Nigerian Boko Haram group leader sets sights on United States

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau wants to turn his group's attention to the United States. Photo: CNN

The leader of a Nigerian militant and terrorist group says that his organization is ready to branch out to hit bigger targets outside of Africa - namely, the United States.

In a rambling video statement by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau - one in which he regularly pauses to burst into laughter - says that his group is behind a spate of attacks across northern Nigeria.

Over the past four years, Boko Haram has targeted churches, government buildings, schools and aid organizations, even going as far as to attack fellow Muslims they believe are collaborating with Nigeria's government.

However, Shekau says that he has his sights set on larger targets.

"Our strength and firepower is bigger than that of Nigeria," he said in his statement. "Nigeria is no longer a big deal to us. We will now comfortably confront the United States of America."

Shekau's video was released in the aftermath of an attack on Muslim worshippers in the northern Nigerian state of Borno. Authorities told CNN that the attack had all the hallmarks of a Boko Haram operation.