The Nigerian military has claimed at least three times in the last five years that Boko Haram mastermind Abubakar Shekau is dead. Now, he finally is, according to The Wall Street Journal. Shekau transformed Boko Haram from a tiny, fundamentalist religious sect in Nigeria to a world famous jihadist group known for its extraordinarily cruel acts of terrorism, like kidnapping 300 Nigerian schoolgirls on the night before their final exams. The U.S. had a $7 million bounty on his head, making him Africa’s most wanted man and cementing him as one of the world’s worst terrorists alongside Osama bin Laden, ISIS founder Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and Uganda’s Joseph Kony.
WSJ reports that Shekau detonated a suicide vest to avoid being captured by rival militias. The outlet said it confirmed his death using transcripts of geolocated, intercepted calls between insurgents discussing his death as well as messages from a mediator between Shekau and the government.