Still from the Boko Haram video showing a soldier just before his death
Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram (whose name in the Hauser language means “education is forbidden”) has released its first video showing the decapitation of a regime soldier. The group originally known as Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, Arabic for “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad” recently gave allegiance to Islamic State. The group was founded in Maidaguri, Nigeria in 2002 by Mohammed Yusuf, a Muslim cleric. The group reject western education and alongside the mosque provide their own teaching facilities according to Islam and believe in Sharia law and the importance of Caliphate. In April 2014, Boko Haram came to the world’s attention when they abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok town in the state of Borno. This prompted a “free our girls” campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
Back in March 2015, the Guardian reported Islamic State spokesperson Abu Muhammad al-Adnani as saying,
“we announce to you to the good news of the expansion of the caliphate to west Africa because the caliph … has accepted the allegiance of our brothers of the Sunni group for preaching and the jihad,”
This was later followed up with a recording from Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram who said: “we announce our allegiance to the caliph of the Muslims, Ibrahim ibn Awad ibn Ibrahim al-Husseini al-Qurashi,” referring to Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”
Boko Haram militants stand over body of decapitated Nigerian soldier
The 10 minute video has a nasheed chant as background and begins with a firefight between the group and Nigerian military. The film features a small logo in the top corner of the screen as featured in Is productions. There are shots of dead soldiers and their identity badges and burning buildings. A soldier is made to kneel in front of 3 men whose faces are covered while guns are pointed at his head. He is then lain on one side, hands behind his back while his head is sawn off and placed upon his body. A slight reflex movement from the mouth of the decapitated head is just visible.
Today Reuters reports that “Boko Haram Islamist militants have attacked the northern Nigerian town of Buni Yadi, which they lost to a Nigerian army offensive in March”. There are also concerns that they may have “slit the throats of five civilians at a building site in the southern Niger village of Dagaya, close to the border with Nigeria” see following link,
“Boko Haram attacks northern Nigeria town: military sources”
Zacharias Pieri writing in “Boko Haram, Islamism, politics, security and the state in Nigeria (2014) had the following to say on Boko Haram:-
“it should be noted that even if the high-end estimate of fatalities directly or indirectly attributed to the Boko Haram insurgency were accepted at face value, they would still represent a small percentage of the overall violent deaths that have occurred in Nigeria over that same period of time…. According to UNODC data, Nigeria had 18,422 intentional homicides in 2008, the year after the violently contested elections…. Based on those numbers remaining relatively constant, Boko Haram would constitute approximately 5 per cent of all violent deaths in Nigeria since their peak in fatalities in 2009.”
“Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.