Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau (JAS) and Abu Musab Albarnawi (ISWAP) factions are locally and regionally established with a unique mastery of the local people, culture and terrain. Backed by experienced returning foreign fighters from the left over ruins of Raqqa and Mosul. The current leadership and top commanders are ideologically driven, globally affiliated and supported by ISIS and Al-Qaeda core in North Africa and the Middle East.

In remote Local government areas in some parts of North East Nigeria, Northern Cameroon and the Lake Chad basin, Boko Haram factions have for the past decade, deployed a consistent terror pattern against soft civilian and hard military targets indicating that these jihadist wield deep local support, made easier by the inability of national and regional security forces to guarantee day to day governance and security to ordinary civilians.

Local residents caught in remote villages with no where else to go are forced to trust Boko Haram factions to survive. In most cases, they are obliged to provide them with regular intelligence as the only option to stay alive and out of real fear – but squarely at the detriment of government and security forces in the region. Defeating such a fearless and suicidal jihadist organisation that has captured the hearts and minds of the local population requires measures that go far beyond big bombs and big guns.

Luck and group self destruction actions can play a huge role to enhance and make effective other counter strategies. Nothing good can come of Boko Haram internal splits and self destruct scenarios if security stakeholders lack the ability and willingness to take full advantage of an enemy’s daytime blunder.

Boko Haram then second in Command – Mamman Nur along with 10 key commanders including Abu Musab Albarnawi (Habeeb), one of the surviving sons of Boko Haram’s Founding father Mohammed Yusuf, decided it was the perfect time to part ways with his former Boss – Abubakar Shekau – and create a separate faction. Mamman Nur justified his action through a letter to the Islamic State copied to Abubakar Shekau.

The letter titled ‘Exposed’- mentioned in the letter isolated Shekau from Isis, led to the appointment of Muhammed Yusuf’s son as the leader of the Islamic State of West Africa province and the eventual assassination of the author – Mamman Nur by commanders loyal to Abu Musab Albarnawi but not fully detached from the Abubakar Shekau faction.  This letter provided and continues to provide enough intelligence on the modus operandi of Boko Haram factions and why the ISWAP faction is taking the current shape

Days after ISIL names Abu Musab Habeeb Muhammed Al Barnawi as new Ameer of Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) to replace Abubakar Shekau, things began to hit the fan within Boko Haram splinter factions. The leadership of both factions accused the other of misinterpreting the Quran and Hadith to suit their personal power interest. This revelation, if property utilized, could potentially be the greatest insight into the true leadership, operational strategy, ideology, external links of Boko Haram since Abubakar Shekau took over from late Mohammed Yusuf in 2009.

Other strategic revelations followed including the reaction of Shekau via audio and video. The master minder of the ISWAP splinter group – Mamman Nur accused Abubakar Shekau of making himself ruthless dictator who did not consult his Shura council members before taking key decision including planning attacks; Shekau  slaughtered his top commanders without good reason ; They revealed to ISIS core that Shekau did not pledge allegiance willingly, he was forced to pledge allegiance to ISIL in March 2015 based on a threat by top commanders to abandon him; His internal security was revealed – Abubakar Shekau was guarded by a group of 10 specially selected fighters whose loyalty was to him and not the group; The coordinated Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) had inflicted massive casualty on Boko Haram cells; Boko Haram captives and fighters were seriously shut of vital weapons and food; Boko Haram children, women and militants were left to starve to death in favour of selected fighters ; Boko Haram had established network beyond Nigeria and the region and this was a potential source of support and information sharing beyond imagination.

The letter revealed very strategic information, detailing the leadership of Boko Haram under Abubakar Shekau and by extension the ideological and operational modus operandi of the ISWAP Abu Musab Albarnawi Faction within the region.

MAMMAN NUR: 

Mamman Nur is dead. Some local sources claim he was killed by his own much younger and enthusiastic ISWAP commanders after he was accused of deviating from ISWAP policies in the Daptchi release and a botched Leah Sharibu leaked deal. Other sources say his death was on secret orders of Shekau by his own close commanders who had retained some connections with their former Emir Abubakar Shekau after the bitter split and the revelation Nur made in the ‘Exposed’ letter which convinced ISIS core to replace and abandon him in favour of young Abu Musab Albarnawi. It is difficult to verify the authenticity of any of the above versions at the time of writing but the truest version is that Mamman Nur – long time Boko Haram second in Command, founder of Ansaru and author of ISWAP is no longer breathing.

