IS claims Buhari assassination bid

The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for a failed bid to assassinate Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, whom it describes…

The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for a failed bid to assassinate Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, whom it describes as an apostate tyrant.On Thursday, December 29, an explosion in Adavi, in the town of Okene, 268 kilometers southwest of Abuja, Nigeria, killed four people, according to local media. 

Five days later, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for this incident, about which little information was available. 

On Monday 2 January, the jihadist group claimed through its various propaganda channels to have killed three guards at the Emir’s Palace in Okene, Kogi State.

The jihadist group says it was targeting President Muhammadu Buhari, who has been in power since 2015. 

The Nigerian leader was expected in Adavi on the day of the incident, to inaugurate a hospital less than a mile from the palace of the emir, Ado Ibrahim. 

But the car-bombing which was to kill him occurred 30 minutes before he arrived at the scene.

Yet the incident, which could have eliminated Buhari, who is due to leave office after the February 25, 2023 presidential election, went unnoticed. 

“I am surprised that this attack has not drawn enough attention,” said Tomasz Rolbiecki, an expert on the jihadist insurgency in Lake Chad. 

“This was an assassination attempt on the current Nigerian president” he notes with amazement at the indifference given to the news.

The operation missed its objectives for reasons related to intelligence, says Wassim Nasr, a specialist in jihadist groups.

The France24 journalist believes that “the most important thing here is the ability of the jihadists to prepare and infiltrate a car bomb” in this area, to coincide with the visit by the Nigerian president.

Tomasz Rolbiecki points out that the use of a car bomb in this operation means that the Islamic State Province of West Africa (ISPWA) is capable of launching larger-scale attacks and not just limited to harassing civilians or local police stations.

“The Kogi cell, which has only been active for a few months, has been able to prepare an explosive car and directly target the Nigerian president, which is clearly an increase in PEIAO’s strength beyond its comfort zone in Borno,” says Damien Ferre, Director of Jihad Analytics.

This ambition was highlighted during the campaign to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State’s new Caliph, Abu Hussein al Husseini al Qurachi. 

On this occasion, several small groups of three or four people were shown in central Nigeria pledging allegiance to the successor of Abu al Hassan al Hashimi al Qurachi.

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