Boko Haram leader says he'll trade kidnapped girls for prisoners

Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the terrorist group holding 276 Nigerian school girls, appeared in a video making an offer to release the girls in exchange for terrorist prisoners. He also claimed that the girls had all converted to Islam:

A Boko Haram video emerged Monday purportedly showing some of the kidnapped Nigerian girls in Muslim headdresses and the terror group's leader declaring they have converted to Islam.

The video released by French news agency, Agence France-Presse, was shot in a nondescript area of a bush and showed about 100 girls.

In the 27-minute footage, the terror group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, says he's willing to exchange the schoolgirls for Boko Haram prisoners.

It shows girls dressed in black and gray hijabs and reciting the Quran as they make Islamic declarations of faith. Shekau appears in a separate part of the video, but never with the girls.

"Praise be to Allah, the lord of the world," the girls chant in the video.

The Nigerian government should demand proof of life for every abducted girl before any prisoner swap. Having said that, they should also do everything possible to see the deal works.

Ordinarily, you wouldn't recommend negotiating with terrorists. But the consequences of not trying to get the girls back through negotiations are too horrible to contemplate otherwise. If, as our intelligence people suggest, the girls have been dispersed, the chances of identifying where they are all being held and then mounting several successful hostage rescue operations are close to zero.

I have read several stories about this new video and none of them that mention the girl's forced "conversion" to Islam say what religion they were being converted from. The word "Christian" appears to stick in their throat - as if mentioning why Boko Haram attacked the school would offend someone.

Just another oddity in  this strange, compelling story.

Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the terrorist group holding 276 Nigerian school girls, appeared in a video making an offer to release the girls in exchange for terrorist prisoners. He also claimed that the girls had all converted to Islam:

A Boko Haram video emerged Monday purportedly showing some of the kidnapped Nigerian girls in Muslim headdresses and the terror group's leader declaring they have converted to Islam.

The video released by French news agency, Agence France-Presse, was shot in a nondescript area of a bush and showed about 100 girls.

In the 27-minute footage, the terror group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, says he's willing to exchange the schoolgirls for Boko Haram prisoners.

It shows girls dressed in black and gray hijabs and reciting the Quran as they make Islamic declarations of faith. Shekau appears in a separate part of the video, but never with the girls.

"Praise be to Allah, the lord of the world," the girls chant in the video.

The Nigerian government should demand proof of life for every abducted girl before any prisoner swap. Having said that, they should also do everything possible to see the deal works.

Ordinarily, you wouldn't recommend negotiating with terrorists. But the consequences of not trying to get the girls back through negotiations are too horrible to contemplate otherwise. If, as our intelligence people suggest, the girls have been dispersed, the chances of identifying where they are all being held and then mounting several successful hostage rescue operations are close to zero.

I have read several stories about this new video and none of them that mention the girl's forced "conversion" to Islam say what religion they were being converted from. The word "Christian" appears to stick in their throat - as if mentioning why Boko Haram attacked the school would offend someone.

Just another oddity in  this strange, compelling story.

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