The Boko Haram insurgency is intensifying precisely as Nigerians prepare to go the polls in hotly contested elections. Earlier this month, the group pulled off their deadliest attack to date, though the media was consumed by the Charlie Hebdo attacks. So why is Boko Haram stepping up their attacks now? What effect might it have on the prospects of another term in office for President Goodluck Jonathan? What can the international community do to help beat back this insurgency? And what are the other big campaign issues on the table in Africa’s largest democracy? Alexander Thurston of Georgetown University answers these questions and more.