Boko Haram Release Shocking Video Showing Missing Nigerian Schoolgirls, Demand Militant Prisoners’ Freedom; Report Reveals Terror Group’s Links with Osama Bin Laden

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By jaskiran kaur | May 13, 2014 9:59 AM EST

Boko Haram, the group behind the abduction of hundreds of Nigerian girls, has released a shocking new video. The video claims to show more than a hundred kidnapped Nigerian teenage girls who have been converted to Islam, according to The Daily Mail. Nigerian's Islamist group's leader said that Boko Haram will only release the girls in exchange of militant prisoners who are in the custody of the government. Meanwhile, another report revealed Boko Haram's connection with Al Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden.

The 17-minute long video was acquired by news agency AFP. The video shows 130 girls wearing headscarves. According to the Web site, some of the girls from the camp are talking to the camera and they look "extremely nervous." The video shows the missing girls saying Islamic prayers in Islam's traditional manner, while sitting in what looks like woods.   

In the video that has created quite a stir, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau addresses the camera. He is dressed in militant uniform and holds an AK-47. While speaking in Hausa language of northern Nigeria, Shekau says: "All I am saying is that if you want us to release the girls that we have kidnapped, those who have not accepted Islam will be treated as the Prophet (Mohammed) treated infidels and they will stay with us," (as quoted in The Daily Mail report).

The leader of Boko Haram also says that they will not release the girls while they detain their brothers.

However, the Nigerian government has refused to fulfill any such demand of exchanges. They reportedly have two armies that are searching for the kidnapped girls.

According to The Guardian report, Isreali Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has extended an offer to assist in the search mission.

The rebel group Boko Haram took 276 girls on April 14 while they were writing an exam at a school in a village called Chibok in Borno. While some escaped the mass kidnapping, as many as 200 are still missing.

Meanwhile, a new report reveals about Boko Haram's connections with founder of terror group Al Qaeda. The Daily Beast reports that some intelligence analysts claim that Osama Bin Laden provided seed money and advised Boko Haram.

The report claims that in the year 2002, Osama Bin Laden sent aide of $3 million to Nigeria to Salafist political organisations who shared same goals as that of al Qaeda. One out of many such groups was Boko Haram who believed in their goal of "imposing Islamic rule." The report infers that the terror group provided Boko Haram with seed money and only had "tangential links to Al Qaeda's North African affiliate."

"There were channels between bin laden and Boko Haram leadership," a U.S. Intelligence official told The Daily Beast. He also claimed that the Osama Bin Laden provided some "strategic direction at times."

The U.S. Intelligence officials claim that some documents were obtained in 2011 that includes correspondence details between the leaders of the two groups. Meanwhile, some other officials say that these "secret" documents include some letters from Boko Haram to Osama Bin Laden to which Bin Laden never responded.  

In addition to those claims, the Web site notes that the U.S. intelligence community believes that Boko Haram has only "evolved" over the period of time. It now poses threat to the West as it resembles an unofficial Al Qaeda affiliate.

The rebel group Boko Haram took 276 girls on April 14 while they were writing an exam at a school in a village called Chibok in Borno. While some escaped the mass kidnapping, as many as 200 Nigerian schoolgirls are still missing.

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