Nigeria’s Military Claims Airstrike Killed Boko Haram Leader

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Nigeria’s military said Tuesday it believes an airstrike has “fatally wounded” Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, but there was no way to confirm yet another claim of the death of Nigeria’s Islamic extremist leader.

A statement does not say how the military got the information but identifies other commanders as “confirmed dead” in an air raid on Friday.

The statement comes as Secretary of State John Kerry is to meet in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, with President Muhammadu Buhari, on a visit to discuss Islamic extremism and regional security. Kerry, speaking Tuesday morning in northern Sokoto city, made no reference to the army’s report.

Shekau, according to a BBC profile, is known as a “fearless loner” with a photographic memory, a complex and often paradoxical man who is part intellectual, part terrorist. His nickname — Darul Tawheed — translates as a specialist in Tawheed, or the concept of monotheism in Islam.

“He hardly talks,” one journalist, Ahmed Salkida, told BBC. “He is fearless … He is one of those who believes that you can sacrifice anything for your belief.” Shekau does not speak English, but is fluent in his native Kanuri, Hausa and Arabic languages. He reportedly does not even communicate directly with the group’s soldiers.

Shekau, according to those who study the group, is known for being particularly brutal.

“I enjoy killing anyone that God commands me to kill — the way I enjoy killing chickens and rams,” he said in a clip released in 2012 after an attack in Kano, Nigeria, that killed more than 180 people.

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SOURCE: Fox News