ISIS releases footage of
March 05, 2018
Nigeria: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group has published a video claiming to show an ambush in Niger in which four United States soldiers were killed on October 04, 2017.
Reasons to why the group issued out the footage are still unclear.
The footage was released via an ISIS outlet on messaging app Telegram. The footage was published on Sunday, March 04, 2018.
The propaganda video consists mainly of raw footage, including images apparently filmed using a helmet camera belonging to one of the soldiers.
The video seems to suggest that the attack was carried out by ISIS militants.
The death of the four US soldiers became a topic for discussion when the widow of one of the late soldiers, said President Donald Trump had made her cry during a condolence phone call by suggesting that she “knew what he signed up for”.
Trump later responded saying said the account of the call was “totally fabricated”.
The footage begins with still images showing an alleged pledge of allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by members of the al-Qaeda-linked, Sahel-based group Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM).
JNIM was formed from a number of West African jihadist groups in March 2017, and originally had pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda.
The video also shows several armed militants walking and running in a desert area, apparently heading for the ambush.
The soldiers are seen driving away in a white vehicle, with coloured smoke grenades providing cover.
After a cut in the video, the US soldiers are seen around another vehicle, with one soldier driving and the other two walking beside while seemingly firing at their attackers.
Then, one of the soldiers drops to the ground. The man wearing the helmet camera tries to raise him.
The soldier driving the vehicle jumps out and helps drag the soldier to cover, before he and the camera-wearer run into the scrub.
While running, the soldier wearing the camera falls to the ground. The footage ends with the camera unmoving, and militants surrounding the soldier, firing at point-blank range.
The deaths in Niger sparked controversy after President Donald Trump's phone call to the widow of sergeant La David Johnson.
Frederica Wilson, who knew the soldier in question, heard the call while en route to meet his body with his family, and said the president did not seem to know his name.
Trump denied forgetting Johnson's name in the call, saying he spoke it "without hesitation". He said it had been a "very nice conversation".
Johnson's body was initially located two days after the ambush, while the bodies of the other three soldiers were discovered on the same day they were attacked, on October 04, 2017.
The US has deployed about 800 troops in Niger, to help train local forces and support counter-terrorism efforts there.