|Boko Haram Video Claims October 24 Attack that Killed 35|
|[An Nahar] Abubakar Shekau said in a video released Sunday that he led an October 24 attack in which 35 people found in military uniform were killed in the Nigerian city of Damaturu. leader |
"Look at what happened in Damaturu (capital of northeastern Yobe state)," the head of the Islamist group said in the video obtained by Agence Presse through the same intermediary as previous clips. "Since we killed them with our hands -- in fact I was the commander of the operation -- so, you cannot say I'm making conjecture."
|Rewards offered for wanted terrorists|
|[MAGHAREBIA] The recent capture of al-Qaeda operative Nazih Abdul Hamed al-Raghie (aka Abu Anas al-Libi) in is highlighting a programme that offers millions of dollars in rewards for leads on wanted terrorists.|
Described by his wife as " 's bodyguard", al-Libi was wanted in connection with the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 victims, including 212 civilians.
Rewards are an effective formula to collect information, according to Abdul Baset Chibi, one of the founders of the Libyan intelligence service. "It is common in this field and has proven successful in many countries," he noted.
The US offered a $5 million reward for help to capture Abu Anas al-Libi, or providing information leading to his arrest.
For her part, Salma Senhaji, a student in her twenties said, "I think that the amounts provided by the FBI are very attractive even to those who are close to and wanted criminals."
Ayman al- has the largest price on his head. The FBI is offering $25 million to those who can help in his arrest. The FBI also posted for ten others of various Arab nationalities and Guyanese national Adnan Shukrijumah.
It is believed that Shukrijumah took over the duties of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in training for al-Qaeda. He plays a pivotal role in the recruitment of young people and in the creation of new cells for al-Qaeda.
"Offering rewards for the identification of people involved in terrorism is effective and should be used by all nations, especially since it has proved its efficacy on more than one occasion," S.A., a retired Libyan army officer who requested anonymity for fear of his life, said.
He added, "Many crimes have occurred in our city, Benghazi, and many of my comrades from the Libyan army were killed. To this day, we have not found the real killers. Yet if the Libyan government or one of the wealthy residents of Benghazi had offered a reward to identify the killers, we would not have waited all this time and we would not have seen more victims."
Basma Khalfaoui, wife of slain Tunisian opposition politician Chokri Belaid, was asked whether a financial reward to help identify the killers would be a positive step. "Why not?" she replied. "We have to consider this option as perhaps it will lead us to the truth."
Tunisian authorities accused of involvement in the of Belaid but have failed to track down the murderers.
Abou Iyadh, the leader of Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia, could be one person to add to the list, according to Walid Aisha, a civil society activist in Tripoli. Aisha also suggested adding the names of people wanted in connection with the murder of the US ambassador to Libya, including Ahmed Boukhtala.
"Offering financial rewards is not restricted to a particular state," criminologist Walid al-Hani noted. "It is used by several countries that suffer from terrorism and organised crime. Even poor countries could not help but to offer awards to eliminate the growing phenomenon of terrorism."
"In September, Yemen's Supreme Security Committee published the names of 25 planning to carry out operations in the country. The committee offered rewards worth $230,000 for information leading to their arrest. This amount is very tempting in a country that is among the poorest in the world," al-Hani said.
In June of last year and in order to face growing terrorism in West Africa, the US offered for the first time lucrative financial rewards to those who provide information leading to key leaders in regional terrorist organizations.
Rewards were posted for leaders of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Tawhid and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), and the Signed-in-Blood Brigade.
Five million dollars were offered for information on AQIM leader Yahya Abou El Hammam as well as for Mokhtar Belmokhtar (aka Khaled Abou El Abbas or Laaouar). Three million dollars were offered for help leading to the location of senior AQIM official Malik Abou Abdelkarim and MUJAO spokesperson Oumar Ould Hamaha. Seven million dollars were also offered for information leading to the arrest of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.
|Boko Haram 'kills 24 Nigerian vigilantes in ambush'|
|[STANDARDMEDIA.CO.KE] Suspected fighters have killed at least 24 members of a vigilante group in north-eastern Nigeria, security officials say.|
They say another 34 people are missing after the attack near the town of Monguno in Borno state.
The officials said wearing army uniforms ambushed more than 100 vigilantes on Friday.
Attacks have increased recently despite a massive military deployment to areas worst affected by Islamist s.
