(29 January 1970 - 30 July 2009) was a Muslim
sect leader. He was born in Girgir village, in Yobe State
. He founded the militant Islamist Boko Haram
the group's official name is Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, which in Arabic means "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad" in 2002 and was its spiritual leader until he was killed in the 2009 Nigerian sectarian violence
. He was more commonly called Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf
In a 2009 BBC interview, Yusuf stated that the belief that the world is a sphere is contrary to Islam and should be rejected, along with Darwinism
and the theory that rain comes from water evaporated by the sun.
Yusuf was killed by Nigerian security forces in Maiduguri
, Borno State
, after being taken into custody, allegedly while trying to escape from prison. He had four wives, the maximum allowed under Islamic tradition, and 12 children.
Thirty-nine-year-old Mohammed Yusuf had managed to escape death a day earlier along with 300 of his followers as federal troops shelled his compound in the city of Maiduguri, killing about 100 people, including Yusuf's deputy.