The leader of the jihadist group Boko Haram has reacted to the election of Donald Trump to the White House with a warning that “the war has just begun” against the West, AFP reports.
In an audio messaged posted on YouTube late Sunday, Abubakar Shekau warned Trump that war has just begun.
“Do not be overwhelmed by people like Donald Trump and the global coalition fighting our brethren in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and everywhere,” Abubakar Shekau said.
“We remain steadfast on our faith and we will not stop,” he said in the hour-long message. “To us, the war has just begun.”
According to AFP, this is the seventh year since Boko Haram began its offensive against Nigeria as it threatened to capture territories. So far, over 20,000 lives have been lost in the fight.
Boko Haram, which last year pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, has been in the grip of a power struggle since late last year.
The IS high command said in August that Shekau had been replaced as leader by Abu Musab al-Barnawi, the 22-year-old son of Boko Haram’s founder Mohammed Yusuf.
Shekau claims he is still in charge, however, as rival factions vie for control.
During a visit to Nigeria in August, US Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated the government for reclaiming swathes of territory and releasing thousands of hostages from Boko Haram, while warning against the use of excessive force to fight extremists.