Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, the feared ISWAP leader, has been confirmed dead.
General Lucky Irabor, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), has confirmed the death of Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, the feared leader of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
Abu Musab Al-Barnawi was reportedly killed in the last week of August, according to this online news outlet.
“I can confirm to you That Abu Musab Al-Barnawi is no longer alive. It’s that simple. He is and will remain dead “The CDS stated.
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Al-Barnawi was the son of Mohammed Yusuf, the founder of Boko Haram, who was killed by security forces in 2009 after launching a war against the Nigerian government.
During the uprising, over a thousand people died. In 2016, the Islamic State (IS) named Al-Barnawi as the new leader of its Boko Haram affiliate in West Africa, which had previously been led by Abubakar Shekau.
After Mohammed Yusuf’s death, Shekau became the group’s leader.
Shekau had sworn allegiance to IS in March 2015, and during his reign of terror, which lasted up to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, he killed thousands of people and destroyed countless communities (FCT).
His ouster in 2016 signalled the rise of Al-Barnawi, a relatively young ISWAP leader, as well as the split of the terrorist group into two factions.
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According to reports, ISIS chose Al-Barnawi as the leader of the Lake Chad region in part to punish Shekau, who allegedly “violated all known norms” as well as to keep the trust of Boko Haram fighters loyal to their father, Yusuf, despite threats from other factions.
ISIS is also said to have trained Al-Barnawi for years before his rise to power.
Shekau, who is wanted by the US and has a bounty on his head, had established a stronghold for the Boko Haram faction in the Sambisa forest and part of the Mandara Mountains on the Cameroon Republic’s border.
Abu Musab Al-Barnawi on the other hand, was subjected to vicious attacks, particularly on military facilities and troops in the Lake Chad region, while planning how to subdue Shekau.
Aside from the financial and material support he received from ISIS, he controlled large swaths of territory in Northern Borno, imposed taxes on the local population, and made a substantial profit from fishing.
Al-fighters Barnawi’s also destroyed many military super camps in Borno’s Dikwa, Monguno, Abadam, and Marte, as well as other military facilities in Yobe State’s Geidam.
He also set up numerous cells on the Lake Chad islands and surrounding villages, from which his fighters launched attacks against Nigeria, Niger, and Chad.
Even though security experts had called for a sustained offensive to decimate the two rival groups to have a lasting peace after twelve years of uncertainty and carnage, his death in August, following that of Shekau in May 2021, was seen as a turning point in the war against terror.
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