New reports have emerged as regards the new strategy used by Boko Haram. The Commander of a multinational force fighting the Islamist insurgents, Maj.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, has said that Boko Haram is strapping bombs to birds as it continues to develop more deadly weapons for its bloody attacks.
Adeosun, according to The Independent, a United Kingdom newspaper, revealed the discovery at a meeting with American diplomats and security officials. The report added that Adeosun showed gruesome photos of the victims of Boko Haram’s attacks and their latest weapons during the briefing at the Multinational Joint Task Force’s headquarters in Chad on Wednesday.
One picture showed a bird with an explosive strapped on its back, demonstrating “a lot of ingenuity,” he said. Adeosun said his force had received intelligence that Isis members were being imbedded with Boko Haram but that the Nigerian terrorist group had not satisfied requirements for greater operational coordination. It was not the first report of birds being used to carry explosive devices.
Photos emerged in July last year claiming to show bombs strapped to chickens by Isis fighters in the Iraqi city of Fallujah. There was speculation that they could be resorting to increasingly bizarre means of destruction while running out of ammunition but the account could not be verified.
The Syrian Army said Isis had rigged animals with explosives in Palmyra. Isis is known to be unusually liberal with its use of explosives which it manufactures, using cheap chemicals and equipment readily available on the civilian market. A Syrian officer involved in the operation to re-take the group’s former stronghold of Palmyra last month described how Jihadists had “booby-trapped everything”, including animals and trees.
Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, made a pledge of allegiance to Isis in March last year and released a message, urging its fellow sub-Saharan Jihadists to do the same, further increasing the group’s reach.
Brigadier-General Donald Bolduc, Commander of the United States Special Operations in Africa, described the surrounding Lake Chad Basin region as “ground zero” in the fight against extremism in Africa. America, Britain and other European nations are among those supporting military intervention against Boko Haram. More than 30 personnel from the British Army’s Royal Anglian Regiment were deployed to train Nigerian soldiers earlier this year.
“We stand united with Nigeria in its efforts to defeat the murderous Boko Haram extremists,” Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, said at the time. He pledged to double the number of British personnel carrying out training in Nigeria this year, sending explosives specialists, medics and an RAF training team.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has advised the members of the public to refrain from moves to organise solidarity rallies to celebrate the recent successes of the military against the Boko Haram sect in the North-East.
The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said in a statement on Thursday that while the army was not against the public’s desire to associate with the successes of the military, it would not want such solidarity rallies. Usman said that the army authorities had received information that some people were planning to celebrate the current victories against the insurgents through rallies. He said that it was necessary for the public to exhibit some caution as such rallies could distract the military.