Boko Haram is among the most vicious terrorist groups operating in North Africa, home to some of the worst Islamist extremists in the world.
The group was begun in 2002 by Mohammed Yusuf, a cleric whose aim is an Islamic state in Nigeria. He was killed in 2009. The group’s current leader, Abubakar Shekau, surfaces sporadically in videotaped messages.
A prominent Italian Jesuit who is an outspoken supporter of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad went missing in Syria Monday, fueling speculation that he has been kidnapped by an Islamist group.