Nigeria's army recently said it had killed Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau but this has not been confirmed.
The military has encouraged the formation of vigilante groups to help tackle the Islamists.
The attacked the vigilante youths on the outskirts of Monguno, about 160km (100 miles) north-east of the state capital Maiduguri, where Boko Haram was formed in 2009.
The vigilante youths had been on a mission to capture Boko Haram in their camps when they were ambushed, the Sunday Tribune reports.
The vigilantes had originally arranged to go with the army but after some hours of waiting for the soldiers to arrive they moved in by themselves.
They were ambushed by who "had disguised in military uniforms with three captured patrol vehicles of the security agencies", sources told the paper.
|Nigeria: Army raids terror bomb factory near Kano|
|[MISSOULIAN] Nigeria's military raided a bomb factory Wednesday where Islamic extremists were plotting attacks on the northern city of Kano as Muslims prepare to celebrate a major religious holiday next week, an army general said.|
At the same time the leader of the Boko Haram terrorist network threatened more assaults "soon" using heavy weapons he said were seized in battles against the Nigerian military.
A video in which Abubakar Shekau delivers his message ends with a display of rocket-propelled grenades, anti-aircraft guns and piles of AK-47 rifles and ammunition. The Nigerian army does not use AK-47s.
Shekau warned Nigerians to "prepare for a big war" to overturn democracy and install an Islamic state in Nigeria _ Africa's largest oil producer with more than 160 million people almost equally divided between Christians and Muslims.
"This war is not a Nigerian government war," he said in the local Hausa language. "It is a war to uplift Islam and get all non-Muslims to repent their ways and embrace Islam."
The video, like previous ones, was delivered to reporters in northeast Nigeria, the stronghold of Boko Haram. Shekau claimed responsibility for recent attacks, in which hundreds of people have been killed in a few months despite a military state of emergency since May. But he did not identify any particular attack. In one of the worst, attackers gunned down 43 students at an agricultural college last week.
On Wednesday, about 50 suspected Islamic militants attacked Itiku village in northeast Adamawa state and rampaged for an hour, leaving at least eight people dead, survivors said. "It was only after the attackers left that the military arrived," said villager Mallam Ahmad, interviewed in the state capital, Yola.
|Boko Haram: Shekau's 'Am Alive' Video is Fake, Says Security Analysis|
|[THISDAYLIVE] The last may not have been heard concerning the survival or otherwise of the leader of the outlawed Islamic sect, , Abubkar Shekau, as a security analysis conducted by the Department of the State Security (DSS), yesterday revealed that the recent video appearance of the sect's leader was unreal.|
The security analysis of the video sighted by THISDAY, noted that the amateur replica cloned everything wrongly but was not categorical on the death of the terrorist as it waited on time to determine.
This, however, came same day the Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Kabiru Turaki, said it was not part of his duty or mandate as minister and chairman of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of the Conflicts in Northern Nigeria to locate Shekau's whereabout.
But the expert analysis of the video of the sect's leader in previous appearances showed that Shekau usually starts with the recitation of a full verse of the Koran, which sometimes could last up to five minutes, a sequence the stand-in Shekau did not observe.
According to a of the agency, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, the amateur cloned replica of Shekau was wrong on several grounds including the fact that his former appearances in videos was patterned after a certain modus operandi.
It was also observed in the analysis, that unlike on previous occasions when Shekau spoke, he was never interrupted by any background praising quite unlike what happened in the latest video.
The video, which was sent in for analysis by experts showed that the movement of "Shekau's lips" did not synchronise with the words as pronounced, apparently betraying a recorded message inefficiently manipulated to sustain a non-existent continuum in leadership, now in disarray.
The experts had stated that the cloned attempt to mimick Shekau voice during the opening stanza soon gave in, as the impostor reverted to his real voice, while the intonation was different as Shekau was not known to drawl while talking.
Other inconsistencies discovered by the experts were that: "This 'Shekau' even said a dead woman -Margaret Thatcher, and Oladipo Diya, rejoiced over his (Shekau's) death.
A DSS source who spoke to THISDAY said, "How does these add up to strengthen his case? One is dead and the other had left government long before the advent of Boko Haram. The video was just to create unnecessary panic in the public.
