In the latest issue of ISIS magazine Al-Naba, the middle east based fundamentalist group has named Abu Musab al-Barnawi as new leader for its West- African affiliate Boko Haram.
The statement names Abu Musab al-Barnawi as a replacement for former leader Abubakar Shekau, who has been reportedly killed by troops.
According to BBC, Al-Barnawi is featured in the latest issue of the ISIS magazine. The magazine makes no reference to Shekau. Shekau was last seen in a Boko Haram propaganda video in March 2015.
The interview in IS’s weekly Arabic magazine Al-Naba, has Barnawi saying his group “remained a force to be reckoned with” and said it had been drawing new recruits.
Little is known about Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who appeared in a Boko Haram video in January 2015 as the group’s spokesman.
He wore a turban and his face was blurred out and it was filmed as a sit-down studio interview, unlike Abubakar Shekau his delivery in the Hausa language was softly spoken.
Mr. Shekau was often filmed in the open, surrounded by fighters, loudly proclaiming his threats, victories and giving rambling ideological lectures.
However, Mr. Barnawi pulled no punches, warning that towns which resisted Boko Haram in its mission to create an Islamic state would be flattened.
In his most recent magazine interview, Abu Musab al-Barnawi again objected to the name Boko Haram, by which local people call the group, as it means “Western education is forbidden” in Hausa.
He maintained IS was still strong in the region and promised to continue fighting West African governments.
Nigeria’s army has claimed to have killed Shekau on several occasions, and he has not appeared in a video since joining IS.
Boko Haram appeared to be on the back foot following a military campaign by the Nigerian army and its allies from neighbouring countries. This raised questions over whether the IS link had been of any benefit.