By Rida Lyammouri,
August 8th, 2016
Key points of the interview based on Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi (Habeeb Bin Muhamed Bin Youssef al-Barnawi) comments:
- Motivation behind pledging allegiance to the so-called Islamic State (IS) was seeing strength fighting as one and in unity.
- The real name of the group was never Boko Haram, it’s a nickname given by western media to discredit the group. The real name was given after the founder, Sheikh Youssef al-Barnawi was killed and Shekau became head of the group. The original name is Jamaatu Ahl as-Sunnah li-Daawati wal-Jihad.
- The group did send its fighters to the Sahara for military training, but al-Barnawi did not specify where and the group that provided the training.
- Western forces are providing support to coalition forces fighting ISWAP/Boko Haram but have no boots on the ground.
- Al-Barnawi said the group does not approve or authorize attacks on mosques and markets killing Muslims. Said members for their own personal interests carry these attacks.
- Al-Barnawi said operations against ISWAP are run from joint operation room in Niger, and when they decide to attack, French and US send surveillance drones from their bases in Niger to locate us. Then joint African forces will carry an on ground assault backed by heavy air support.
- Narrative of al-Barnawi focuses on accusing Western countries and Christians of having hidden agendas behind their humanitarian work and helping refugees.
- Al-Barnawi claims increased number of fighters among ISWAP is due to the victories achieved by IS elsewhere. Injustice applied by local government (s) also claimed to be another reason.
Comprehensive Summary of the Interview
Note: This is not a word-by-word translation but rather a comprehensive summary of all talking points while leaving unnecessary comments out. Also this does not represent my views.
For good analysis about what this means please read Ryan Cummings commentary here.