The ISIS-linked jihadist faction - Islamic state of West Africa Province (ISWAP) is appointing new battlefield commanders to replace fighters and commanders eliminated by aerial strikes from the Nigerian military and Multinational Joint Task Force troops in the Lake Chad Basin and Northern BORNO. 

Sources with knowledge of the group's structure have revealed that Malam Ali Hussaini - a young boy estimated to be between the age of 30-35 years old was appointed to replace Malam Sa'ad as the new land militant commander of the LCB.

 Malam Ali Hussaini's was appointed amidst wild celebrations as ISWAP jihadist fighters fired shots in the air to celebrate the appointment of new Commanders at a location given as Tudun Wulgo.

The same source confirmed that Boko Haram ISWAP units are restrategizing recruitment plans to recover from its depleted forces after successful ground and aerial strikes eliminated a huge proportion of its core battlefield leadership structure.

As recently as October 10, 2020, one ISWAP leader named by sources as Goni Maina, was spotted with his entourage comprising of; Mallam Abubakar, Dan Buduma and others leaving from a location given as Kwatan Sabon Tumbu and heading towards northern Abadam. 

The mission was described as meeting with ISWAP Shura Council and other ISWAP leaders occupying locations given as Kuranawa and Kayowa to deliver huge sums of cash funds. Sources believe the cash estimated to be in millions of mixed currency including Naira, US Dollars and Euros were generated from various sources, including ransom from kidnapping, zakkat, jiziya as well as road and other access taxes. 

It is believed that these funds will be used by ISWAP leadership to purchase more arms and ammunition, pay new and existing fighters, entice new recruitments and hiring of foot soldiers to defend their locations (Daula) against all marked enemies. 

Sources have revealed that ISWAP units continue to purchase arms and ammunition with cash ( from Tunbum Kurnawa) from Libya dealers via porous borders in the Sahel and Lake Chad basin states. 

ISWAP Ideology: 

To boost the twisted ideology of its members and supporters, ISWAP has in recent times intensified recitation of the Holy Quran in locations around the Daula. This is also part of its spiritual efforts to seek divine intervention from the recent battlefield and natural disaster (cholera & floods) incidents in their hideouts.

 Recommendations : 

New appointments of young and relatively inexperienced commanders further demonstrate ISWAP's recent decline in leadership structure, particularly with regards to unit commanders. A perfect operational reason to sustain the ongoing coordination of ground and aerial strikes by the Nigerian Army and MNJTF troops. 

Ground assessment indicates a need to extend aerial and ground coordinated strikes to some identified ISWAP jihadist camps given as Kayowa - known to be a key ISWAP armoury and Kurnawa, believed to be a current base for key ISWAP leadership. Other areas of interest for continued surveillance include Tumbun Dila, Tumbun Fulani and Bera. 

Information disseminated and acted upon remains the bedrock of effective asymmetric warfare - it is the people's War to win. 


David Otto


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