Nur and Khalid Al-Barnawi (Now in police custody – snatched by DSS forces in Kogi) formed Ansaru after the first split from Boko Haram in 2012. This first ever split was equally based on Shekau’s tight leadership and power control, how he personally interpreted his actions without ideological backings and his ruthless tactic of killing anyone Muslim or non-Muslim without proof of their guilt. Both groups reunited sometime in 2015 for a common purpose against the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) – a reunion said to have been made possible by the intervention of Khalid Al – Barnawi who retained close links to both Shekau and Nur: Mamman Nur did not have the Book Haram Kanuri -origin. He was Shuwa – Arab from Maroua – Northern Cameroon. Nur was the second in Command of Boko Haram when the sect began its activities in Northern Nigeria in the early 2000s under Mohammed Yusuf as the leader. Ironically, Nur introduced Abubakar Shekau to Muhammed Yusuf.

Due to Kanuri ethic affiliation Yusuf favoured Shekau as his second in command and Mamman Nur who has been a strategist for the group, was dropped to third in command. The preference of Shekau over Mamman Nur set early power struggle in the leadership of Boko Haram and the cultural trend has remained the same. The most powerful leaders and commanders of Boko Haram have Kanuri origin including Abubakar Shekau and Abu Musab Albarnawi. This is a classic case of culture eating Strategy for breakfast – an internal jihadist dynamics that has brought a once locally focused Boko Haram to a regional and international network jihadist affiliated group, laying golden eggs for ISIS core to re-emerge more powerful than when it took over and then physically lost huge territory in Raqqa and Mosul.

Open Letter from Mamman Our – Shekau:

Disclaimer: This is the original translated version of Mamman Nur’s letter- without alteration or edit.

This a relatively long letter (Locally translated version from Kanuri – Arabic to English) and requires time, some basic background knowledge and current understanding of the structure and modus operandi of the two existing Boko Haram factions to fully make good use, perhaps through reverse engineering of the content for counter terrorism/insurgency purposes.

“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful (Arabic) Certainly, all praise is due to Allah, we solicit His support, forgiveness and guidance. I testify that none has the right to be worshiped except Him, and Prophet Muhammad SAW is His servant and last Messenger. O you who have believed, fear your Lord who created you from a single soul, and then created from it its mate (wife) and then generate from them many men and women. Fear Allah whom you plead to one another in His name and for the relationship which exists among you. Certainly Allah is ever watchful on you. Verily the sincerest statement is that of Allah, while the best guidance is that of the Prophet SAW. The worst of affairs is the newly introduced one, and all the newly introduced acts of worship are innovations and all innovations are misguidance, and all misguidance are in the hell fire. (Hausa) We thank Allah SWT for guiding us to understand His religion and for the ability given to us to implement it under all circumstances.

This is an open letter or cassette to Shekau, because he has released a cassette, that is why we too have to release our own against him. We titled ours: “Expose” Since he used to expose people, then we will also expose him, according to the tradition of the religion. Whenever you think no one can talk to you then Allah will bring someone who can challenge you, as you used to say whatever you like no one will say anything. Today, reverse is the case, things have changed, because Adnani Says: “Whoever changes we will change him too, since the religion does not belong to any of us. The religion belongs to Allah and whosoever plays with it has to suffer the consequences. However, we pledge to worship Allah alone and say the truth in all circumstances. That is what brought us out. He has released a cassette intimidating, saying “He has killed and he will continue to kill because he has evidence for that, forgetting the fact that we are not afraid of death. Meanwhile, we are out because of it. He has forgotten that we just came out of his room. If we had wanted to kill him we would have done so, because the security surrounding him are with us and he does not know them, but if he touches us they will also touch him. That is how Allah does His things. It says that: he heard about our decision of leaving him that is why, he put a tight security; that no one should go out after he has entered. I entered and I walked out, not only I alone but 8 of us came here, and all of us are members of his palace and in addition, 2 other two people are on their way coming.
Therefore, the religion of Allah is beyond someone to boost with, so you should not segregate just because you are a leader and today is the day to expose. We are going to practice our religion and no one should prevent us. If you like you can kill or slaughter or eat (our flesh). Don’t you notice that we have come out and left the children and our wives in your house? Do you think that we are afraid of death? We did not take anything except our guns, and whoever stand before us we will do away with him, although we said we are not going to touch anyone who does not touch us.

