Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab’s recent failed attempt to bring down Northwest Flight 253 as it came into land in Detroit, Michigan, has placed the issue of Islamic radicalism in West Africa squarely on the international political agenda. Indeed, his actions and close association with Al Qaeda have raised a number of urgent questions. For instance, what are the chances of further attacks against U.S. interests being planned and launched from Nigeria? Is the country now the latest battleground between Al Qaeda and those who oppose it?
Dr. Jonathan Hill’s monograph goes some way to addressing these questions by examining the political, economic, social, and cultural conditions found in the country’s Islamic heartland in the north. But it also considers how the threat of Islamic radicalism might be countered, and in particular, the role that the local Sufi Brotherhoods might play in meeting it.
DOUGLAS C. LOVELACE, JR. Director Strategic Studies Institute