Boko Haram on Tuesday released a video celebrating its bombing of the office of a Nigerian newspaper and warned that it would carry out more attacks on local and foreign media if they published news that is biased against the sect or insulting to Islam.
Digital Journal reported that "three people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated explosives loaded in a car at the office of ThisDay, a major Nigerian newspaper in Abuja. In a separate incident, a man threw a bomb at a newspaper office complex in Kaduna killing four people.The attack in Abuja was targeted at the office of ThisDay, while the attack in Kaduna was targeted at a building housing the offices of three separate newspapers: ThisDay, The Moment and The Daily Sun."
Reuters reports the sect had previously not targeted the press in its campaign, although last October, a reporter for a state TV was killed on accusation that he was an informant to government.
The new video posted to YouTube begins with a Koranic song and an image of the Koran on two AK-47s placed crosswise. A banner reads: "Message from Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihadl (Boko Haram's full name): on why we attacked ThisDay."
A footage shows the office of ThisDay exploding in a ball of flames and smoke. The message in Hausa language, says: "We attacked Thisday because we will never forget or forgive anyone who abused our Prophet."
The statement then attacks local and international media for carrying a report that a faction of the sect was involved in the kidnapping of a British and an Italian who were killed during an unsuccessful rescue attempt in March. The statement says: "We said we have nothing to do with it, yet these media houses reported that we were responsible for the incident."
The statement also denies that its spokesman Abu Qaqa had been arrested.
The statement contained in the 18 minutes video posted to YouTube under the name Alhaji Mani, mentions among others, Voice of America (Hausa), Radio France (Hausa), Daily Trust, Guardian Newspapers, and warns it would attack them if they continue carrying biased messages about the sect.
The video shows the purported leader of the group Abubakar Shekau, wielding a rifle and reciting Koranic verses. It also shows a footage of the late leader of the sect Muhammad Yusuf, delivering a sermon. The message informs the public: "Nigerians, our name is not Boko Haram, we are Muslims, Ahlis sunnah."
Part of the transcript of the message, according to Saharareporters, says:
"Some of the reasons why we decided to attack some Media Houses, especially Thisday, is because the paper was used in dishonoring our prophet, Mohammad (SAW) during a beauty pageant in Kaduna in November 2002.
"At that time, some people who called themselves leaders of Muslims came out to say they have forgiven those who committed the offence.
"But based on our knowledge, we know that no one has the power to forgive anyone for an offence that God himself has given judgement, especially on an offence that has to do with dishonouring Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
"No one has the power to forgive this type of offence, and the judgement is for such persons to be killed.
"This lady that committed this crime, the judgement on her is to be killed at any opportunity; and the media house is also supposed to be driven out of existence whenever there is a chance to do so.
"We are just getting the opportunity to attack the media house, and we are hoping to continue these attacks until we drive them out of existence.
"It is our hope that Allah (SWT) will help his religion.
"We know that any genuine Muslim must have been deeply touched by the Thisday incident..These media houses have committed a lot of offences that is detrimental to Islam, and we don’t have the power to forgive them. We will take revenge on them by God’s grace, some of these media houses have been categorized into three groups.
The first group is the likes of Thisday whose offences are big.
"The second group we will also attack soon are Punch, Daily Sun, Vanguard, Guardian, Nation, Tribune, and National Accord, which are all newspaper houses.
"There is also VOA Hausa radio. All these media houses we will attack them including their staff and offices, by God’s grace.
"VOA Hausa for instance have recently started campaigning for people to support the government against us by exposing us,
"The next group that are on the verge of joining this list who if they are not careful we will attack very soon include, Leadership, Daily Trust, Peoples Daily and RFI(Radio France international)
"There is an online medium known as Saharareporters who have their office in New York, and who have made their site as a platform for attack against Islam. So we are warning them to stop making their site an avenue for attacking Islam, otherwise we will find a way of attacking them too."
Digital Journal reports that early on Tuesday, Nigerian forces stormed a suspected hideout of Boko Haram insurgents in Kano and killed a man suspected of masterminding the attack on Christians worshipers at the Bayero University on Sunday. According to Digital Journal, Boko Haram insurgents invaded the campus of Bayero University, Kano, and attacked Christian worshipers with homemade explosives and guns on Sunday, killing about 20 people.