We will just practice our religion; the issue is that we have been waiting for him to explain. In short, he said that his cassette will soon be released and you know what ambiguity is, if (something) is not well explained things cannot go smoothly and many people will be misguided. He tells you that the blood of so-so person is lawful to be shed while is not true. Allah the Almighty has prohibited the killing of an innocent soul, am not the one who said it, is just as Allah commanded us to kill the (Taguta) False gods; they are not his servants and he has asked us to kill them, as well there are others whom he said you should not kill them. Allah says: “Do not kill the soul which Allah has prohibited except on just cause…” and the Prophet SAW asked on the day Mecca was opened: “In which month are we? They answered: “ Al’Muharram”  Then he said: “ Indeed, your bloods, wealth and dignity are all prohibited like the prohibition of this your month, in this your afternoon and in this your town” The Prophet SAW explained and prohibits this among us .

He then said: “the blood of a Muslim is never lawful (to be shed) except with one of the three reasons: The Married man who committed adultery” even him should be killed openly not in a hidden place where it will be explained to people his crime, but anywhere such is done in a hiding, then you should know that there is something wrong, which is not the religion of Islam. Like when I entered his (Shekau) palace asked me to pay allegiance that I will follow his ways, which I thought it was for the sake of Allah, then I obeyed because if I refuse he will kill me and I would not have this opportunity to explain this to you, but later on I realised that it is impossible then I said I will not follow the opinion we are on the side of the truth even if we shall be killed and eaten. We cannot allow this people to be in darkness, and this massage shall reach him in his house at Sambisa. We have those that will deliver it to him to listen whether he likes it or not the message will get to him and he must hear it. The Prophet SAW said: “Is better to have the heavens destroyed than to lose the soul of a believer” Surprisingly that man is being tested by the love of killing. I hope you hear his cassettes where he says

“I will kill, I will kill… so if you kill will you remain? You too will die. Who will live forever? Allah says: “we have not destined for anyone to live forever before you, so if he dies will they live forever? “

Every soul shall test death” and we know that no one will die unless is time for him to die has come. Take example with us that our time is not due, we are still alive, look at Mallam Habib he is siting with us and Abu Fatima who was also sent to be killed, he is still with us. I too was sent to be killed, I am here siting. Some people like Ba Iddrisa and Mustafa that Ikirima was sent to kill they too are seated there. So, whoever is not destined to be killed by Allah You cannot kill him.

Similarly, whoever Allah wishes to kill you, you cannot prevent it. Here is an example, when someone said to his brother: “I will kill you, then the former said to the later why are you in a haste? If it is time for me to die I will die.

There are many verses and Hadiths (of the Prophet) prohibiting killing of believers, and we have promised to Allah to practice Islam, that is why we left our families, houses and our motors etc. and then settled in this bush to worship Allah. Therefore, how should we see you committing things contrary to the command of Allah and then expect us to support you.

This man has introduced to us new ideologies e.g. we held a meeting with him when he was asked by Mallam Mustapha Jere, about those that ran away from their brothers to the unbelievers? He answered by saying that: “they are all unbelievers, he was reminded that they ran as a result of the persecution of their brothers, but he emphasised that they are unbelievers. He then quoted the saying of Ibnu Hazam which says that: if a Muslim run to the land of the unbelievers where he neither fights against the believers nor support others against them and he does not get anyone to offer him an asylum, all as a result of being compelled. Mallam! if you do not know come and learn, if you have forgotten, listen to be reminded. This has to do with the creed, and so, you are not responsible for admitting or expelling people from Islam because the religion does not belong to you. It is only Allah who has that right to do so.

Therefore, if you are on a journey then you meet someone and he says to you that he is a Muslim you cannot say no to him. Allah SWT says: “O you who believe! If you travel on the earth, make confirmations, do not say to whosoever says he is a Muslim, you are not a Muslim, seeking for worldly benefits while many benefits belong to Allah…”

…” but not just for you to start killing people baselessly. We have run away to escape with our religion since it is lawful if you notice danger in your land you can run away to where you can practice your religion. If you remember he (Muhammad Yusuf) has sent an open letter to the past leader of the land saying to him “If you prevent us from practicing our religion we will go to where we can practice it but if you deny us, then we shall fight against you”

So, you Shekau! We did not touch you we did not touch your household we are not looking for anything other than to be allowed to practice our religion. So, do not touch us, if you touch us we shall touch you. This is certain. For your information, we are not the only ones who love the truth, even in your own house and the 10 members of your security whom you have selected there are those that are with us, it is you that does not know. If we agree to be killed by the unbelievers, then the believers are in a better position to kill us. To us is not a problem so long as we shall be in front of Allah safely.As he (Shekau) is searching for our report similarly, we are searching for his own report. He has sent his people to find out whether we moved to another place?

