The Islamic State (ISIS) terror group has announced a new leader for its branch in West Africa, the Nigeria-based Islamist outfit Boko Haram.
According to BBC, the terrorist group announced the appointment of Abu Musab al-Barnawi, former Boko Haram’s spokesperson in one of its magazines. Al-Barnawi replaced Abubakar Shekau, who became the leader of Boko Haram in 2009
Al-Barnawi had first appeared in a video clip where he described himself as the spokesman for Boko Haram. This was before the Nigeria-based jihadist group pledged allegiance to IS.
In March 2016, Boko Haram was believed to have released a video featuring Shekau. However, the unusual poor quality of the footage raised suspicions over its authenticity. Furthermore, the video was only shared on YouTube, rather than on Twitter accounts affiliated with Boko Haram’s ally, IS.
The replacement comes after rumours spread that Shekau had been killed as the leader has not made a verified video appeareance for the past year.