The death of Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, leader of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), has been verified by the Nigeria’s chief of defense staff, General Lucky Irabor.
The presidential communications team held a ministerial briefing at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday, during which General Irabor addressed.
“I am here to confirm that Abu Musab has been killed. It’s really that easy. The CDS said, “He is dead and will stay dead.”
Al-Barnawi was the son of Mohammed Yusuf, the founder of Boko Haram who was assassinated by Nigerian security forces in 2009.
The revolt resulted in the deaths of over a thousand individuals.
Islamic State (IS) militants named Abu Bakr Al-Barnawi as the new head of Boko Haram, the group’s West African branch, in 2016.
After Mohammed Yusuf’s death, Shekau became the new head of the organization.
Shekau had pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) in March 2015, and throughout his reign of terror, which reached as far as Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, he had murdered hundreds of people and devastated numerous villages (FCT).
It marked the emergence of Al-Barnawi as ISWAP commander and the subsequent division of the terrorist organization into two camps.
According to reports, ISIS selected Al-Barnawi as the head of the Lake Chad area in part to punish Shekau, who had allegedly “violated all recognized standards,” as well as to keep the trust of Boko Haram soldiers loyal to Yusuf’s father, despite threats from rival factions.
It was also reported that al-Barnawi had been taught by ISIS for several years before to his rise to prominence in Syria’s Kurdish region.
Boko Haram leader Shekau, who had been proclaimed wanted by the US and had a bounty on his death, controlled the Sambisa forest and the Mandara Mountains, which border the Cameroon Republic.
As an alternative, Al-Barnawi waged a campaign of vengeance on military installations and soldiers in the Lake Chad area, all the while planning how to defeat Shekau.
Aside from the financial and material assistance he received from ISIS, he ruled over vast areas of Northern Borno, taxed the local people, and made a good living from fishing.
Besides the military super camps in Borno’s Dikwa, Monguno, Abadam, and Marte regions, Al-forces Barnawi’s also demolished military installations in the Yobe State region surrounding Geidam.
On the Lake Chad islands and adjacent towns, he also set up many cells from which his militants launched assaults on Nigeria, Niger, and the Chad Republic.
Despite the fact that security experts had previously advocated for a prolonged assault aimed at decimating both opposing factions to achieve a permanent peace after twelve years of uncertainty and bloodshed, his death in August 2021 was hailed as a watershed moment in the fight against terror.
There are many militants who still believe in the path they are following and may regain lost territory if given the smallest chance, they claimed despite the huge surrender of Boko Haram fighters.
After Shekau’s death, Al-Barnawi had only been in power for around two months when he was overthrown.
He had verified Shekau’s killing and the victory of his group in an audio broadcast in Kanuri language.