Secondly, innocent people are being killed most especially those who live around the 2 rivers, in some places, flags were even hosted but still they are being killed and their belongings are being confiscated. He was admonished on that, but he refused to adjust, because according to him whoever is not with him is a disbeliever and will be killed and his property should be confiscated. Never have we understood the religion like this, look at how the explosives are being planted in the places where people make sales killing children and old people. Our own is to kill the ‘Taguta’ if we are through with them, those ones selling yams will be your house boys o you Shekau! why should the Mosques be burned to ashes? while in them are books of ‘Tafseer’ (translation of the Qur’an) whereas the Churches and the Barracks are existing? Allah will ask you, we are not with you unless if you repent, then we will be with, since you are still our leader. So do not start to call us ‘Taguta’ you are the ‘Taguta’ because you do not follow the instruction of your leaders.

Thirdly, you interpret the Qur’anic verses according to your own whims. For example, the verse which talks about the hypocrites who seek for permission to absent themselves from the fight (Jihad) but he (Shekau) misinterpreted it and he was cautioned on that but he insisted on his wrong interpretation. This is just an example. There are many of them, let alone the Hadiths, he will just say this is a hadith while is not or sometimes he will say “opinion belong to the Imam (leader) which means his opinion is worth following. Where did the Prophet say that?

O you servant of Allah (Shekau) if do not have knowledge go and ask those who have the knowledge to teach you or if you have forgotten, you will to be reminded. We do not feel shy to ask about what we do not know. Have you forgotten when you were sitting in front of (Ibnu Taimiyya) Mosque having only 2 wears, siting under the tree, learning your religion? You have ignored the worldly materials but because today you ascend the throne of power you kill your fellow brothers. Through that way, many people were killed.

Fourthly, capital punishments are being executed wrongly. For example, the issue of the person who was given 11 sheep to keep, then he sold one out of them. As a result of that his hand was amputated. This is a breach of trust not a capital offence; therefore, his hand should not be amputated.

So also in Bama there were some capital punishments executed wrongly. For example, there was a time, 5 of us were sitting down namely: Mallam Ali, Mallam Tahir, myself and Shekau, someone narrated that some among our people have married some women among the captives, his response was: “Go and kill them…” Eleven of those people were killed in the name of Rajamu (stoning to death) which in the real sense, they did not pick the women among the captives but rather they married them from their brothers while you yourself was saying that : “A capital punishment is lifted if there is ambiguity, let alone these people that got married with those women and is not adultery but despite that you killed them. One of the victims was even saying: “If you execute us on this you will never have peace” and that is what is happening, not only to control the Caliphate even to stay in the bush will not be possible. This is just an example, there are many instances of killings and amputations done unjustly, which he was notified but refused to take action.

Beside these, were you not the one who killed Malam Baana banki? We have been together with this man right from Yarwa serving as our financial officer but you just killed him. When his wives asked about him, you just pretended as you did not know his where about, then finaly, you said he should be considered as a missing person. Were you not the one who told me that? Instead of you to correct his mistakes or call him to order but you just killed him on the issue of reconciliation and I.D card.

The next is Malam Abdulmalik, were you not the one who killed him? The overseer of Kaduna. You always claim that you have evidence for your actions, where as you do that silently not in accordance with the Islamic teachings. Let me tell you, if you are to invite an unbeliever as big as Buhari (he means the President) under the condition that you will not harm him, then you harm him. Definitely Allah will punish you, but if it is in a situation of war and you are afraid that they will not abide by the rules then, you have just tell them openly that you are just out against them. This is what is done to an unbeliever but you did contrary to it on a believer whom you practice the same religion with him. You deceived and invited him and then killed him. Which of Allah’s punishment have you ever seen executed silently? The Prophet SAW, his companions and the scholars. Who among them has ever done that?Next to this was Abu Amr Falluja, who was also being killed just because he was together with Abdulmalik.

