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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Person of the week
Dangerous Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau
     2014-June-27  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    He is the face of terror. A ruthless leader with a twisted ideology. And the sadistic architect of a campaign of mayhem and misery. And yet, very little is known about Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram.

Dangerous Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau

SUSPECTED Boko Haram militants have abducted more than 60 women and girls, some as young as three, in the latest kidnapping in northeast Nigeria and over two months since more than 200 schoolgirls were seized.

    Analysts said the kidnapping, which happened during a raid late Monday on Kummabza village in the Damboa district of Borno state, could be an attempt by the Islamist group to refocus attention on its demands for the release of militant fighters.

    Boko Haram has indicated that it would be willing to release the 219 schoolgirls that it has held hostage since April 14 in exchange for the freedom of its brothers in arms currently held in Nigerian jails.

    Nigeria initially refused to sanction any deal, but efforts have since been made to open talks with the group, with a possible prisoner swap part of the discussions.

    The military in Abuja said in a tweet late Monday it could not confirm the latest abductions.

    Borno senator Ali Ndume confirmed the latest abductions later, and said Boko Haram “took advantage” as people returned to the area to check on their farms during flooding when there was no military presence in the area.

    Boko Haram’s hijack and abduction again remind the world of the man behind it: Abubakar Shekau, leader of the terrorist group.

    Shekau likes to operate in the shadows, leaving his underlings to orchestrate his repulsive mandates. He resurfaces every once in a while in videotaped messages to mock the impotence of the Nigerian military. He uses his faith to recruit the impressionable and the disenfranchised to his cause. He is said to be a fearless loner, a complex, paradoxical man — part intellectual, part gangster.

    Shekau was born in Shekau village that borders Niger. He studied under a cleric and then attended Borno State College of Legal and Islamic Studies for higher studies on Islam.

    That’s why he is also known as “Darul Tawheed,” which translates to an expert in monotheism, or the oneness of Allah.

    He speaks several languages fluently: Hausa, Fulani, Kanuri and Arabic, but not English. After all, he heads a group that rejects all things Western.

    He’s elusive. Even his age is unknown — estimates range between 38 and 49.

    The U.S. State Department has Shekau’s year of birth listed as 1965, 1969 and 1975.

    Analysts describe Shekau as a loner and a master of disguise. He does not speak directly with members, opting to communicate through a few select confidants.

    He uses many aliases: Abu Bakr Skikwa, Imam Abu Bakr Shiku and Abu Muhammad Abu Bakr Bin Muhammad Al Shakwi Al Muslimi Bishku among them.

    Shekau was once thought to have been killed by security forces in 2009 — only for him to reappear in videos posted on the internet less than a year later as Boko Haram’s new leader.

    The group’s founder, Muhammad Yusuf, died in police custody, and hundreds of others were killed during that massive crackdown — which many blame for making the group even more violent.

    Shekau has not been seen in public since.

    Instead, still images and video clips of him are released from time to time, mostly online, by the group’s faceless “public enlightenment department.”

    Shekau is said to have met his predecessor in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State and now Boko Haram’s headquarters, through a mutual friend, Mamman Nur.

    Nigeria’s authorities say Nur masterminded the August 2011 bombing of the UN office complex in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

    All three were theology students — and Shekau was seen as the quietest and perhaps the most radical of them.

    “He hardly talks, he is fearless,” said Ahmed Salkida, a journalist with such good access to Boko Haram that, at one stage, he was suspected of being a member.

    He says he only escaped summary execution by Maiduguri police after an intelligence officer intervened.

    “He is one of those who believe that you can sacrifice anything for your belief,” Salkida said.

    When Yusuf was killed, Shekau is said to have married one of his four wives and adopted their children — perhaps, said sources who do not want to be named, to preserve Boko Haram’s cohesion or “purity.”

    The group has a highly decentralized structure — the unifying force is ideology.

    Shekau does not communicate directly with the group’s foot soldiers — he is said to wield his power through a few select cell leaders, but even then contact is minimal.

    “A lot of those calling themselves leaders in the group do not even have contact with him,” Salkida said.

    Shekau has neither the charismatic streak nor the oratorical skills of his predecessor — but he has an intense ideological commitment and ruthlessness, said people who study the group.

    “He is the leader of the more militant wing of the group as testified by his aping of Osama Bin Laden in his video appearances,” said Abubakar Mu’azu from the University of Maiduguri.

    Shekau issued a chilling message in one of those appearances — which provides an major insight into what his leadership of the group will bring.

    “I enjoy killing anyone that God commands me to kill — the way I enjoy killing chickens and rams,” he said in the video clip released just after Boko Haram had carried out its deadliest attack so far, killing at least 180 people in Kano, northern Nigeria’s largest city.

    Shekau is also the group’s spiritual leader — and, judging by video footage, he seems equally comfortable delivering sermons to his followers.

    “He has a photographic memory and is well versed in theology,” Salkida said.

    But Nigeria’s mainstream Muslim clerics do not regard Shekau as a scholar and question his understanding of Islam — and regularly condemn the bombings and drive-by shootings committed by his followers against anyone who disagrees with them.(SD-Agencies)

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