Boko Haram Chief Issues Threat Over Anti-Islam Film

"Anybody plotting this will surely pay for it," said Abubakar Shekau, thought to be the man in the centre in this image (AFP/YouTube/File, -)

“Anybody plotting this will surely pay for it,” said Abubakar Shekau, thought to be the man in the centre in this image (AFP/YouTube/File, -)

AFP – The suspected leader of extremist group Boko Haram has issued a threat in a YouTube video over a US-made anti-Islam film that has sparked widespread protests in the Muslim world.

“First, insults against the prophet, evil plots against him, making blasphemous movies against him, all these will do no harm to Islam,” Abubakar Shekau says in the video which appears to have been posted on Sunday.

“Anybody plotting this will surely pay for it. Everybody knows what this statement entails. Everybody should wait and see what we will do regarding this,” he adds in the Hausa language.

The video could not be independently authenticated, but it closely resembled previous such clips of Shekau, who has been in hiding since a 2009 crackdown by Nigeria’s military on Boko Haram.

Nigeria marked 52 years of independence from Britain on Monday, but Shekau makes no reference to it in the video.

A number of protests over the anti-Islam film have been held in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north organised by a Shiite Muslim group not connected to Boko Haram, with no violent incidents occurring.

The crudely made “Innocence of Muslims” movie, produced by US-based extremist Christians, has however sparked angry and at times violent demonstrations across the globe.

In the nine-minute video, an AK-47 assault rifle leant on the wall next to him, Shekau also threatens Nigerian authorities, says he is prepared to die and denies government assertions that there has been dialogue with his group.

Nigeria’s government has claimed to have engaged in back-channel talks with the Islamists in a bid to end the violence. Shekau denied this in the video, while accusing authorities of arresting members’ wives and threatening to take revenge.

“We have never sat down with anyone in the name of dialogue … Our people are being killed and humiliated, while on the other hand people are being deceived with the issue of dialogue,” he says.

“By God, there is nothing like dialogue. They are only killing us. We will never abandon our faith because of that.”

In a message directed at Nigerian secret police officers, he says he will “slit your throat.”

“I’m alive, well and hearty. Nothing has happened to me,” he says. “I’m even longing for death, you vagabond.”

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