Abubakar Shekau

leader of a Nigerian militant group (1973-2021)

Abubakar Shekau (Arabic: دار التوحيد; 1969 or 1975 – 20 May 2021), also known by his alias Darul Tawheed, was a Nigerian Islamist terrorist. He is the leader of the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, whose insurgency began in 2009. He served as deputy leader to the group's founder, Mohammed Yusuf, until Yusuf was killed in 2009. Shekau then became the leader of the group.[1]

Shekau was born in Yobe State, Nigeria and is a Kanuri. He speaks Hausa, Arabic, and English. He has four wives. He has been reported dead several times during the early 21st century.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Shekau killed himself by suicide vest on 20 May 2021 to avoid being captured.[2][3] Nigerian officials confirmed his suicide.[3]


  1. Brock, Joe (12 January 2012). "Nigeria sect leader defends killings in video". Reuters Africa. Reuters. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  2. "Boko Haram leader tried to kill himself during clash with rivals, officials claim". The Guardian. Retrieved 2021-05-20.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Parkinson, Drew Hinshaw and Joe (2021-05-21). "WSJ News Exclusive | Boko Haram Leader, Responsible for Chibok Schoolgirl Kidnappings, Dies". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-05-21.