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Boko Haram, the group Islamist militants at the heart of the mass kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria, has emerged as a terrorist group that needs to be reckoned with. According to reports, Boko Harm’s boldest moves came into play when current leader Abubakar Shekau came into the fold.

As evidenced this week, Shekau embraces the role of master villain and continually thumbs his nose at Nigerian authority. Boko Haram, roughly translated into “Western education is sin,” is looking to transform Nigeria by promoting Sharia law. In simple terms, Shekau and his followers want a strict adherence to Islamic law without the slightest of compromise.

Shekau is a mysterious figure, which adds to the tension regarding the safety of the 276 schoolgirls his soldiers have kidnapped from the Northeast region of Borno State.

Here are 10 things we know about Abubakar Shekau. Feel free to add more details in the comments.

[NY Mag]

Photos: YouTube, CNN

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