Alex Thurston is visiting assistant professor of African Studies at Georgetown University. He specializes in the study of Islam and politics in West Africa and North Africa and is the author of two books on Nigeria, “Boko Haram: The History of an African Jihadist Movement” and “Salafism in Nigeria: Islam, Preaching, and Politics.” For the 2017-2018 academic year, he is a fellow with the Wilson Center and the American Council of Learned Societies. In 2013-2014, he was an International Affairs fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations. He holds a doctorate in Religious Studies from Northwestern University and a master’s in Arab Studies from Georgetown. Follow him on Twitter @sahelblog.