"The fact is that Abubakar Shekau, was truly shot, critically injured and evacuated by his lieutenants to a conventional hospital outside Nigeria. It is only time that will tell if he survived but we know now that the video is as fake as it gets."
Turaki, while briefing journalists after giving a scorecard of his portfolio as minister to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee (NWC), said the report of the committee was almost 99 per cent completed.
He noted that the committee would soon notify President on a convenient date to submit the report, while also hinting that it cost the federal government about N100 billion to finance constituency projects of members of the National Assembly.
The minister, who put the number of the ongoing constituency projects at 2,399 projects, said: "I think I should also ask you, where is Shekau? With all sense of responsibility, we have been directed by Mr. President to identify key members of the sect and then engage them in dialogue. Mr. President didn't ask us to look for Shekau and engage him in dialogue."
According to him, "It is important for Nigerians to appreciate that in matters of this nature you don't just wake up one day even as a dialogue committee established by government and say you are discussing with the leadership of the s. Usually, what happens and that was what happened in our own case is that after we have been able to establish confidence.
Turaki said the committee had identified some key elements of the group and has made some useful recommendations in the report that would be soon be submitted to the president.
Noting that the insurgency should not be expected to come to an end suddenly, the minister said: "Necessarily, it has to take time to contain the insurgency and it is not what will be done today or tomorrow."
|Who are the world's 10 most dangerous terrorists?|
1. Ayman al- Despite the whittling away by drone attacks of "al Qaeda central" in the mountainous border region between Afghanistan and Pakistain, the group's leader remains vocal and active in trying to harness the disparate affiliates that claim the al Qaeda name.
Source: al Qaeda leader urged affiliate to 'do something'
Since former leader 's death in 2011, al-Zawahiri has sought to take advantage of the unrest sweeping the Arab world, and has recognized that groups such as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb are better placed to carry out attacks than the ever-diminishing core that remains in "Af-Pak." At times, al-Zawahiri has struggled to exercise authority over groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq, not least because of the difficulty in communicating with far-flung offshoots.
Aware that pulling off another 9/11 is a remote possibility, al-Zawahiri has suggested a shift to less ambitious and less expensive but highly disruptive attacks on "soft" targets, as well as hostage-taking. In an audio message in August he recommended taking "the citizens of the countries that are participating in the invasion of countries as hostages."
Al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian doctor who is now 62, is not the inspirational figure to jihadists that bin Laden was, but he is trying to fashion a role as the CEO of a sprawling enterprise. According to the Economist, he may be succeeding. "From Somalia to Syria, al-Qaeda franchises and jihadist fellow travellers now control more territory, and can call on more fighters, than at any time since Osama bin Laden created the organization 25 years ago," it wrote this month.
Reward offered by the U.S. government for his capture: up to $25 million
How effective are terror watch lists? First woman added to FBI terror list Terrorists spreading ideology on Twitter
2. Nasir al Wuhayshi
For someone thought to be about 36 years old, al Wuhayshi's terror resumé is already extensive. Once bin Laden's private secretary in Afghanistan, he returned to his native Yemen and ended up in jail. But not for long: He and several other al Qaeda operatives dug their way out in 2006. He went on to to help found al Qaeda in Yemen, and began launching attacks on Yemeni security services and foreign tourists, as well as directing an ambitious attack against the U.S. Embassy in Yemen.
He is now the emir of AQAP, widely regarded as the most dangerous and active of al Qaeda's many offshoots. A slight figure with an impish sense of humor, according to some who have met him, al Wuhayshi appears to have been anointed al Qaeda's overall deputy leader in a bold move by al-Zawahiri to leverage the capabilities of AQAP. Seth Jones, a Rand Corporation analyst, called the appointment "unprecedented because he's living in Yemen, he's not living in Pakistain."
If al-Zawahiri is al Qaeda's CEO, al Wuhayshi appears to be its COO -- with responsibilities that extend far beyond Yemen. It appears that in 2012 he was already giving operational advice to al Qaeda's affiliate in North Africa.
Despite a concerted effort by the Yemeni government and the United States to behead AQAP, al Wuhayshi survives, and his fighters have recently gone on the offensive again in southern Yemen. The group is bent on exporting terror to the West -- both through bomb plots and by dispatching Western converts home to sow carnage.
