Boko Haram, an extremist group in Nigeria, has released a video in which their leader taunts the parents of the schoolchildren they hold hostage; dashing hopes of their safe return.
Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram – an al-Qaeda-affiliated extremist group in Nigeria, has openly taunted the parents of the 200 schoolgirls captured from a remote boarding school earlier this year in a video released by the group. In the video, which also displayed Boko Haram’s large, stolen military arsenal, Shekau jovially explained that the girls had all been converted to Islam and married off.
This revelation, although possibly just an act of propaganda, dashed the hopes of many over the girls’ potential release. Shekau also denied claims of a ceasefire between the group and the Nigerian Army, who the group is accused of stealing weaponry from. Many had hoped that the girls would be returned following a trade with the extremists, handing over captured Boko Haram fighters in exchange.
The Boko Haram leader also threatened to kill an unidentified German hostage in their control, who he stated the group was willing to kill should anyone threaten their safety. Despite this, the United States continue to place a $7 million bounty on Shekau’s head.
Shekau has reportedly been killed by the Nigerian Army numerous times in the past, and according to their military officials any new videos are made by a look-alike. However, positive verification over Shekau’s supposed death has never been made.