After that clip ends the general selects another. In this video, two men in the black uniform of the Nigerian police are on their knees in the bush in front of a black and white banner held up by two militants, which reads in Arabic: “There is only one God and Muhammad is his prophet.” 

Abu Sa’ad stands to one side, holding a book. The cameraman asks the two policemen to speak. The first gives his name as Corporal Mehmud Daba. 

“I know mine has ended,” he says. “My legacy is to ask my wife to please bring up our children in Islam. Let my mother hear this and pay all my debts for me.” 

The second policeman says his name is Sergeant David Hoya, a Christian. He does not raise his head but mumbles into the ground. 

“What is your message for your wife?” asks the cameraman. “That she should take care of my children.” “In Islam or as unbelievers?” “I’m not an unbeliever,” says Hoya. 

“How can they see you if your face is down like that?” asks the cameraman. “Lift your face up!” 

The camera turns to Abu Sa’ad. “I want to give an explanation for what we are about to do,” he says. “We are punishing in terms of what Allah prescribes. I want to tell Nigeria and the world that we give them the gift of these two policemen, this sergeant and corporal. We want to give these men the judgment of Allah.” Abu Sa’ad lifts up a book he is holding. 

“I am going to read from this book,” he says, showing the cover to the camera. It is an interpretation of the Kitab Tawheed, the Book of Unification, written by a conservative 13th century Saudi Islamist scholar called Sheikh Abdur-Rahman bin Hasan al Ash Sheikh. 

Abu Sa’ad begins a long monologue, showing the pages as he quotes from them. 

“We are going to do things in accordance with the book,” he repeats. “We will do this to anybody we catch. In Kano, we entered the police headquarters, and we killed them as they shat themselves. We did the same in Damaturu and Maiduguri. 

Let the world know that we will never compare anyone to God. No government, no constitution, can compare to God.” Ten minutes later, Abu Sa’ad finishes. 

“Let’s thank God and give him more bodies,” he concludes. He then pulls a knife from his combat vest, grabs Daba and lays him on his side. 

The crowd starts cheering: “Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!” 

Two men hold Daba’s chest and legs. Abu Sa’ad holds his head with one hand, and starts sawing at Daba’s throat with the knife. Blood jets onto the sandy ground. Abu Sa’ad keeps sawing. 

He can’t get through the neck bone. He switches to the back of the neck and starts sawing again. Still the head won’t come off. Abu Sa’ad drops the knife and twists Daba’s head around with both hands, trying to snap it off. It doesn’t work. He picks up the knife and saws again. Finally, after half a minute, Daba’s head comes free. Abu Sa’ad lifts it up by the hair, shows it to the crowd. The eyes are closed. Flesh and ligaments are hanging loose. Abu Sa’ad places the head on the body. 

Boko Haram: Terror’s Insidious New Face

After that clip ends the general selects another. In this video, two men in the black uniform of the Nigerian police are on their knees in the bush in front of a black and white banner held up by two militants, which reads in Arabic: “There is only one God and Muhammad is his prophet.”

Abu Sa’ad stands to one side, holding a book. The cameraman asks the two policemen to speak. The first gives his name as Corporal Mehmud Daba.

“I know mine has ended,” he says. “My legacy is to ask my wife to please bring up our children in Islam. Let my mother hear this and pay all my debts for me.”

The second policeman says his name is Sergeant David Hoya, a Christian. He does not raise his head but mumbles into the ground.

“What is your message for your wife?” asks the cameraman. “That she should take care of my children.” “In Islam or as unbelievers?” “I’m not an unbeliever,” says Hoya.

“How can they see you if your face is down like that?” asks the cameraman. “Lift your face up!”

The camera turns to Abu Sa’ad. “I want to give an explanation for what we are about to do,” he says. “We are punishing in terms of what Allah prescribes. I want to tell Nigeria and the world that we give them the gift of these two policemen, this sergeant and corporal. We want to give these men the judgment of Allah.” Abu Sa’ad lifts up a book he is holding.

“I am going to read from this book,” he says, showing the cover to the camera. It is an interpretation of the Kitab Tawheed, the Book of Unification, written by a conservative 13th century Saudi Islamist scholar called Sheikh Abdur-Rahman bin Hasan al Ash Sheikh.

Abu Sa’ad begins a long monologue, showing the pages as he quotes from them.

“We are going to do things in accordance with the book,” he repeats. “We will do this to anybody we catch. In Kano, we entered the police headquarters, and we killed them as they shat themselves. We did the same in Damaturu and Maiduguri.

Let the world know that we will never compare anyone to God. No government, no constitution, can compare to God.” Ten minutes later, Abu Sa’ad finishes.

“Let’s thank God and give him more bodies,” he concludes. He then pulls a knife from his combat vest, grabs Daba and lays him on his side.

The crowd starts cheering: “Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!”

Two men hold Daba’s chest and legs. Abu Sa’ad holds his head with one hand, and starts sawing at Daba’s throat with the knife. Blood jets onto the sandy ground. Abu Sa’ad keeps sawing.

He can’t get through the neck bone. He switches to the back of the neck and starts sawing again. Still the head won’t come off. Abu Sa’ad drops the knife and twists Daba’s head around with both hands, trying to snap it off. It doesn’t work. He picks up the knife and saws again. Finally, after half a minute, Daba’s head comes free. Abu Sa’ad lifts it up by the hair, shows it to the crowd. The eyes are closed. Flesh and ligaments are hanging loose. Abu Sa’ad places the head on the body.

Boko Haram: Terror’s Insidious New Face