3. Ibrahim al Asiri
Not a household name, but one that provokes plenty of anxiety among Western intelligence agencies. Al Asiri, a 31-year-old Saudi, is AQAP's master bomb-maker, as expert as he is ruthless. He is widely thought to have designed the "underwear" bomb that nearly brought down a U.S. airliner over on Christmas Day 2009, as well as the ingenious printer bombs sent as freight from Sanaa, Yemen, and destined for the United States before being intercepted thanks to a Saudi tip-off. The bombs were so well hidden that at first British police were unable to find one device even after isolating the printer.
Al Asiri also fitted his younger brother Abduillah with a bomb hidden in his rectum in an effort to kill 's counter-terrorism chief, Mohammed bin Nayef. The brother died in the attack; bin Nayef survived.
His trademark explosive is PETN -- a white, odorless powder than cannot be detected by most X-ray machines.
Al Asiri is thought to be somewhere in the vast mountainous interior of southern Yemen. The anxiety among Saudi and Western intelligence officials is that he has passed on his expertise to apprentices.
4. Ahmed Abdi Godane
Godane, aka Mukhtar Abu Zubayr, became the leader of the Somali group A at the end of 2008. Traditionally, Al-Shabaab has been focused on bringing Islamic rule to Somalia, and as such has attracted dozens of ethnic Somalis (and a few Western coverts) from the United States and Europe. But Godane appears to be refocusing the group on terrorist attacks beyond Somalia, against the east African states that are supporting the Somali government -- especially Uganda and Kenya -- and against Western interests in east Africa.
The Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi September 21 was Al-Shabaab's most audacious, but not its first nor most deadly outside Somalia. In 2010, Al-Shabaab carried out s in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, in which more than 70 people were killed. But the Westgate siege, which left 67 people dead, demonstrated Godane's desire to align his group more closely with al Qaeda. In a taped message afterward, he noted the attack took place "just 10 days after the anniversary date of the blessed 9/11 operations."
Under Godane, Al-Shabaab has become a formal ally of al Qaeda. That has led to dissent, which Godane has dealt with ruthlessly, using his control of Al-Shabaab's intelligence wing. The American jihadist Omar Hammami was killed in September after criticizing Godane's leadership and his treatment of .
Godane is said to be 36 years old, and is originally from Somaliland in northern Somalia. He is slim to the point of wispy, as seen in the very few photographs of him, and prefers recording audio messages to appearing in public.
After the Westgate attack, Kenyan and Western intelligence agencies will undoubtedly step up efforts to end his reign of terror. But he should not be underestimated. A former Somali prime minister, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, once described Godane as the cleverest of Al-Shabaab's leaders.
The U.S. government's Rewards for Justice program lists him under another alias, Ahmed Abdi Aw-Mohammed, and is offering up to $7 million for information leading to his location.
5. Moktar Belmoktar
Belmoktar is Algerian but based in the endless expanse of desert known as the Sahel. Like many on this list, he has an uncanny knack for survival against the odds. A year ago, he probably would not have been counted among the world's most dangerous terrorists. Then he announced the formation of an elite unit called "Those Who Sign With Blood," which he said would be the shield against the "invading enemy." A short time later, his fighters launched an attack on the In Amenas gas plant in southern Algeria. A three-day siege left nearly 40 foreign workers dead.
Since then, Belmoktar's fighters have launched attacks on a military academy and French uranium mine in Niger in May, despite losing much of their freedom of movement after the French intervention in Mali in January.
Belmoktar is unusual in combining jihadist credentials with a lucrative business in smuggling and kidnapping. He is often called "Mr. Marlboro" because of his illicit cigarette trafficking, and is thought to have amassed millions of dollars through ransoms for westerners kidnapped in Mali.
Intelligence officials have told CNN that he has also developed contacts with jihadist groups in Libya as instability has gripped the country in the wake of 's overthrow.
Born in 1972, Belmoktar grew up in poverty in southern Algeria. He traveled to Afghanistan in 1991 in his late teens to fight its then-Communist government, and returned to Algeria as a hardened fighter with a new nickname "Belaouar" -- the "one-eyed" -- after a battlefield injury. He later joined forces with the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) in its brutal campaign against the Algerian regime.
Reward offered by the U.S. government: up to $5 million for information leading to his location.
