Abubakar Shekau
Leader of Boko Haram
Abubakar Shekau
Leader of Boko Haram

Shekau is the head of Boko Haram, a terrorist group in Nigeria that has carried out a number of atrocities. He speaks Hausa, Arabic, and English, and claims to have undergone theological training. He has appeared in videos posted online, most notably after the kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls in April 2014. In March 2015, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to DA’ISH and stepped up their terror attacks, including a massacre of over 150 Muslims praying in mosques during Ramadan. In August 2016, DA’ISH appointed Abu Musab Al-Barnawi as the group’s new leader, but Shekau refused to recognize Barnawi’s authority. However, in December 2016, the Nigerian State Security Service arrested Barnawi. Unconfirmed reports of Shekau’s death are regularly disproved with his appearance a few months later.

Source of Influence: Extremists

Status: Featured in current year