In a newly issued Most Wanted list, the United States has maintained the $7 million (N1.4 billion) bounty it placed on Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram.
Shekau’s name is included in the list of 71 most-wanted terrorists in the world released by the US on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. The list carried a total bounty sum of $375m (N74.6bn) as “rewards for information that leads to (the terrorists’) arrest or conviction.” The highest bounty on the list ($25 million) is placed on Ayman al-Zawahiri, suspected to be one of the doctors and advisors to Osama bin Laden, the late leader of Al-Qaeda.
Four Islamic State terrorists appeared on the list with a total of $20 million bounty on them. The list also includes senior members of the Islamic State Group (ISIS), Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab and two female members of a Turkish military/political party and the terrorist group, Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front.
The Nigerian military has said that finding Shekau is not its priority after an intensive operation in Sambisa Forest failed to yield any information on his whereabouts.
Reports however have it that the Boko Haram leader might have fled Nigeria with the aid of Islamic State operatives. Boko Haram pledged its allegiance to ISIS in March.