6. Abu Muhammad al Julani
While Belmoktar might have been on the fringes of a "most dangerous terrorist list" a year ago, Abu Muhammad al Julani would not have been anywhere near it. But as Syria has descended into a state of civil war, al Julani's group -- the al-Nusra Front -- has emerged as one of the most effective rebel factions. Formed in January 2012, it is a jihadist group with perhaps 10,000 fighters, many of them battle-hardened in Iraq. It has specialized in s and IED attacks against regime forces, and its success has attracted hundreds of fighters from other rebel groups.
Al Julani personally pledged his group's allegiance to al-Zawahiri in April, and the U.S. State Department has branded al-Nusra as part of the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State in Iraq. In May, the United States added al Julani to to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists.
Al-Nusra has so far not shown any inclination to take the fight to Western targets. Andrew Parker, the head of the British intelligence agency MI5, thinks that will change.
"A growing proportion of our casework now has some link to Syria... Al-Nusra and other Sunni groups there aligned with al Qaeda aspire to attack Western countries," he said in a speech in London this week.
Of al Julani himself, very little is known. Al-Nusra places a premium on organizational security. Even his nationality is unclear, but he is thought to have had experience as an in Iraq. A recent study by the Quilliam Foundation in London concluded his leadership of the group was "uncontested."
"Sources tell us that his face is always covered in meetings, even with other leaders. Al Julani is thought to be a Syrian jihadist with suspected close ties to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and al Qaeda in Iraq," the study's authors said.
Al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. missile strike in 2006.
7. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi
One factor that may influence the growth and potency of al-Nusra is its relationship with fellow jihadists in Iraq. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) was publicly at odds with al Julani over the regional pecking order earlier this year, asserting that al-Nusra was part of his group, a claim swiftly rejected by al Julani. Western intelligence would like nothing more than dissent between these two groups. Close cooperation between them across the long Syrian-Iraqi border -- the goal of al-Zawahiri -- is the nightmare scenario.
On the battlefield in Syria, cooperation between the two groups appears to be continuing, especially in towns like Deir Izzor in eastern Syria.
Inside Iraq, al Baghdadi has overseen a dramatic spike in terror attacks against the Shia-dominated state and security apparatus, aided by jail breaks and bank robberies. It has also claimed devastating s against Shia civilians and is open about carrying out attacks on purely sectarian grounds. It claimed credit for a wave of ings in Storied Baghdad on September 30, in which more than 50 people were killed, calling it a "new page in the series of destructive blows" against Shiite areas in Iraq.
The monthly number of civilian deaths in Iraq, according to the , is now at its highest since 2008.
Al Baghdadi benefits from fertile ground in that Iraq's Sunni minority is increasingly fearful of the Shia-dominated government led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Sunni tribes straddle the Syrian-Iraqi border, adding to a combustible regional picture.
Born in Samarra, al Baghdadi is in his early 40s. In a eulogy for bin Laden, he threatened violent retribution for his killing. Analysts regard ISIS as a greater threat now than at any time since the U.S. "surge" and the emergence of the Sunni Awakening Councils six years ago, which then turned the tide against al Qaeda in Iraq.
Reward offered by U.S. government, which lists him as Abu Du'a: up to $10 million for information leading to his location.
8. Sirajudin Haqqani
Shifting from the Middle East to the Afghan-Pakistain border regions, several groups are positioning themselves for the exit of U.S. combat forces from Afghanistan next year. Among the most dangerous is the Haqqani Network, responsible for some of the deadly attacks in Kabul in recent years. A 2008 coordinated suicide on the Serena Hotel in Kabul left six dead. Another strike in June 2011 killed 12 at the InterContinental Hotel.
U.S. officials say that in addition to its high-profile s against hotels and other civilian targets in the Afghan capital, it is responsible for killing and wounding more than 1,000 U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.
Siraj Haqqani is the son of the group's founder, and is in his early 40s.
"Siraj is a brutal criminal murderer," Gen. Jeffrey Schloesser, the outgoing commander of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division in eastern Afghanistan, told the publication Jane's in 2009.
Jeffrey Dressler, a senior analyst with the Institute for the Study of War, told CNN last year that Haqqani is "very, very competent, a very capable leader who has really grown the network over the past five, six years."
