The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has claimed responsibility for the bombing in Nigeria’s capital that killed at least 75 people, in a video message obtained over the weekend.
“We are the ones that carried out the attack in Abuja,” Shekau said in the 28-minute video, referring to the deadliest attack ever in Nigeria’s capital which targeted a bus station packed with morning commuters.
Seated with a Kalashnikov resting on his left shoulder and dressed in military uniform, the insurgent commander spoke in both Arabic and the Hausa language that is dominant in northern Nigeria.
The bombing at the Nyanya bus terminal on the outskirts of Abuja was the first major attack in the capital in two years.
Most of the insurgents’ violence in recent months had been concentrated in the group’s remote northeastern stronghold, where the military is waging an 11-month-old offensive.
The attack in Abuja underscored the serious threat the group poses to Africa’s most populous country and top economy.
Shekau indicated that Boko Haram has fighters based in the capital.
“We are in your city,” he said, addressing Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan.
Shekau has been declared a global terrorist by the US, which has put a $7-million bounty on his head.
Hours after the Abuja bombing, gunmen stormed a girls’ school in the northeast and kidnapped 129 students, an attack also blamed on Boko Haram that has sparked global outrage.
Forty-four of the girls have escaped so far, according to officials of the school and Military authorities.
This video comes weeks before Nigeria host the World Economic Forum for Africa in Abuja, with recent terror threats, augmenting levels of vigilance toward the 2014 World Economic Forum in Abuja.
SavidNews understands that some participants in Europe last week demanded that the Nigerian authority address several potential issues to those travelling to Abuja under a series of broader headings including medical care, terrorism, crime, public demonstrations, and lodging as part of a broader thorough documentation that gives insight into the potential threat that could be faced by attendees during the summit.
SavidNews also gathered that the EU is planning to send the documents to the Federal Government in a bid to get a detailed response and plans by security operatives in addressing these concerns.
The main concern of the alert document appeared to be terrorism, with a large section allocated to recent acts of violence in the region as well as explicitly identifying the group responsible.
Meanwhile, the Government has also said it is deploying about 6,000 security operatives to the Forum.