The new leader of Boko Haram, just appointed by the Islamic State, has vowed to end his attacks on fellow Muslims regarded by the group as infidels, and instead focus on Christians. Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who replaces Abubakar Shekau, has accused the West of trying to “Christianize the region” and says he will “blow up every Church” and “kill every Christian.”
Meanwhile, Shekau, who in March 2015 pledged allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has released a recorded message crying foul over the new appointment, but vowed to “continue in the cause of Allah” to destroy the infidel….
“We are still in the cause of Allah and will never depart in the struggle to establish an Islamic caliphate and standing by Islam. We will continue to work for the cause of Allah no going back. Anyone that caused this, no problem, if it’s possible may Allah show him the correct path and if it is not so may Allah protect us from his mischief…no matter what we have our basis in Quran. No matter what they call us, what we aspire is to justify our ideology in the Quran which is ultimate because we have not derailed. We are on and in the future, we will not accept any emissary except the one we can attest he is sincere and truthful for Allah and His cause.”
Abu Musab al-Barnawi’s new focus on murdering Christians and destroying churches represents a major shift in strategy, as Boko Haram has killed far more Muslims than Christians since the election of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, whom Boko Haram regarded as an infidel; it has been going after every Muslim who voted for him. Buhari made it his priority to destroy the jihadist group and encouraged neighboring countries to join in his counter-terrorism efforts.
Immediately after the inauguration of Buhari in May 2015, a Boko Haram suicide bomber denoted inside a mosque near a central marketplace, leveling the site and killing 26 worshippers. The weeks following saw heavily populated Muslim areas attacked, and toward the end of Ramadan on July 3 came the most brutal attack. 150 Muslim worshippers were killed in mosques, and Boko Haram extended its brutal rampage by murdering Muslim men, women and children in their homes and burning down houses.
Under new leader al-Barnawi, Boko Haram is now bringing in new recruits in a redirected anti-Christian war that he describes as one being “fought by Muslims against ‘apostates’ and ‘crusaders.'”
“Will blow up every church, kill all Christians: Boko Haram’s new leader, announced by ISIS”, by Yashaswani Sehrawat, India Today, August 4, 2016:
Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamic extremists have a new leader who is threatening to bomb churches and kill Christians while ending attacks on mosques and markets used by ordinary Muslims, according to an interview published Wednesday by the Islamic State group.
He also says there is a Western plot to Christianize the region and has accused charities of using their aid for that, according to a SITE Intelligence Group translation of an interview published on Wednesday in the Islamic State newspaper al-Nabaa.
The newspaper identified Abu Musab al-Barnawi as the new “Wali,” or governor, of its so-called West Africa Province. The “Wali” title was previously used to describe long-time Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.
The report did not say what Shekau’s current status was, although there have been rumors for weeks that he had been replaced.
The interview with al-Barnawi indicates a major shift in strategy for the Nigerian extremists, who have killed many more Muslims than Christians in attacks in mosques with suicide bombers and gunmen.
There have also been attacks on crowded marketplaces in predominantly Muslim areas and the killings and kidnappings of school children. The targeting of students accounts for its nickname Boko Haram, which means Western education is sinful or forbidden.
“They strongly seek to Christianize the society. … They exploit the condition of those who are displaced under the raging war, providing them with food and shelter and then Christianizing their children,” SITE Intelligence quotes the new leader as saying.
Al-Barnawi says the militants will respond to that threat by “booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach, and killing all of those (Christians) who we find from the citizens of the cross.”…