Army arrests leader of Boko Haram splinter group, Al-Barnawi
Nigerian forces recorded a major success in the fight against terrorism by arresting the leader of the Ansaru jihadist group, Khalid al-Barnawi in Kogi State on Friday.
Ansaru is a splinter group of Boko Haram.
“Security agents made a breakthrough on Friday in the fight against terrorism by arresting Khalid al-Barnawi, the leader of Ansaru terrorist group in Lokoja,” Defence Headquarters spokesman Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar said on Sunday.
“He is among those on the top of the list of our wanted terrorists,”
Khalid al-Barnawi is one of three Nigerian terrorists listed by the United States government in 2012 as “specially designated global terrorists”. The other two are Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau and Ansaru founder Abubakar Adam Kambar.
“He is among those on top of the list of our wanted terrorists,” Abubakar added.
Barnawi, 47, whose real name is Usman Umar Abubakar, hailed from Biu town in restive northeast Borno state. He became the leader of Ansaru following the death of Kambar in a military raid on his hideout in Kano in March 2012.
The group claimed a 2012 attack on a maximum security facility in Abuja where detained Islamists were being held, killing two policemen and freeing 40 inmates.
With the emergence of Ansaru, Barnawi’s faction became independent of Boko Haram but still maintained ties.
The group also claimed responsibility for the kidnap of a French engineer, Francis Collomp, in northern Katsina state in 2012. He later escaped.
The group said it was responsible for a 2013 attack on a convoy of Mali-bound Nigerian troops in Kogi state, killing two soldiers and seriously wounding five others.
It issued a statement condemning Nigeria’s participation in the “war against the Islamic state of northern Mali”.