You also killed Baa Gwamna your brother simply because he bought a house at Amchide. When you were asked about him you said: “He has not return from the battle. You are a liar; is it the religion are you practicing? You are the one who killed Mustafa Faal and kaka alayi. Should someone go and ask women in the Markaz (their center) about   Mustafa, they will say he is among the martyrs because that was what they were informed.All those ones you killed were commanders. Since when you killed them, have you counted any success again? Can’t you think? you are being tested twice every year you are killing the believers just because Malam kyari and others went and told you that Malam Mustafa was trying to divide the people, based on this you killed him, someone who does not know anything apart from his work. You are just sitting down when these people will bring to you the guns provide a house for you but their reward is killing? And you said you have your evidence of killing them? ‘So; bring forth your evidence, if you are truthful’. These people should be interrogated before the action, nobody is above an Islamic punishment even yourself if you are unjust will be shot once you are liable, let alone we your followers who are trying to practice the true Islam. You just killed people. From here Aliyu understood his mistakes and repented when you assigned him to kill some people and refused, and based on that you tried to kill him then he ran away. Aliyu is not a mad man he knows what he is doing. Consequence upon that you declared him, together with many people, myself inclusive as hypocrites. you tried to kill us based on the claim that we were sent by Taghut. No, we are not Taghuts except if you are the one, we are on Kitab and Sunnah (practicing Islam in line with Qur’an and Hadith) whoever is ready we are with him. From there Aliyu understood his mistakes and even voiced out saying: “Malam (Shekau) wants to kill some people. Immediately, after Abu RPG was killed based on the suspicion that he spreads false information. Where is the evidence for killing anyone committing such offence? You should produce it! You don’t have that evidence.

Even the Kharijites (Name of a sect in Islam) did not give this judgement. That Abu RPG was among the hardworking soldiers who even used to manufacture weapons such as gun and other types of weapons, but you killed him.After that then he (Shekau) intended to kill his master who taught him but when he aimed at him the later took him by surprise and attacked him first. Were you not the one who killed Mujahid, Malam Umar and Abu Maryam? What have they done? Just because they said the truth? That is why we decided to go far away and tell you the truth so that if you try to do away with us , we will finish you first, because you cannot finish us. We put our trust in Allah and if it is the matter of troops we have them. If you wish you can send your spy to come and try to kill us, he cannot.

You are the one who killed Mujahid and Abu Maryam, what have they done? Just because he saw in a dream that Malam Yusuf was telling him to leave the issue of slaves and face Jihad (fight) that was why he killed them. Is that Islam? You are saying because Hajjaj bin Yusuf killed many people including the companions of the Prophet SAW it has become a reason for you to kill people, that is a lie. Hajjaj did not kill people in secret, he used to read for people their offences before he executed the punishment, and sometimes after he read it to their hearing some of them would say to him, we confess and we seek your pardon and he would pardon them. Malam Umar came to me and ask me to say sorry to Malam (Shekau) saying whether he has committed the offence he is being accused of, he is apologizing. I said to him: “Malam Umar this is a serious issue just put your trust in Allah and do not implicate others, just go to him if you have a good intention even if you are killed Allah will receive you and if you have days ahead you will not be killed. So, he did, he went and sent someone with the letter of apology but all in vain Malam Tahir and others killed him. Is that how the laws of Allah are being executed? If you are asked to kill someone today then tomorrow someone will be assigned to kill you. Shekau you should be careful!

We are no longer with you entirely we will not support you anymore.

I repent and I will not return to you, you too should repent to Allah, we are not with the caliphate of bloodshed we are with the sincere caliphate. We are together with our leader Abubakr Al’Baghdadi the Caliph of the Prophet SAW. If you refuse to follow him then you are Taghut because you used to violet his command to the extent that you said: “If you had known you would not have paid homage to him. He was compelled to do so because initially he was not willing to pay the homage until when we explained to him that is compulsory on any leader to pay homage to the Ameer (overall leader) then he did that under pressure because he knew that if he did not do, we would all leave him.Listen to this clearly, you too used to tell people to listen clearly. You assign your followers to kill, even those you assign to kill if they obey you knowingly then they too worship you.

