A breakaway Boko Haram faction known as the Islamic State in West Africa has seized some towns in Borno and Yobe states, providing protection to Muslim how do report forex taxes and collecting taxes from them, Reuters reports. The Federal Government and the Defence Headquarters have, however, described the report as a tissue of lies. ISWA, which is led by Abu Musab al-Barnawi, the son of Boko Haram founder, Muhammed Yusuf, reportedly, gives out seeds and fertilisers and provides safe pasture for herdsmen for a fee.
ISWA also runs slaughterhouses for the cattle, taking a cut for each animal, as well as from other activities like gathering firewood. Its fighters have the power to carry out targeted attacks like the February kidnapping of 100 schoolgirls from Dapchi and a deadly raid on a Nigerian military base in March. The US map paints a similar picture, with ISWA operating in much of Borno. Jacob Zenn, of The Jamestown Foundation in Washington D. ISWA to create a stronghold from which to launch attacks.
Its gains contrast with setbacks for ISIS. ISWA’s territory is not completely secure, however, as the Nigerian Air Force often bombs, and troops from Lake Chad countries attack the insurgents’ domain around its shores and islands. But ISWA has so far proven intractable in its Lake Chad bases, where troops have been unable to make effective inroads, according to a Western diplomat who follows the group. The diplomat said ISWA was ready to cede less important areas because the military cannot hold them. However, they maintain absolute control over the islands and immediate areas near them where they train, live, etc. According to the report, ISWA protects locals from Boko Haram, something the Nigerian Army cannot always do.
That, according to one of the people with knowledge of the insurgency, has won the group local backing and eroded support for the military. ISWA’s leaders are low-profile, not appearing in videos or claiming responsibility for attacks, possibly to avoid the international media, and the ire of regional governments. Reuters was unable to contact the group for comment. The report adds that Boko Haram and ISWA are bloody rivals, but some travellers in ISWA territory feel safer than elsewhere in Nigeria’s North-East.
ISWA has spies everywhere, including informers who alert them to military attacks. Mohammed, who is the official spokesman for the Federal Government, urged Nigerians to disregard the report, insisting that it was based on falsehood. I just spoke with the theatre commander and he also denied it. Also speaking with our correspondent, the Director of Defence Information, Brig. Find out from the political leaders in the state if there is any local government under Boko Haram territory.