splinter group that does not attack Muslim civilians or use women and children for suicide bomb attacks, unlike Boko Haram

According to the BBC, Boko Haram has lost most of the territory that it held 18 months ago and its insurgency has left 20,000 people dead.

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The Islamic State militant group has named a new leader to its West African affiliate Boko Haram.
ISIS, Appoints, Leader, Boko Haram
Wednesday, 03 August 2016 12:19 PM
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