Boko Haram leader who kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls dies
The leader of Boko Haram, who was responsible for kidnapping hundreds of girls from their school in Chibok, Nigeria years ago, has died.
Although the Nigerian military has falsely reported Abubakar Shekau’s death three times before, The Wall Street Journal confirmed the report with internal intelligence memos, officials, mediators and phone calls that were intercepted by a West African spy agency.
Five Nigerian officials said Shekau died when he was found by rival insurgents and set off his suicide vest to avoid being taken as a prisoner, according to the Journal.
“Shekau detonated a bomb and killed himself,” an intercepted militant commander said.
Shekau was at the head of kidnapping over 300 girls from their school seven years ago, sparking an international movement called #BringBackOurGirls.
He has also kidnapped hundreds of young boys to force them into his jihadist army.
Shekau was one of the most wanted people in the world, with the U.S. putting a $7 million bounty on him, the Journal reported.
He was so paranoid that he would sleep with a flak jacket and killed anyone who visited him who brought a cellphone.
“With this development, the urgent activation of [peace talks] is required, to capitalize on the window created for mass surrender and disarmament,” a Nigerian intelligence memo said.