Nigerian authorities have claimed to have killed the new leader of the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), barely a week after Abuja confirmed the death of the former head of the jihadist group, Abu Musab al Barnaoui.
Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, stressed that a month ago “the leader of ISWA, Abu Musab al Barnaoui, was eliminated”. “Two days ago, the man who succeeded him, Malam Bako, a member of ISWA’s Shura Council, was also eliminated,” he added.
Thus, he stressed that the jihadist group is facing a leadership crisis and the pressure it is being subjected to by the security forces, as reported by the Nigerian newspaper ‘Daily Post’. Monguno also said that Bako was killed along with a commander of the group.
The Chief of Staff of the Nigerian Army, Lucky Irabor, announced on October 14 the death of Al Barnaui, son of Mohamed Yusuf, the founder of Boko Haram, without giving further details. Al Barnaui’s death occurred at the end of August, according to the Nigerian newspaper ‘Daily Trust’, without ISWA commenting.
It was under Al Barnaui’s command that the operation against the Sambisa forest, the main stronghold of Boko Haram, was launched, in which the leader of this group, Abubakar Shekau, was killed last May, which led to a transfer of forces to ISWA.