A new terrorist group called Kailaifa has been reported in Nigeria’s lower northeast region.
The group known for kidnapping, murders and other violent crimes is said to be operating around the boundaries of Bauchi and Gombe States.
Intelligence sources reveal that the group operating a near similar doctrine as Boko Haram might spread to the Central region if not swiftly contained.
“Kailaifa is trying to rival Boko Haram and ISWAP but doesn’t have their kind of equipment.
“The weapons they have are probably general purpose machine guns but if they continue their current wave of kidnapping and attacks, with time they will have the military power that the others have,” said a security source.
The main sources of arms for Boko Haram and ISWAP are ambushes, looting of military armories, kidnapping and use of funds paid as ransom for arms purchase as well as foreign conspiracy, it is believed.
Kailaifa, a likely breakaway faction or criminal syndicate modeled after the two ISIS linked terrorist groups might employ similar strategy or worse, it is feared.
The group is believed to be responsible for the kidnap of a Plateau Cleric, Rev. Polycarp Zongo on Monday October 19, 2020.
Zongo was kidnapped while traveling to Gombe for a conference.
A video appeared ten days later showing him on a prayer mat pleading for rescue from Church and government officials.
The cleric says in the video that he was kidnapped by “soldiers of Kailaifa” but was reported to mean “soldiers of the caliphate” as Islamic State West Africa Province calls itself. Caliphate in Hausa also is halifanci not Kailaifa.
ISWAP however operates mainly in Northern Borno, parts of Mali and some neighboring countries.
Boko Haram on the other hand controls Southern Borno and parts of Adamawa and Yobe States, it is learnt.
Both groups are strong rivals that kill each other almost at first sight, reports say.
Kailaifa as Zongo mentions in the video could therefore not mean ISWAP as it does not operate within the axis. Boko Haram on the other hand always plants symbols, just as its ISWAP rival – Jihad flags, Islamic themes, and the likes in its videos which the video of Rev. Zongo lacks.
Boko Haram headed by Abubakar Shekau in addition always insists its hostages state its Arabic name, Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād meaning Western education is a taboo.
It also ensures its hostages are taken to its stronghold, Sambisa forest in Borno, a typical desert with short, sparse trees and few or no wildlife. Rev. Zongo’s video however has the chirping of birds in its background.
Last Tuesday before the video appeared, Rev. Zongo’s phone was active on social media, a likely move by the captors to verify his identity and identify his contacts possibly for guides on the kind of ransom to demand.
In the Sambisa forest however, especially ground zero where Boko Haram is headquartered, no radio signal is accessible as nearly all telecommunication masts therein have been destroyed.
These might therefore suggest that the terrorists were in a green environment outside the Boko Haram territory.
Detectives were investigating the case until Friday night when Church Officials confirmed that the kidnapped Rev. Zongo was released.
It is however unconfirmed if he has come home as expected on Saturday.