Videos have emerged purporting to show members of a Nigerian Islamist sect preparing for suicide attacks, including a young man said to be responsible for last month’s bombing of UN headquarters.
The two videos obtained by AFP are said to be from the sect known as Boko Haram and come as concern intensifies over whether it has formed links with outside groups such as al Qaeda’s north African branch.
The possibility of such links has led to deep concern among western nations and mounting pressure on the government in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and its largest oil producer.
General Carter Ham, the head of the US military’s Africa Command, said Wednesday that al Qaeda’s north African branch, Shebab militants in Somalia and Boko Haram have expressed a will to “more closely collaborate and synchronise their efforts”.
Boko Haram’s attacks have grown increasingly sophisticated, and it had not been known to target international institutions before the United Nations bombing in Abuja.
A man who identified himself as a spokesman for Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the bombing on the day of the August 26 attack.
The two videos said to be from the group include speeches totaling some 25 minutes from the alleged UN bomber.