Nigeria's Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor has confirmed that the leader of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, is dead.
Al-Barnawi was the son of Boko Haram founder, Mohammed Yusuf, who was also killed by security forces in 2009 when he launched a war against the Nigerian state.
Al- Barnawi was previously the spokesperson for the Islamists before he later became ISWAP leader following the death of Abubakar Shekau.
He was said to have been trained by ISIS before he became the ISWAP leader.
However, details of how and when he died are still sketchy and ISWAP has yet to formally announce Al-Barnawi's death.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Irabor said to journalists on Thursday, “I can authoritatively confirm to you that Al-Barnawi is dead. As simple as that. He is dead and remains dead.”
Irabor did not state how he died or if the military had any hand in his death.
It should be noted that the Nigerian Army goofed many times by announcing the death of the late Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, only for the terrorist leader to resurface shortly after, denying claims that he had been killed.
Sahara Reporters earlier reported in September that Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, was killed in Borno State.
Al-Barnawi sustained vicious attacks especially on military facilities and troops in the Lake Chad region while at the same time strategising on how to subdue Shekau.
He controlled large swathes of territory in Northern Borno, imposed taxes on the local population and earned income from fishing aside from the financial and material support he got from ISIS.
Al-Barnawi’s fighters had also destroyed many military camps in Dikwa, Monguno, Abadam and Marte in Borno; and other military facilities around Geidam in Yobe State.
He equally established many cells on the Lake Chad islands and surrounding villages from where his fighters launched attacks on Nigeria, Niger and Chad.
His death in August, after that of Shekau in May 2021, was seen as a turning point in the war against terror.
A version of the story of Al-Barnawi’s death said he was killed by Nigerian troops while another version said he died during a rival war within the ISWAP camp.