(The Washington Post) – No one knows how old he is. Some say 35. Some say 36. Others think he’s 44. Twice he was believed dead, and twice he reemerged to conduct an even broader campaign of killing and terror that made him one of the most wanted men in the world.
His name is Abubakar Shekau. He is the leader of Boko Haram. And he has your girls.
“I abducted the girls at a Western education school,” Shekau proclaimed on Monday in a video, clutching a rifle among several masked men. “And you are disturbed. I said Western education should end. … I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah. There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell; he commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women.”
Shekau, who has a $7 million bounty on his head, grinned a mouth of white teeth. His face was patched by scruff. He raised his arm as though delivering a sermon — and to Shekau, who considers himself a devout holy man, he was. For a group as fragmented and diverse as the Boko Haram, which kidnapped hundreds of Nigerian school girls three weeks ago, one of the few unifying factors is extremist ideology. And no one believes in the cause more than Shekau, a complex, intensely private figure.