Several reliable on the ground sources, including a top CJTF leader, just informed me that ISWAP has executed three of its top leaders: Idris al-Barnawi (believed to be the group’s leader), Abu Maryam and Abu Zainab (two of those that led the 2016 rebellion against Shekau.
According to the sources, three were killed by commanders that opposed a change in the group’s modus operandi which the trio introduced. The new regulation required fighters to stop pursuing soldiers that run away during attacks and stop killing captured soldiers.
However, the commanders felt the rules were too soft & accused the trio of compromising. This led to their summary and execution. Abba Shayima and Lawan Abubakar have been respectively appointed as the Wali (Governor) and Deputy Wali of ISWAP with a source saying Lawan is the Wali.
Recall that in August 2018, ISWAP executed Mamman Nur, one of Boko Haram’s founding fathers and ideologists, after accusing him of disobeying the wali, spreading rumours and attempting to defect from the group. See: https://www.cfr.org/blog/new-audio-offers-potential-window-iswa-decision-making
If this story turns to be true, it marks yet another turning point in the internal schisms that has fragmented Boko Haram into three factions and turned its fighters against one another. It may also lead to further hardening of ISWAP’s policy of attacks and/or another faction.
Culled from FB wall of Audu Bulama Bukarti