U.S. officials say the Haqqani Network is all the more dangerous in that its presence in the tribal territories of Pakistain is tolerated by the Pak government. The family belongs to the Zadran tribe, which spans the Afghanistan-Pakistain border and stretches to . The Haqqanis have a close relationship with both al Qaeda and the Taliban, but are also thought to have begun recruiting Chechen and Turkish jihadists.
The designated the Haqqani Network a terror group last year. It is regarded as well-funded because of a series of legitimate and illicit businesses that stretch to the Gulf.
Reward offered by U.S. government for information leading to Haqqani's location: up to $5 million
9. Abubakar Shekau
Shekau's inclusion recognizes the growing tide of Islamist militancy in West Africa. For the last four years, he has led Boko Haram, a Salafist group in northern Nigeria that has begun cooperating with other groups as far away as Mali.
But its main focus remains churches and other Christian targets, the police and the moderate establishment in northern Nigeria. Just last month, suspected Boko Haram fighters broke into a college in Yobe state and murdered more than 40 students as they slept.
In 2010, Shekau warned that the group would attack Western interests and the following year it carried out its first -- against U.N. offices in the capital, Abuja -- killing at least 23 people. The group has also kidnapped and killed several Western hostages. While Bokko Haram is not an affiliate of al Qaeda, Shekau has made clear his sympathy for the group's goals. The United States made him a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in June 2012.
Two caveats here: there are conflicting reports that Shekau was killed in an August raid by Nigerian special forces. But a video that appeared weeks later purported to show he was still alive. And Boko Haram's leadership structure is opaque at best; it's unclear how much control Shekau himself exerts over its fighters.
John Campbell, a former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, wrote last month that so far "Boko Haram has shown little interest in the world outside of Nigeria and the Sahel. But the situation in Nigeria is dynamic, and it is possible that closer ties will develop between al-Qaeda and elements of Boko Haram."
"Boko Haram" means "Western education is forbidden" and reflects the group's utter rejection of modernity and Western influences.
"Hostile to democracy, modern science, and Western education as non-Islamic, it is highly diffuse," Campbell said of the group. "For some adherents, religious, even apocalyptic, themes appear to be paramount."
Reward offered by the U.S. government: up to $7 million for his location.
10. Doku Umarov
... Self-styled first emir of the Caucasus Emirate. Count Doku has announced that his forces will not target civilians, but qualified that statement by saying there aren't any civilians in Russia...
Doku Umarov leads the Caucasus Emirate (CE), a Chechen group dedicated to bringing Islamic rule to much of southern Russia.
The U.S. State Department named Umarov a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 2010, and said subsequently he was "encouraging followers to commit violent acts against CE's declared enemies, which include the United States as well as Israel, Russia, and the United Kingdom."
U.S. officials have been investigating whether the Tsarnaev brothers -- who were blamed for carrying out the bombing at the Boston Marathon in April -- had any links with Chechen groups. But nothing has surfaced connecting them with CE. And the group's main focus has been on attacking Russian institutions and civilian targets. In January 2011, it bombed Moscow's Domodedovo airport, killing 36 people, and s of Moscow subway stations in 2010 killed 40 people.
Umarov was born in southern Chechnya in 1964, according to Chechen websites, and describes his family as part of the "intelligentsia." He came of age as the separatist campaign against Russian rule began to take root and joined the insurgency when then-Russian leader Boris Yeltsin sent troops into the region in 1994.
In a proclamation published on a Chechen jihadist website in 2007, he declared, "It was my destiny to lead the Jihad... I will lead and organize Jihad according to the understanding, given to me by Allah."
Reward offered by the U.S. government for information on his location: up to $5 million.
|Hungry Boko Haram hard boyz turn cannibal|
|Dozens of suspected Boko Haram militants in Magumeri forest, Borno state, north east Nigeria, have turned to human eaters after being stranded for days without food or water.|
The incredible story was related by Malam Momodu Bukar, who claimed to be part of the insurgency group.
The militant was captured by a Youth Vigilante Group, popularly known as the civilian JTF at Baga Road motor park, Maiduguri, on Friday.
|Boko Haram chief shot, may have died: Nigerian army|
|[Al Ahram] Nigeria's army said Monday that the leader of IslamistAbubakar Shekau, may have died following a gunshot wound from a clash with soldiers. group , |
Intelligence reports "available to the (military) revealed that Abubakar Shekau, the most dreaded and wanted Boko Haram leader, may have died," a statement said.
