A newly announced leader of Boko Haram Abu Musab al-Barnawi is rather a mysteroius personality.
In a Boko Haram video from January 2015, Abu Musab al-Barnawi was described as the group’s spokesman
1. With his face blurred out and wearing a turban he first appeared in a Boko Haram video in January 2015 as the group’s spokesman.
2. Unlike his predecessor Abubakar Shekau who prefered to be filmed in the open and surrounded by his fighters Mr Barnawi was filmed in a sit-down studio interview.
3. His speech was thought-out and didn’t involve habitual threats of razing towns which resisted Boko Haram fighters to the ground as it was said before.
4. However, he sticks to the course of the terrorist group and has stressed his position against democracy and foreign education.
5. He maintained IS was still strong in the region and promised to continue fighting West African governments.
Besides, he is believed to be a son of Mohammed Yusuf, also known as Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf, the late Boko Haram founder.
Recall that Mohammed Yusuf founded Boko Haram in 2002 and was its spiritual leader until 2009. Yusuf was a Salafi, he had four wives and 12 children.
According to Nigerian academic Hussain Zakaria, the controversial cleric had a graduate education, spoke proficient English, lived a lavish lifestyle and drove a Mercedes-Benz.
Following the July 2009 Boko Haram uprising, the Nigerian military captured Yusuf in his parents-in-law’s house and handed him over to the Nigerian police force.
The police then summarily executed him in public view outside the police headquarters in Maiduguri. Police officials initially claimed that either Yusuf was shot while trying to escape or died of wounds he sustained during a gunbattle with the military.