Boko Haram Leader Abubakar Shekau: A Ruthless Leader with a Twisted Ideology

Boko Haram Leader Abubakar Shekau: A Ruthless Leader with a Twisted Ideology

In this image made from video received by The Associated Press on Monday, May 5, 2014, Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Nigeria's Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, speaks in a video in which his group claimed responsibility for the April 15 mass abduction of nearly 300 teenage schoolgirls in northeast Nigeria. Shekau threatened to sell the nearly 300 teenage schoolgirls abducted from a school in the remote northeast three weeks ago, in a new videotape received Monday. It was unclear if the video was made before or after reports emerged last week that some of the girls have been forced to marry their abductors — who paid a nominal bride price of $12 — and that others have been carried into neighboring Cameroon and Chad. Those reports could not be verified. (AP Photo)
In this image made from video received by The Associated Press on Monday, May 5, 2014, Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Nigeria’s Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, speaks in a video in which his group claimed responsibility for the April 15 mass abduction of nearly 300 teenage schoolgirls in northeast Nigeria. (AP Photo)

 

(CNN) — He is the face of terror. A ruthless leader with a twisted ideology. And the sadistic architect of a campaign of mayhem and misery.

And yet, very little is known about Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram.

He operates in the shadows, leaving his underlings to orchestrate his repulsive mandates. He resurfaces every once in a while in videotaped messages to mock the impotence of the Nigerian military. And he uses his faith to recruit the impressionable and the disenfranchised to his cause.

Shekau was born in Shekau village that borders Niger. He studied under a cleric and then attended Borno State College of Legal and Islamic Studies for higher studies on Islam.

That’s why he’s also known as ‘Darul Tawheed,’ which translates to an expert in monotheism, or the oneness of Allah.

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