"It is greatly believed that Shekau might have died between 25 July to 3 August 2013."
According to the statement, Shekau, declared a "global terrorist" by the US government, was shot on June 30 during a clash with troops at a Boko Haram camp in the Sambisa forest in northeastern Nigeria.
It said he was then clandestinely taken over the border into Cameroon for treatment. The army statement was contradictory, first saying that Shekau "may have died" while at other points implying that he was indeed dead.
Shekau has been considered the leader of the main Islamist faction of Boko Haram. The group's insurgency has left at least 3,600 people dead since 2009, including killings by the security forces.
|Nigeria's Boko Haram is no threat, says interior minister|
|[BBC.CO.UK] Nigeria's interior minister has said the army is making progress in the war against s, despite the killing of 44 people in a mosque.|
Abba Moro dismissed the attack as "desperate" and "isolated".
"The security agencies of Nigeria have been able to push the Boko Haram sect from their major strongholds," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.
Nigeria has declared an emergency in three states after thousands of deaths in attacks in recent years.
Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria's mainly north.
The mosque attack happened during dawn prayers on Sunday, although news only emerged on Monday, as communications have been disrupted by the state of emergency.
It took place in the town of Konduga, 35km (22 miles) from the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, where Boko Haram was established in 2002, launching its first attack seven years later.
Twelve further at Ngom village, closer to Maiduguri, reports say.
Boko Haram has not commented on the mosque attack but news of it came as a video emerged of the group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, saying his followers had carried out recent attacks including some that targeted the police and the military.
He said this showed that the army's claims to have inflicted heavy losses on the group were "lies".
It is not clear why the mosque was targeted - one explanation is that members of a local vigilante group may have been praying there.
Several such groups have been set up since the emergency was declared in Borno and two neighbouring states in May.
Boko Haram frequently attacks churches but it has also occasionally targeted mosques and preachers disagree with their views.
The attackers wore military uniforms, officials say, which they may have taken during recent attacks on a barracks.
Map showing location of Maiduguri in Borno state, Nigeria
Following a lull immediately after the emergency was declared, there has been a recent spate of attacks, blamed on Boko Haram, which have left some 160 people dead.
But Mr Moro said these were the "desperate antics" of a group trying to show it was still relevant.
Thousands of extra soldiers have been sent to the region since the state of emergency was announced.
The military cut mobile phone networks when they imposed the state of emergency, saying they wanted to make it more difficult for the to organise attacks.
some local officials have said this prevents civilians from getting help.
|Troops kill Boko Haram's deputy leader, 17 others|
|[Guardian Ng] AMID shock over the recent massacre in Borno State, the Defence Headquarters Wednesday disclosed the killing of 18 terrorists, including Momodu Bama. Bama was the second-in-command to the leader of Abubakar Shekau., |
The Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, said in Abuja that Bama and the other 17 Boko Haram died during encounters with special forces of the military and security services in Bama, a border community area.
Olukolade also said that Bama's father, Alhaji Abatcha Flatari, "who is also one of the spiritual guiding lights of the outlawed group" died in the attack. He said that 24 were
The Defence added: "Momodu Bama has been personally leading the attacks against troops and innocent citizens in the communities of Yobe and Adamawa. A specialist in manning the anti-aircraft guns of the group, he is known to be vicious and heartless with a penchant for personally slaughtering and executing his victims. Momodu Bama has been a most wanted terrorist with a N25 million bounty already placed on his head."
According to Olukolade, "as troops intensify pursuit of who have been unleashing mayhem in Borno and Yobe communities, the death of Momodu Bama, said to be the Second-in-Command to the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has been confirmed by other arrested terrorists. This followed encounters with the around the Bama corridor. The troops are continuing the pursuit of the while intensifying aggressive aerial and land patrols to ensure better security cover for the communities, especially in the two states."
And worried by the killings in Borno State, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar Sa'ad III and other Islamic leaders of the Jama'atu Nasir Islam (JNI) have expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the emergency rule imposed by the Federal Government on three northern states to curb insurgency.
The Sultan who is the President-General of JNI, in a statement issued in Kaduna Wednesday, said that his group, the apex Islamic body in the North, " received with consternation ... the senseless killings that occurred at police and military formations in Bama, Malam Fatori, Borno State, which was climaxed with senseless killings of innocent worshippers during early dawn prayers at a mosque in Konduga village, some kilometres away from Maiduguri, Borno State."
