The Nigerian military is utilizing forensic analysis to examine a supposed new video from Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in order to determine its authenticity.
The video shows Shekau telling his followers to end their violent tactics and to embrace peace.
A top military officer said that the supposed surrender of the leader will not stop the military’s pursuit of Boko Haram.
“The ongoing campaign against insurgency and indeed Boko Haram is being intensified most especially in the Sambisa forest and its environs in order to further degrade and demystify the sect and bring them to their knees,” the officer said.
“We are aware of the video but we are subjecting it to thorough forensic investigation.”
The supposed recording of Shekau marks the first time he had been heard from since March 2015, when he recorded an audio message pledging allegiance to the Islamic State and rebranding Boko Haram as the Islamic State West Africa Province.
The video’s poor quality has raised suspicions, as the terrorist group’s former videos were shot in higher definitions. Additionally, this video was posted on YouTube, while in the past, Boko Haram used ISIS-affiliated Twitter accounts to share their videos. Some have questioned whether or not the man depicted in the video is Shekau.
SaharaReporters contacted Ronald Sandee, a former senior counterterrorism analyst at Dutch Military Intelligence, to examine the video.
"I think it is a fake video; a cut-and-paste job to try to influence some of his followers. It's not really professionally done. And why would Shekau turn around and surrender? It does not make sense." he said.
"I do not believe this is a genuine Shekau video."