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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Nigeria says Boko Haram leader is dead

Nigeria -- Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau was reported to be "fatally wounded" by the Nigerian military on Tuesday. However, this cannot be confirmed at this time, nor is it clear as to how the military was able to obtain this information but they also identified other "confirmed dead" commanders in an air raid on Friday.

The military report comes just before Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, the captial of Nigeria. They are to discuss Islamic extremism and regional security.

Kerry spoke Tuesday morning in Sokoto city, and kept the army's report on the 'down low.'

Shekau is known to be a "fearless leader" with a photographic memory. His sobriquet is Darul Tawheed which translates as a specialist in Tawheed or the concept of monotheism in Islam.

Ahmed Salkida, a BBC journalist described Shekau: "He hardly talks. He is fearless . . . He is one of those who believes that you can sacrifice anything for your belief."

Shekau is fluent in Kanuri, his native language as well as Hausa and Arabic. He doesn't speak English and it is reported that he never directly communicates with Boko Haram soldiers. He is known for being extremely brutal as he follows the terrorist guidelines found in Islamic scripture.

"I enjoy killing anyone that God commands me to kill--the way I enjoy killing chickens and rams," he said in a 2012 video clip after his Kano, Nigeria attack killed 180 people. 

The only way Shekau knows who God wants him to kill is in the Koran--Jews, Christians, gays, atheists and everyone who isn't as Islamic as he thinks they should be.

In a 2009 crackdown, he and then leader Mohammed Yusuf were thought to be killed. Yusuf was but Shekau later surfaced in a video claiming to be the group's new leader. 

Claims of Shekau's demise had become Nigeria's national sport since then, but he seems to resurface like a discarded condom in a pond. But the military made claims that Shekau was dead and they were using a look-alike to impersonate him. 

They were wrong. 

The latest strikes came in "the most unprecedented and spectacular air raid" by the Nigerian Air Force while Shekau was doing namaz on Friday, Islam's holy day. This was at Taye village in the Sambisa  Forest, a terrorist holdout in northeast Nigeria, according to army spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman.

Shekau pledged allegiance to the Islamic State last year which gave ISIS its first sub-Saharan Africa franchise.