A reference in a newly released Islamic State publication mentions an apparent new title for a key member of Boko Haram, raising questions about its leadership and future after a major Nigerian military offensive.
The report in the 41st edition of the Islamic State’s Al-Naba magazine, published Tuesday, carried an interview with a man it called Boko Haram’s “governor” for West Africa, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant jihadist media.
The reference appears to indicate a promotion for Mr. al-Barnawi, who had been cited in a January 2015 video as a Boko Haram spokesman. The report made no mention of the status of Abubakar Shekau, who had been thought to be the leader of Boko Haram. It said Mr. al-Barnawi did not condone attacks on mosques and markets frequented by Muslims — a hallmark tactic of the organization.
The report from the Islamic State led to a new round of speculation about the hierarchy and status of Boko Haram, which for the past year has been on the run from intensive strikes by the Nigerian military.
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