The group Boko Haram is part of a new generation of Islamist extremists. It was founded in 2002, but few Americans were aware of it until April when it kidnapped more than 200 girls after raiding a school in northeastern Nigeria and threatening to marry the girls off or sell them as slaves. Some of the girls escaped, but many are still missing.
Journalist Alex Perry wrote a recent cover story for Newsweek about the group and the new e-book The Hunt for Boko Haram: Investigating the Terror Tearing Nigeria Apart, published by Newsweek. He says Boko Haram doesn’t have logical reasons for the atrocious acts it commits.
In today’s interview he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross whom Boko Haram targets when it posts gruesome videos of killings on YouTube:
They’re quite grandiose. They imagine that they’re speaking to the world, they imagine that they’re speaking to the president of the U.S., and the reality is that they’re really only speaking to the people [who] are immediately around them.
The uncomfortable problem that that sets up for Western campaigners who, very naturally expressed concern for the girls [who] were kidnapped, is that these guys were looking for attention. And with the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign that went viral on Twitter … and [how it] got people involved from Angelina Jolie to the president of Nepal [Ram Baran Yadav] to Malala [Yousafzai] — the girl from Pakistan [who gained prominence after being shot in 2012 by the Pakistani Taliban for campaigning for girls’ education] — to whoever — well, that gave Boko Haram the kind of attention for which it only could ever have dreamed of.
Image: HARUNA UMAR/ASSOCIATED PRESS via Mashable
April, 21. 2014. Security walk past burned government secondary school Chibok, were gunmen abducted more than 200 students in Chibok, Nigeria.