Look into the book of Tauheed under the topic that talk about he who obeys the leaders or the scholars in prohibiting what Allah has made lawful and vice-versa he has considered them as lords besides Allah. You Shekau why should make lawful what Allah Has made unlawful? There was a time I entered the Markaz (their center) someone came and whispered to me that I should leave the place because he heard that, a meeting was held about killing me, then I said to him do not worry, even if am going am not going alone he will not know us because even among his close security there are many of us. You cannot do anything since you have taken the path of injustice. Look at the issue of Adiyu bin Hatim who heard the Messenger of Allah reading the following verse: “  They consider their saints and their bishops as lords besides Allah and the messier (Messiah) the son of Maryam, while they were not commanded except to worship God alone, there is no god worthy of worship except Him, glory be to him upon what they associate Him with” then the man said: “ but we do not worship them” then the Prophet SAW said to him: “Don’t they make lawful for you what Allah Has prohibited and vise-versa? Then the man said: “they do that” then the Prophet SAW said: “That is the act of worship” From this Hadith we can understand that whoever obeys the aforementioned people is committing Shirk (polytheism) the sin which Allah does not forgive, then he further explained saying: “many people have fall into this together with those who follow them.

The followers don’t criticise whenever they receive the instruction to kill instead of them to ask under which law they have to do that but they will not they will only say; Is Malam who said we should kill. Even the prayer if you say it without knowing it rules is considered null and void. Let alone, the issue of shedding of blood. Look at the issue of Uthama Zaid who in a battle killed someone after saying the word of testimony, when the prophet hard about it he was so annoyed and interrogated him saying to him: “You killed him after saying the word of testimony? Usama bin Zaid said: “he was not truthful is because he saw the sword, the Prophet SAW said: “have you opened his heart and witness that? How can you take care of the Word on the day of judgement? The Prophet was so worried about killing of an infidel, what about the soul of a believer who is a commander at the same time?

You killed all the commanders and you are now shouting that attacks are no longer waged. You killed the experts, the commanders, those who have the technical knowhow; all of them are there lying down waiting for the Paradise of firdaus as their final abode by the grace of Allah. So, servant of Allah, repent to your lord and go back to the teaching of the religion we are servant of Allah. Is only Allah who Has the right to give the command of killing, even the Prophet does not have that power. Allah said to the Prophet SAW:“was he to say some words (not in line with what Allah wishes) we would have caught him by the right (hand) then we would have cut his watin (a vain)”.

Don’t kill a person just because he talked or saw something in a dream, if you were seen as a hell dweller in the dream you should only correct your mistakes so that next time you will be seen as a dweller of paradise but you should not be killing people. These your ambiguities and killings you commit you should all leave them.

The next thing is; you do not care about the weaker ones. You have no concern about them. You leave soldiers, children and pregnant women with hungry and always saying no food, we know that there is no food but we are aware that they eat chickens. Last year almost twenty children used to die daily because of starvation. This is the cassette when he was cautioned about the issue he said: what is my problem? Let hundreds of them die! Am I the one responsible for that? Let them die stupid! Did I come here to nurse the babies? bastard! My only concern is to build the religion, who said I should take care of the babies? who said that I should take care of the soldiers. If that is the issue, then you are responsible. this is what the Qur’an says and what is your concern? What is your problem?” We have a problem because God asks us to fight to protect the weak. He says: What is wrong with you? you do not fight for the sake of Allah, and there are weaker ones among the men and the women and the children saying o Allah get us out of this city of the wrong doers and assign for us a lover from you and assign for us a helper from you. Is because of them that battle is waged, but you said that is not your responsibility o, you Mallam. Indeed, the property of battle belongs to soldiers. You should not be deceived by Shekau who say that you have no share in the booty, no, the war property is for those guarding the Muslim’s boundaries as well as for those working towards solving their problems. I am not the one who wrote it, let alone to be accused of being responsible for saying it.

Some scholars have even opined that, the whole booty belongs to the soldiers unlike now, a person a fighter would be injured and would not get even a paracetamol to take. I heard you in your cassette saying that: “I am the one you to be taken care of by you …” In which way will you be taken care of? In which of the verses Allah says a leader or an overseer should be taken care of? In which verse Has He said this? Bring it! You should feed those children and weaker ones. it is their right to be fed and clothed.

