FG Charges Khalid Al-Barnawi For Murder Crimes Against Foreign Nationals
The Federal Government has charged the leader of Boko Haram splinter cell, Khalid Al-Barnawi over murders of foreign nationals in 2012.
A Federal high Court sitting in Abuja has charged Al-barnawi with the abduction and murder of multiple foreign nationals.
According to the U.S. government, Khalid al-Barnawi is a “global terrorist.”
An AFP report said Al-Barnawi appeared at the Federal High Court in Abuja, along with six other defendants, on Tuesday.
Al-Barnawi denied all the charges leveled against him.
Barnawi is the purported leader of Ansaru, a militant Islamist group that broke away from Boko Haram in protest.
A bounty of $5 million was set on his head before he was captured.
He is charged over the group’s indiscriminate violence against civilians.
Al-Barnawi is one of three Nigerians labeled by the U.S. government as a “specifically designated global terrorist.”
Others also charged are disputed leader of Boko Haram since 2009, Abubakar Shekau, associate of al-Barnawi , and Abubakar Adam Kambar.
A report by the Nigerian military claimed to have killed in Kambar in 2012 but whose death has not been verified.
The charges against Barnawi relate to a spate of kidnappings and murders of at least 10 foreign nationals between 2012 and 2013.
Al-Barnawi was charged in relation to the death of Italian engineer Franco Lamolinara and his British colleague, Chris McManus.
Lamolinara and McManus were killed in March 2012 by their captors in the northern city of Sokoto after a British-Nigerian rescue operation was launched.
FG Charges Khalid Al-Barnawi For Murder Crimes
The Ansaru leader was also accused in relation to the kidnapping of Frenchman Francis Collomp and German national, Edgar Raupach.
Collomp escaped in November 2013 after a year in Ansaru captivity; Raupach died during a military raid in the northern city of Kano in May 2012.
Al-Barnawi was a close ally of Mohammed Yusuf, the radical cleric who founded Boko Haram.
Yusuf was killed in police detention in 2009.
Ansaru had links to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Ansaru fighters trained in the Algerian desert with AQIM.
Ansaru has been largely overshadowed by Boko Haram, which has killed thousands and displaced millions in an armed insurgency that was launched in 2009.
Boko Haram has since split into two factions: one led by Shekau, and one by Abu Musab al-Barnawi.
Barnawi was appointed as Boko Haram’s new leader by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in 2016.