The White House says a U.S. team will head to Nigeria as soon as possible to aid in the search for nearly 300 teenage girls abducted from their school more than three weeks ago.
Spokesman Jay Carney says Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated the offer during a conversation Tuesday with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
Carney says "time is of the essence." He urged the Nigerian government to ensure that it is using all available resources to ensure the safe return of the girls.
Carney says the U.S. team would include military and law enforcement personnel capable of sharing with the Nigerians expertise in intelligence, investigations, hostage negotiating and victim assistance.
President Barack Obama and Kerry were to discuss the issue at a White House meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Before the White House announcement today, Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson spoke with former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell.
Campbell describes Boko Haram as "a movement rather than an organization," motivated by the belief that "both secularism and Western education promote state worship, and state worship is idolatrous."
- John Campbell, served as U.S. ambassador to Nigeria from 2004 to 2007. He is a senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He's author of "Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink," writes the blog "Africa in Transition" and edits the Nigeria Security Tracker. He tweets @JohnCampbellcfr.
This segment aired on May 6, 2014.