On Saturday November 12, 2022, a 2 minutes 17 seconds video portraying gun-waving men coming out of at least 17 Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) branded vehicles with some of them shooting sporadically into the air went viral on several WhatsApp groups and other social media platforms.
The men in military uniforms were portrayed as the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters. Accompanying the video is the message: “ISWAP has finally arrived in Nigeria. There is fire on the mountain. This is why America, UK and others evacuated their citizens from Nigeria. Can you see that Fulani Government of Nigeria has an Islamization agenda?”
Quest Times observed that the said message was forwarded to several groups within the timeframe of an hour.
Recall that the United States and several other foreign embassies have warned of possible terror attacks on Nigeria in recent times, causing series of panic among the populace. It is as a result of this that QUEST TIMES spoke with a number of military sources and experts. Our findings reveal that the video was not shot in Nigeria.
A naval intelligence officer, in response to our request for information responded by saying, “ISWAP has been operating alongside BHT [Boko Haram Terrorists] for a while now. They aren’t just landing.”
Further listening to the video, our verification team noted that the gun-waving men spoke Spanish or Mexican which is unlikely to be spoken by ISWAP or BHT fighters purportedly invading Nigeria.
We checked InSight Crime, a “media organization that seeks to deepen and inform the debate about organized crime and citizen security in the Americas by providing regular reporting, analysis, data, investigation, and policy suggestions on how to tackle the multiple challenges they present” the CJNG is an organised criminal group formed by some Mexican drug lords in 2010 that now is known for its “aggressive use of violence and its public relations campaigns.” It is reported to be Mexico’s foremost criminal “threat and appears set to continue expanding.”
Another Quest Times’ source who responded to our request cast serious doubt in the possibility of the video being shot in Nigeria. He queried: “If you are reporting on terrorism you should know features of ISIS. You should also listen to the language they are speaking. There are basic boxes you should be able to pick before ‘calling me to confirm if ISIS has invaded Nigeria’.”
In view of the further spread of the video causing more tension to the already existing panic caused by the numerous travel advisories issues by Western embassies in Nigeria, Quest Times is of the considered view that it is important for the media to stop the spread of the panic of ISWAP invasion of the country.