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FACT CHECK: Did Boko Haram transport armoured vehicles through Nigerian borders?

FACT CHECK: Did Boko Haram transport armoured vehicles through Nigerian borders?
July 26
12:36 2021

On Saturday, a Twitter user claimed that Boko Haram recently imported six armoured vehicles and transported them through the borders into the country.

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The account, with @IUnit68 username, further questioned how the vehicles were cleared at the ports, moved to Sambisa forest and delivered to the insurgents. The post was accompanied by a picture of an armoured vehicle. The post has gathered over 190 retweets, 93 likes and 27 comments.

“Boko haram imports armoured vehicles. Recently, six armoured vehicles were transported across our borders and they were delivered into Sambisa for Boko Haram to use against citizens WHO CLEARED IT AT NIGERIA PORT?” the Twitter user claimed.

 

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IS THIS TRUE?

The Twitter name of the user reads “Western Media” and an image of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is used as a profile picture. It was also observed that most of the tweets posted and retweeted by the account were contents pertaining to IPOB. An analysis of the content of the Twitter account suggests that it is used to spread propaganda and disinformation to the public.

The post did not indicate the specific date the vehicles were imported. TheCable also conducted a Google reverse image search on the picture of the armoured vehicle posted alongside the claim. The image query indicates that the original picture was posted on Shutterstock, a platform headquartered in New York, USA, that provides stock photography and other multimedia content.

According to Shutterstock, the image was posted on November 23, 2018, and the photo credit was attributed to one Karolis Kavoleis. The caption of the picture reads, “Boxer armored fighting vehicles produced for Lithuania and to be named Vilkas (Wolf)”.

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This suggests that the armoured vehicles belong to the armed forces of Lithuania, a country in Europe, and not Boko Haram as claimed in the tweet.

An online search further shows that the Lithuanian armed forces took delivery of armoured fighting vehicles named Vilkas in July 2019.

VERDICT

The claim that Boko Haram transported six armoured vehicles through Nigerian borders to the Sambisa forest is misleading. The photograph attached to the post is an armoured vehicle that belongs to the Lithuanian armed forces and not Boko Haram.

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This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

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