Tags: Al-Qaida | Exclusive Interviews | Steve Malzberg Show | War on Terrorism | Andrew McCarthy | Nigeria | kidnapping

Andrew McCarthy: Islamist Ideology Behind Nigerian Kidnappings

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Wednesday, 07 May 2014 03:21 PM

The sickening abduction of young girls for sexual slavery in Nigeria is a result of  extremist Muslims' acting on a literal interpretation of religious scriptures, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy says.

McCarthy told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV that the United States has not done enough to try to temper the ideology behind it.

"This is yet another instance of what we get when we don't pay attention to the enemy's ideology and the sources of it," McCarthy said Wednesday.

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"I understand the desire not to paint all Muslims with the same brush," McCarthy said, "although Muslims themselves would do well to come out and condemn this sort of thing and try to come up with a different interpretation of their scriptures that marginalizes this kind of radical behavior.

"But the fact of the matter is conquering the enemy and taking sexual slaves and concubines, including children, is something that is scripturally based, and you're dealing with extremist elements who have a very literal interpretation of the scriptures, and that's just a fact.''

In recent weeks, more than 200 girls were kidnapped from the boarding school they attended by Boko Haram Islamists in Borno State.

The group — which threatens to sell the girls, some as young as 9, as human slaves — says the practice is part of the authentic teachings of Islam.

"It is what it is, and until we face up to what this ideology is, we're not going to be able to either anticipate it or combat it effectively," said McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

McCarthy said the United States has sent FBI agents into Nigeria to assess the situation — a move that may not be the right one.

"No one thinks better of the FBI than I do, and I worked with them in Kenya after the bombing there. They're fabulous," he said. "But the undertone here is that this is a law-enforcement problem, not a military war on terror, and that's probably a mistaken way to view this."

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