The leader of the jihadist group ISWAP, affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) group, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, is dead, a senior Nigerian army official said on Thursday (14 October).
“He is dead and remains dead,” said the chief of the Nigerian defence staff, General Lucky Irabor. He did not, however, specify the circumstances of the jihadist leader's death, which was first reported by the Nigerian authorities in September.
ISWAP, recognised by the IS group, was created in 2016 after splitting with the other main Nigerian jihadist group, Boko Haram. It has been considered the strongest jihadist group in Nigeria since the death of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau earlier this year. Since then, thousands of Boko Haram fighters have surrendered both to the Nigerian military and, reportedly, ISWAP.
His death, however, may not have too much of an impact on ISWAP. Since the split with Boko Haram, ISWAP has undergone about five leadership changes, but consistently continued its deadly attacks on security forces.