Nigeria's Boko Haram has released a video mocking Western efforts to rescue more than 200 schoolgirls the Islamist militants captured in April. The al Qaeda-linked group's leader Abubakar Shekau is seen dancing and laughing flanked by fellow fighters and armored vehicles in the 16-minute video. "You've been going around saying, 'Bring back our girls,'" he said in the video, which was shared over social media and distributed by the AFP news agency on Sunday. NBC News was not able to independently verify the footage.
Shekau's sarcastic commentary refers to the Twitter campaign #BringBackOurGirls, which was taken up by public figures including Michelle Obama and rapper P.Diddy. Another supporter, Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, visited the kidnapped girls' families on Sunday. The name Boko Haram translates roughly to "Western education is a sin," and Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for women's rights. She was scheduled to meet Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday, which is her 17th birthday. More than 22,000 people have died since 2011 in violence between Nigeria's security forces and Boko Haram, which is attempting to set up a state based on strict Islamic law.
- Alexander Smith
First published July 14 2014, 3:18 AM