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Boko Haram's Eid video – a content analysis of the 'tough threats'

Boko Haram's Eid video – a content analysis of the 'tough threats'


Members of Jama’atu Ahlus Sunnati lid Da’wati wal Jihad (popularly known as Boko Baram) on Wednesday released a new video. We present an analysis of its content – from the message they put out, the context and the atmosphere of the 13-minute video.

Persons mentioned in the video

  • President Muhammadu Buhari
  • General Yusuf Tukur Buratai – Army chief
  • Abubakar Shekau – Boko Haram leader

When and where was the video shot?

Just as you (infidels) love life, so do we also love death. At this juncture, there is no retreat – no surrender.

The unnamed spokesperson in the video said it was shot on Monday September 12 during the Eid-ul Adha celebrations.

With respect to place, there are three locations that are switched to and from throughout the video. The editors labeled two places in Arabic as follows – Sambisa neighbourhood and Sambisa east.

Sambisa is the large forest area where according to the Nigerian army, Boko Haram have been restricted to in the light of the counter-insurgency operation that they are waging against the group.

The third location is a large mosque in which a group of Boko Haram supporters (or people living under the ‘Islamic State’) trooped into to offer the Eid prayers.

The video starts with Boko Haram members streaming into the mosque – location not mentioned or written. They congregation mainly comprises men and boys.

From 0 – 6 minutes, video shows prayer sessions cutting to and from the three locations intermittently. After prayers the leader wearing a traditional hausa dress called ‘Agbada’ gives a short Arabic sermon, then switches to hausa – the most widely used local dialect across Nigeria’s north, as well as parts of Chad and Niger.

Boko Haram’s message

The spokesman affirms that the video is in respect of Eid of the Islamic year 1437 (2016). He adds that the message is under the leadership of Abu Muhammad Abubakar Ibn Muhammad As-Shakawiyy (Shekau). This statement is met by cheers of ‘‘Allahu Akbar’‘ – Allah is the Greatest.

He sends greetings to all Muslims in the ‘Islamic State’ across the world. Prays for unity and seeks Allah’s help on Muslims in these states.

Attacks Buhari and Nigeria government

He refers to president Muhammadu Buhari, as a leader of infidels. He insists that government and the army are peddling lies about having ‘finished’ them but (on the contrary) they were in health, happiness and peace.

‘‘Before him (Buhari), earlier infidels had peddled similar untruths. Buhari will rather die,’‘ he charged. In the later part of the sermon, he prays for Shekau and says under the leadership of Shekau, they will capture Buhari with their hands if it is the will of God.

“By the will of Allah under the leadership of our leader (Shekau) will capture Buhari with our hands.”

Mosque sermon ends at 9:20 seconds and people are seen leaving. Outside the mosque the leader – still armed with a gun and with sword in hand – is shown, flanked by armed lieutenants as a crowd looks on.

Second Address – charges at Army chief Yusuf Tukur Buratai

10:00 He stands in front of a white version of the traditional black flag that the group uses and starts a second address.

He recites a brief Arabic opening prayer then sends a warning to Buratai (Army chief). He challenges the army not to claim that the current videos were a collection from the past. ‘‘This was put together on morning of September 12, 2016, it is a brand new film, it’s not old,’‘ he emphasizes.

He also warns that with the empty threats that they are going to finish them off, they are combat ready.

Camera pans around and shows a large crowd surrounding him as he makes the address, gun wielding horsemen are seen stationed at different spots of the field.

He again emphasizes that Shekau remains their leader, he threatens that places previously not treaded, they are ready to tread and what they have not yet demolished, they will duly demolish.

‘‘Just as you (infidels) love life, so do we also love death. At this juncture, there is no retreat – no surrender,’‘ he reiterated to loud cheers.

He brandishes his sword and reiterates no retreat-no surrender position. ‘‘The lies of disbelievers has ended,’‘ he charged

12:20 lecture ends
Horsemen ride off with fairly large populace cheering, the first sights of women are seen in the latter part of the video.

‘Boko Haram’ journalist confirms the group released the video

Ahmed Salkida, a journalist known to have links with Boko Haram, confirmed via his twitter handle that the video was indeed uploaded by Boko Haram.

He was recently declared wanted by the Nigerian army together with two others to assist with information on how the army could rescue the Chibok girls. The ‘wanted’ notice was served after the group last released a video on the Chibok girls in mid August.

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