Wednesday too, Spain and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) condemned the killings in Borno State while the United States (U.S.) pledged assistance to curb insurgency.
The Sultan, who expressed dismay at the inability of the emergency rule to address the increasing attacks by Boko Haram, remarked: "We are indeed perplexed that with the state of emergency currently in place in Borno State and with the visible security checkpoints at every nook and cranny of the state, it is hardly believable that such dastardly acts could still occur unabated," he said.
He added that "the JNI is seriously perturbed by it and calls for curtailing the proliferation of small arms."
According to the statement by the Secretary-General of JNI, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the Sultan said: "In as much as there is the need for restraint and caution on the part of the , in the affected areas, we are interested to know how the perpetrators gained access to the cordoned areas with such explosives and guns.
"Who were they? Why were they not prevented or arrested? What were the motives behind such repeated orchestrated heinous acts? Indeed there is much more than meets the eyes.
"In the light of the above, we call on government at all levels to do everything possible as a matter of urgency to stop these evil acts of unleashing terror on innocent and peace-loving souls, by restoring law and order.
"Above all, the restoration of use of GSM in Borno State should be a topmost priority to those that matter. This is to facilitate security alert in a situation where insecurity has wreaked unprecedented havoc on innocent citizens. Even if it is to be restored, it must be to some selected/strategic government officials within the state.
"In the meantime, as we commiserate with the families of the victims of those evil acts of terror and condole with the parents and guardians who lost their wards in the debacle, we call on all and sundry to continue praying for peace, progress and development of the nation."
While expressing condolences to the families of the affected victims and government of Borno, the Sultan stressed: "The barbaric, callous, obscure and incomprehensible attack is utterly condemnable in its entirety, especially that over 50 persons were lost and the sacred month of Ramadan had just ended."
|Nigeria arrests 42 Boko Haram suspects in Lagos, Ogun|
|[UK.REUTERS] Nigerian authorities have 42 suspected members of Islamist sect in Lagos and the neighbouring southwest state of Ogun, an army said on Tuesday.|
During a four-year insurgency Boko Haram's attacks have been focused mostly in the north, far from the commercial capital Lagos and the southern oil fields which provide more than 2 million barrels per day to world markets.
The sect, which wants to carve out an Islamic state in the religiously mixed country, has never or been blamed for an attack in Lagos, Nigeria's biggest city.
"We have arrested 42 suspected members of Boko Haram in Lagos and Ogun," said an army in Lagos, Kingsley Umoh. "Some have already confessed to being Boko Haram and said they fled the northeast due to the military efforts there."
A military crackdown in Boko Haram's northeast stronghold since mid-May has weakened the group but it has also pushed into hiding and security sources fear attacks could spread to other areas.
Multiple s in Nigeria's biggest northern city of Kano killed 15 people on Monday in a predominantly Christian area previously targeted by Boko Haram.
President says he is still open to a peaceful resolution with and has set up a committee to discuss offering Boko Haram members amnesty in return for laying down their weapons.
But the group's leader Abubakar Shekau has said in several Internet videos that he is not interested in dialogue.
The committee was due to submit its report and recommendations this week but on Tuesday Jonathan extended the deadline by two months.
He said the committee was making progress.
"We are engaged in critical discussions with ... that will lead not only to the signing of ceasefire agreements ... but also lead to disarmament," chairman of the committee Tanimu Turaki told s on Tuesday.
|Boko Haram Leaders Disagree Over Ceasefire|
|[LEADERSHIP.NG] The Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Imam Shekau, and his deputy, Muhammad Marwana, have reportedly disagreed over the issue of dialogue and ceasefire with the federal government. |
"Shekau speaks his own opinion," he told the VOA.
Marwana, in a comment he sent to the VOA via email, he said the sect was fully ready to meet with the committee on dialogue.
He stated some of the actions the security agencies took against Shekau's family and said, "That is why we took verdict for retaliation."
Marwana, however, said: "There is a need to meet with the committee and let's forgive one another and make sure that there is no rivalry between us and the populace."
Marwana also urged Nigerians to shun any statement made by Shekau, especially as they relate to attacks.
"Anybody that hears issue of attack from Abubakar Shekau should go and sleep; nothing will happen by the grace of God," he added.