The video shows the purported leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, as well as the seven French hostages. Shekau and the hostages are not together in the same location. The man in the video resembles past images of the person previously identified as Shekau and his voice is similar. He wears camouflage and a rifle rests against his shoulder. He says in Arabic in the nearly 11-minute video that the kidnapping was carried out because of the arrest of Boko Haram members or their family members in Nigeria and Cameroon.
“God sent us the French hostages …,” he says in what is called a message to the presidents of Nigeria, Cameroon and France. “The proof that we are holding them is that our brothers and sisters were captured in Nigeria and Cameroon … We seek no money but the release of our brothers.”