That is why, we that are closer to you we know you would give us money to buy chicken and foreign rice we said we are comfortable. Is that not true? Hey! Let me tell you if you are to visit his centre you will come across more than a hundred of gas generators. You are here saying you do not have anything but when there was a fire outbreak more than one hundred tonnes of food were burnt to ashes. Would you not think when the whole of your house burnt to ashes?  In the past whatever you say we only had to say yes sir, but time has come we are free to say whatever we like. If you like you listen or not repent or not. If you like you say Munir has told me bad words or he has gone mad. If you like perform righteous acts or otherwise. Allah SWT says: “Whoever does righteous acts is for his own benefit and whoever commits evils is against himself. Your lord is never unjust to His servants”. You must take care of the children, women and the weaker ones.

The next accusation is that you do not respect your leaders. They instructed that you should not hold slaves from the apostates but you refused, you were even accusing the califa asking who is he? In the past whatever you said was okay sir, and we keep quite because we were afraid of you but now the fear has gone. We will speak the truth. The worse you can do is to kill us, and we shall all assemble before Allah. You don’t hear words, what they said is that: “Since those are the apostates, then what they should do is to repent but not to be hold as slaves.Even the women among them should receive the same treatment, unless if they refuse then you can only kill them. However, if they are from the unbelievers like those of Chibok, you can hold them as slaves, but rather you brought confusions citing example with Umar and Abubakar saying that, Once upon a time Umar said they should not behold as slaves while Abubakar who was the caliph said yes they should be hold as slave, and being him the leader his view was considered.

So according to this, your view must be considered.

You have forgotten that you are now in the position of Umar since you under Al’Baghdadi and as such, Al’baghdadi is in the position of Abubakar but he commanded you, you refuse to take it.

Another accusation is that, you do not give fatwa according to the teaching of the Qur’an and sunnah. I read some out of it (his fatwas). He also does not feed the soldiers, that is why they created some ways out for themselves to collect from you. You outsmart them while they are smarter than you. The fatwa you give is out of Islam.  You said there is no consultation while Allah SWT says: “..and consult them in the affairs, and if you commit yourself to do something then rely on Allah” Allah also says: “ and their affair is consultation between themselves” Therefore, whatever you have to do you should consult them. Allah says there is consultation and you say there is no accepting advice, that is why whenever we intend to make the consultation we will always say to him we are admonishing, which if we continue like that all of us will not be admitted in the paradise. Whoever submits to this will face the consequences.

That is why we ran away from him. What you are doing is wrong, you have to repent. When we were in Maiduguri whenever Malam Yusuf wrote a sermon, he must consult about five of us before he will read it in the mosque. You know as we know too, that you are not like Malam Yusuf in terms of knowledge but he used to consult us. You, why will you not do that?

In Maiduguri were you not the one learning the knowledge of tajweed from me (knowledge of how to read the Qur’an) am not being proud. This is what we call ‘Exposing’.

The ninth accusation is that, you do not give the weapons to the soldiers;

let me tell you that we know that there are enough weapons such as the cartons of guns, RPG’s and other weapons. You Shekau you are aware that we know what you are hiding for us. How many towns and villages have we captured but due to insufficient supply of weapons to the soldiers. Now those towns are withdrawn from us by the unbelievers? You are the cause, and this is just the beginning of our expose practice against your deeds, we will come to the second phase of it. Therefore, if you touch us, we will touch you; if you allow us, we allow you. Allah knows is not our wish to touch you although is not contrary to the acts of the Prophet SAW. ”

COMMENTARY BY ABU FATIMA 

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent. the Merciful Praise be to Allah, Lord of the world. May the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon the Messenger of Allah.After this.May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you.O, fellow Muslim brothers, Praise be to Allah.

My brothers; those that   will receive this message. We want you to understand us. We are not splitting as a result of hypocrisy, and is not our aim to have conflict with anyone. Something is happening in our religion, in the creed we are being taught and trained. We remain on it. We see something happening contrary to it. We went and explained to the best of our ability against it, but in spite of that we continue to be blamed, we want to the situation to change. I hope that is understood, we have noticed some wrong doings which we went to explain to him i.e. our leader Abubakar Shekau, we also admonished him several times but he understood it as disrespect to him. I hope that is understood.

 We want to restore the original creed upon which we are trained. Brothers should not consider us as rebels, ours is to make corrections. If things are in order we shall be back. We don’t want to continue to witness mischiefs taking place in our presence lest we go and meet Allah without reasons. I hope that is understood. We that separated from our parents because we called them the truth and they rejected it. It is the same thing to you, Malam! If you go astray, we shall not spare you.

Brothers you have to understand that we are not rebelling, even if it is rebelling, it is only done against a Kalifa, and whenever there is rebellion is the duty of the Kalifa to call us so that we will explain ourselves. That is what is practiced in the religion (Islam) and scholars have written (so many things on this issue). If you correct your mistakes, we shall follow you but now we are forwarding complains against you to the Kalifa, as you continue to be our leader. People should understand us lest they should take weapons against us, we don’t want even a needle to prick anyone. If we are out for fight, we would have done that since but we need peace in our religion.

We are tired of being pursued by the unbelievers, as if we were not the ones that at a time only twenty of us will go out and everyone will have his gun. Something serious have happened, that is why almost a year we are being pursued by these animals, and that is the consequence upon the sins we commit. Have we become rebels? Brothers let us sit down and think, why such things are happening, unless if we are animals. All these are happening as a result of the misconduct of Abubakar Shekau, which he has to adjust. If he has adjusted then the (dignity of the) religion is back, let him restore the original creed upon which we are being built up and if he follows the Kalifa we too will follow him.

We are out for making corrections, he said we ran away, how can we run and leave the servants of Allah. By Allah we have not ran away, we are around we have just stepped aside to forward our complain to the Kalifa. Although to you (Shekau) forwarding of complaint is subject to killing. How can we remain for you to kill us. If you kill us, who will stand for the reconciliation? Let him look at this so that he will take corrections as we are together with Malam Habib, Malam Mu’umin and Malam Abba whom you have mentioned their names as wanted.

These people are very innocent they did not commit anything, they only intended to meet us so that we can come together to bring orderliness and restore our original creed. No one will touch them as we will not touch anyone, even this cassette is produced because you have produced one so that people will have the true colour of what is going on. Therefore, brothers, this cassette should not instigate you to touch him (Shekau). We are not in war with him. By Allah if we had wanted to finish him we would have done that, we are not priding. We don’t want anyone to be pinched even by a needle because our aim is to restore our religion so that peace shall rain. Brothers, bear witness that we raise our complain against Shekau to the Kalifah.

There was a time the Prophet SAW sent some of his companions for an assignment. On their way something wrong was done to their leader, then he decided to punish them with fire but they said is it not for the fear of the fire that we obey the Prophet Saw? then how can we now come and enter fire by ourselves? Then they went back and complained to the Prophet SAW. The Prophet said: “If you had entered the fire, you would have remained in it for ever”.

The same thing to you (Shekau), today you have introduced new things to us, that is why we raised our complain to the Kalifa.By the grace of Allah, whenever they send some people to you for reconciliation and if we notice that we shall not be deceived then we will come back and practice the religion together. I hope that is understood, but in this present condition we cannot follow you. Many scholars know the situation but they are afraid to tell you because some of them have told you and you killed them as you intended to kill Abu Nadhir just because he told you the truth.

By Allah’s grace he will meet us here safely to practice our religion together. Other Scholars are on their way to this place, they too will remain aside until the correction has taken place then they will join us, so that we can move together. They are not rebelling lest he will tell you that, no blood should be shed. We will not allow someone to kill us baselessly as we too will not kill anyone.

Our mission is to bring sanity in the religion not to cause chaos in the religion, we want everybody to understand. If our mission is to cause calamity in the society how can we take our families to him. All those whom we left with you, those that are in Gorgore, those in Timbuktu, those in Miyanti and those that are across the road, we want all of them to be brought back so that the religion will be practiced together. 

Allah knows the best, and this is the end of my commentary for people to understand. Glory be to you O Allah, we seek your forgiveness and we testify that none has the right to be worshiped except you and we repent to you

Conclusion:

Internal splits which often result from power struggle and leadership disputes produce obvious advantages for Counter terrorism practitioners and states fighting them. But it all depends on whether the state commits the personnel and resources to exploit such weaknesses and loopholes presented in an open platform. Book Haram operations and leadership dynamics exposed in this letter and the reaction from Abubakar Shakau provided and perhaps continues to provide a wealth of inside knowledge.The revelations are equally disturbing as challenges are obvious. The key is for the government of Nigeria, Cameroon , Niger , Chad and other regional and international partners to explore these rare inside information of Boko Haram splits. It clearly leads to no good outcome for mankind if clear leads are not strategically, tactically and operationally followed particularly at a crucial time when ISWAP leaders under Mamman Nur was fed up fighting government forces and were by default in search for a permanent exit opportunity. Which never came to light of course.