On this week’s podcast, Alexander Thurston speaks about Boko Haram and its origins and growth. Thurston is an Assistant Professor of Teaching for African Studies Program at Georgetown University and a Fellow at the Wilson Center. His new book is Boko Haram: The History of an African Jihadist Movement.
“This is my attempt at a documentary history of Boko Haram. To try to draw on especially diverse written sources to reconstruct the trajectory of the movement from the time when the founders were growing up in Nigeria in the 1970s up to close to the present as it was possible to get,” said Thurston.
“These groups are just very hard to completely eradicate. A proto-state that they carve out can be destroyed. It may take several years, as in the case of ISIS or it may take a very short time, as in the case of Boko Haram. But then after that, you get this long term spate of terrorist attacks. And that’s a lot harder to stamp out.”