The Top 7 Most Dangerous and Notorious Terrorist in The World is a list published by the U.S. Federal Bureau of investigation and American publishing and media company Forbes. Terrorism has been a long-standing problem in our world for a very long time. However, not all terrorist groups are created equally. Terrorism, in its broadest sense, describes the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror or fear, in order to achieve a political, religious or ideological aim.
7. OSAMA BIN LADEN
Usama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (March 10, 1957 – May 2, 2011) was the founder of al-Qaeda, the organization that was responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States, along with numerous other mass-casualty attacks worldwide. He was a Saudi Arabian, a member of the wealthy bin Laden family, and an ethnic Yemeni Kindite.
Bin Laden was born to the family of billionaire Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden in Saudi Arabia. He studied at university in the country until 1979, when he joined Mujahideen forces in Pakistan fighting against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. He helped to fund the Mujahideen by funneling arms, money and fighters from the Arab world into Afghanistan, and gained popularity among many Arabs.
In 1988, he formed al-Qaeda. He was banished from Saudi Arabia in 1992, and shifted his base to Sudan, until U.S. pressure forced him to leave Sudan in 1996. After establishing a new base in Afghanistan, he declared a war against the United States, initiating a series of bombings and related attacks. Bin Laden was on the American Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) lists of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives and Most Wanted Terrorists for his involvement in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings.
From 2001 to 2011, bin Laden was a major target of the War on Terror, as the FBI placed a $25 million bounty on him in their search for him. On May 2, 2011, bin Laden was shot and killed inside a private residential compound in Abbottabad, where he lived with a local family from Waziristan, during a covert operation conducted by members of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group and Central Intelligence Agency SAD/SOG operators on the orders of U.S. President Barack Obama.
After leaving college in 1979, bin Laden went to Pakistan, joined Abdullah Azzam and used money and machinery from his own construction company to help the Mujahideen resistance in the Soviet war in Afghanistan. He later told a journalist: “I felt outraged that an injustice had been committed against the people of Afghanistan.”Under CIA’s Operation Cyclone from 1979 to 1989, the United States and Saudi Arabia provided $40 billion worth of financial aid and weapons to almost 100,000 Mujahideen and “Afghan Arabs” from forty Muslim countries through Pakistan’s ISI.
Bin Laden met and built relations with Hamid Gul, who was a three-star general in the Pakistani army and head of the ISI agency. Although the United States provided the money and weapons, the training of militant groups was entirely done by the Pakistani Armed Forces and the ISI.
By 1984, bin Laden and Azzam established Maktab al-Khidamat, which funneled money, arms and fighters from around the Arab world into Afghanistan. Through al-Khadamat, bin Laden’s inherited family fortune paid for air tickets and accommodation, paid for paperwork with Pakistani authorities and provided other such services for the jihadi fighters.
Bin Laden established camps inside Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan and trained volunteers from across the Muslim world to fight against the Soviet-backed regime, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan; he would also participate in some combat activity, such as the Battle of Jaji. It was during this time that he became idolised by many Arabs.
It is believed that the first bombing attack involving bin Laden was the December 29, 1992, bombing of the Gold Mihor Hotel in Aden in which two people were killed.
Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir interviewing Osama bin Laden in Kabul in 1997. The AKS-74U in the background is a symbol of the mujadin’s victory over the Soviets, since these weapons were captured from Spetsnaz forces.
It was after this bombing that al-Qaeda was reported to have developed its justification for the killing of innocent people.
6. ABUBAKAR SHEKAU
Abubakar Shekau, also known by the alias Darul Akeem wa Zamunda Tawheed, or Darul Tawheed (“the abode of monotheism”), thought to be born between 1965 and 1975 is a Kanuri man known as the leader of Boko Haram, a Nigerian militant group that has declared loyalty to the Islamist militant group Islamic State of Iraq Syria (ISIS).He served as deputy leader to the group’s founder, Mohammed Yusuf, until Yusuf was executed in 2009.
Nigerian authorities believed that Shekau was killed in 2009 during clashes between security forces and Boko Haram until July 2010, when Shekau appeared in a video claiming leadership of the group. He has subsequently been reported dead with regularity, and is thought to use body doubles. In March 2015, Shekau pledged allegiance to ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Shekau is a Salafi. He has been described as possessing a photographic memory.
Shekau is an ethnic Kanuri, and also speaks Hausa, Fulani, Arabic, and English. He claims to be an intellectual and theologian who studied Islam “under a traditional cleric”.
In videos Shekau posted online, he boasted often about his invincibility; mocked various armies; and stated that he “cannot be stopped” and “cannot die except by the will of Allah”. He has also boasted of being in possession of armored tanks and other combat vehicles. His online videos frequently depict anti-American rhetoric, and he has made multiple threats to attack the U.S.
In June 2012 the United States Department of State designated Shekau as a terrorist and effectively froze his assets in the United States. Since June 2013, the Department has had a standing reward of US$7 million for information leading to Shekau’s capture through its Rewards for Justice Program. In addition, the Nigerian army has offered a ₦50 million reward (approximately US$300,000) for Shekau.
Shekau survived being shot in the leg during the 2009 attempt on his life by Nigerian security forces. After his near death, he increased his violent attacks. In one prominent incident, he took credit for the kidnapping of over 200 school girls in April 2014. Shekau also announced that the kidnapped girls have been converted to Islam. He has claimed to be waging a jihad against Christianity.
In August 2016, ISIL appointed Abu Musab al-Barnawi as the leader of the group in place of Shekau who refused to recognise Barnawi’s authority. However Barnawi on 29 December 2016 was arrested by the Nigerian Department of State Security Services.
Shekau was reported killed in 2009 but reappeared as the group leader less than a year later. The Nigerian army in mid-August 2013 stated that he was fatally wounded when soldiers raided a base of Boko Haram in Sambisa forest and had died between 25 July and 3 August.
However, a video in September 2013 was released in which a man purported to be Shekau claimed he had not been killed.The Nigerian army also stated to have killed him during the 2014 Battle of Kodunga that lasted from September 12 to 14th.The Cameroonian military posted a photo and also claimed that their forces killed Shekau in September 2014. In response to these reports, security analyst Ryan Cummings commented, “Is this his fourth or fifth death? He dies more often than an iPhone battery.” In early October 2014, a video was obtained by AFP news agency that showed Shekau alive, in which he mocked the Nigerian military’s allegations that he had been killed.
Local media have suggested that the man killed by Cameroon was a body double used for security reasons.
Shekau was reported to have been “fatally wounded” during an airstrike in Taye village on 19 August 2016 by Nigerian Air Force which also killed some senior leaders of Boko Haram. On 25 September, a video of man purported to be Shekau was released on YouTube, in which he claimed that he was alive and in good health.
On June 27, 2017, Shekau released a video in which he claimed responsibility for the abduction of Nigerian policewomen and criticized the Nigerian government for claiming that Boko Haram had been defeated. This video would seem to be further evidence of Shekau’s continued survival.