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Fareed speaks with Eliza Griswold, a journalist who spent seven years traveling along the world's Tenth Parallel, which bisects nations including Nigeria, about what motivates Boko Haram.
Part of this is a power struggle. These are armed gangs that are trying to wrest power from the Nigerian government. You look at that guy who claims to have abducted these kids – you don't get the feeling this guy prays five times a day or observes any of the Muslim…I mean this is a thug who is using what is a convenient language of oppression toward women.
Absolutely. Abu Bakr Skikwa, who used to be number two in Boko Haram and is now number one, is really a lunatic. If one were to compare him to somebody else in Africa, we would look at Joseph Kony – the head of the Lord's Resistance Army – who actually, in setting precedent, took a whole school of young girls from their boarding school some years ago in Northern Uganda. Both of them used religion. Kony claims generally to be Catholic.
So it really isn’t as much about Islam as it really is about thuggery, about seizing power, about sex, about taking these young women, really, as sex slaves and cooks to do the things that the militants themselves don’t want to do.