A credible source has told SaharaReporters that only the Shura Council of Jama’atu Ahl-Sunnati Lil Da’awati Wal Jihad, also known as Boko Haram, can decide whether the sect will accept the proposed amnesty being advanced by Nigeria’s government. The council is led by Imam Abubakar Ibn Shekau.
The source explained that the Shura Council is Boko Haram’s apex council and highest decision-making organ of the sect. He added that all cells of the organization are represented in the council.
The source explained that everything about the proposed amnesty would be put to deliberation and thereafter subjected to the group’s Islamic theology and jurisprudence.
“Shura Council may surprise Nigerians, because they may agree and may not agree,” said the source. He added: “It depends on their understanding and Islamic theology and the jurisprudences they are following. They are above what people think about them, they are highly ideological and hold their beliefs high. They are committed Mujahideens and highly committed to their cause. I know this rather well.”
The source continued: “They are not jokers as others think about them; you need a serious and holistic approach to contain this ideology. You know the two people that repositioned the sect were Muhammad Yusuf and Muhammad Alli. They were both motivated by the 13th Islamic cleric Ibn Taymiyya, who was a staunch defender of Sunni Islam based on strict adherence to the Qur’an and authentic Sunna (practices) of the Prophet Muhammad. Ibn Taymiyya believed that these two sources contain all the religious and spiritual guidance necessary for salvation in the hereafter. Thus he rejected the arguments and ideas of both philosophers and Sufis regarding religious knowledge, spiritual experiences and ritual practices.”
In addition, the source disclosed that the Shura Council would act according to the tenets of their faith. “Ibn Taymiyya was said to have disagreed with many of his fellow Sunni scholars because of his rejection of the rigidity of the schools of jurisprudence in Islam. He believed that the four accepted schools of jurisprudence had become stagnant and sectarian, and also that they were being improperly influenced by aspects of Greek logic and thought as well as Sufi mysticism. His challenge to the leading scholars of the day was to return to an understanding of Islam in practice and in faith, based solely on the Qur’an and Sunna,” our source noted.
The same source once disclosed that Boko Haram had developed a sophisticated leadership structure that includes several departments headed by highly trained personnel and charged with specific assignments. He revealed that the organization, which has carried out violent assaults in different parts of the North, had developed a layered organizational structure. “The Shura Council serves as the highest decision making body,” he said.
Boko Haram has recruited numerous members who have signed up to be suicide bombers. Other sub-groups include those specialized in stealing as well as disposal of expensive cars at gun point for use in terrorist activities; those who gather intelligence and carry out research for possible targets and modes of operation; those trained as ground troops to repel security agents and other counter actions.
Our source disclosed that Boko Haram maintains a department in charge of bomb making as well as the fixing of explosives for suicide bombers and bomb planters. He added that a different cell specializes in planting bombs at targeted sites. In addition, the sect has a department that handles the welfare of members as well as suicide bombers’ surviving wives and children.
Boko Haram’s public enlightenment department takes charge of outside communication, including all email, “youtube” and other video coverage. Another team is charged with recruitment and training of new members. Finally, the medical committee oversees the healthcare needs of members and their families.