IS Announces New Boko Haram Leader

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) -
In this recent photo, Nigerian soldiers man a checkpoint in Gwoza, Nigeria, a town newly liberated from Boko Haram. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)
In this file photo, Nigerian soldiers man a checkpoint in Gwoza, Nigeria, a town liberated from Boko Haram. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

The Islamic State terror group’s newspaper identified a new leader of the group’s West Africa Province, popularly known as Nigeria’s Boko Haram terrorists, who promises not to attack mosques or markets used by Muslims.

The Arabic-language newspaper al-Nabaa on Wednesday identified Abu Musab al-Barnawi as the new “Wali,” a title previously used to describe long-time leader Abubakar Shekau.

The report does not say what Shekau’s current status is.

Analyst Jacob Zenn says the announcement indicates a coup by Boko Haram breakaway group Ansaru and follows a trend of extremist Islamic groups moving away from al-Qaida to the Islamic State.

Ansaru is known for kidnapping foreigners. It had broken away from Boko Haram because it disagrees with the indiscriminate killing of civilians, especially Muslims.