Nigeria: Boko Haram leader threatens attack on Christians, bombing of churches, humanitarian missions

Children displaced as a result of Boko Haram attacks in the northeast region of Nigeria pictured here at a camp for internally displaced persons in Yola, Adamawa State. Boko Haram's attempts to build an Islamic state continue to result in kidnappings, hunger and economic collapse.Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

The leader of Boko Haram has recently issued a new threat, this time involving the extremist group's new mission to the fight the "Christianisation of Society."

Abu Musab al Barnawi, the leader of the Boko Haram, said that the group will perform this through bombing churches and attacking Christian humanitarian groups.

In a statement released by al Nabaa, an ISIS newspaper, al-Barnawi said that his organisation "remained a force to be reckoned with."

He also warned that they have been actively recruiting those who share like minds to fight "Christianisation of society."

The Boko Haram is shifting its focus on Christians after years of terrorizing Muslims by bombing mosques and marketplaces.

Now, the latest threat hints that they will be launching massive attacks on Christian groups who are helping those in the middle of conflict as the extremist group sees them as those who "exploit the condition of those who are displaced under the raging war, providing them with food and shelter and then Christianising their children."

Al-Barnawi said that in response to these actions, the Boko Haram will be "booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach, and killing all of those (Christians) who we find from the citizens of the cross."

It seems that the group has already started its offensive with last week's attack on a humanitarian convoy, which resulted in the deaths of three civilians including a UN employee. The attack has temporarily suspended UN activities in northeastern Nigeria.

In a statement, Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF's regional director for western and central Africa said that their mission in the region plays an important role in saving civilians and children, who as a result of war have suffered from hunger and malnutrition.

"Some 134 children on average will die every day from causes linked to acute malnutrition if the response is not scaled up quickly," he said in a Reuters interview.

Since 2002, bombings by the Boko Haram has resulted in the deaths of 20,000 people and the displacement of over 2.2 million people in Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad.