Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram has opened up in candid tell-all TV interview.

In the exclusive one on one, filmed in northern Nigeria and due to be aired in the US this week, Shekau reflects on the group’s battle for notoriety in the increasingly crowded radical Islam market, opens up about his feelings towards Joseph Kony, discusses the group’s plans for the future and addresses those marriage rumours.

‘It’s incredibly tough, you know. Radical Islam is not always everything it promised to be. I can understand the appeal of martyrdom over the daily grind of holy war. Its hard out here in the desert – it’s incredibly hot, the roads are terrible and we don’t have good TV reception which means we often miss Big Brother Africa, these beards are really itchy too. In comparison, paradise with 72 virgins sounds quite appealing after a long hard day.

For years we have toiled away – murdering, raping, pillaging – and where have we got? Nowhere, it seems – at least sometimes. I pick up the morning papers, turn on the evening news and what do I see? It’s always about al-Shabaab or al-Qaeda – and now Islamic State have the world’s attention. Sometimes I feel so neglected. I really thought we were primed for no.1 this year after the student kidnapping, but I guess it wasn’t to be. But we keep pushing on, apart from the overnight glory of IS – who by the way, do not write there own songs – those other groups have had to toil away for many years without success, so we will keep trying.’

On Joseph Kony.

‘Bloody Kony! The guy is nothing anymore, he was big about ten, fifteen years ago, but what have you done for me lately Kony? Now he is just a washed up, fat old man, he’s nothing! What does he have, a couple dozen fighters? And where is he? Wandering around the middle of Africa somewhere, in the jungle eating bush rats.

Kony: 'A fat old man who eats bush rats.'
Kony: ‘A fat old man who eats bush rats.’

That should have been our movie, our movement! Look at us – we kidnapped 250 girls this year and what happens? A hashtag, nothing but a bloody hashtag. Twitter – it lasted for 5 minutes. I want one million YouTube hits, CNN, BBC and al-Jazeera for months on end, not a fucking hashtag. If I ever get my hands on that bloody Jason Russell…’

Shekau was unimpressed by the response to Boko Haram's kidnapping earlier this year
Shekau was unimpressed by the response to Boko Haram’s kidnapping earlier this year

The future of Boko Haram.

‘Look, I don’t want to reveal too much, for obvious reasons. But this year hasn’t been a total write off, we did manage to escape the attention of the French when they were in Mali, al-Shabaab are weakening and if we can kidnap 250 girls without any serious blowback, well then the future does look bright for us. Cameroon is looking more and more promising with each passing month, so I would focus your attention down there. And I see now that the four Western Zionist puppet presidents in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Benin are combining for a showdown. Huh, we will swat them like flies! And, we still have three more months of 2014 to go, so don’t think you’ve heard the last of us!’

On marriage.

‘I realise there has been much speculation about my personal life lately. The tabloids have had a field day, whipping up a controversy about the fact that I am dating an older woman, but ever since I saw Meg Ryan in ‘You’ve got mail’ I knew she was the one for me. At the end of the day we all need love and although it’s difficult juggling a Hollywood career and fighting a holy crusade against Western infidel governments, we love each other very much and truly believe we can make it work.’

The interview with Boko Haram’s Abubakar Shekau airs this coming Sunday on al-Jazeera America.