Coordinated bombings Friday (January 20) struck the northern Nigerian city of Kano where UCSC sociology professor Paul Lubeck conducted research last summer and where many students have worked as interns as part of UCSC's Global Information Internship Program (GIIP).

News reports say insurgents set off a wave of suicide bombings directed against police, state security, and immigration offices in Nigeria's largest city in the predominantly Muslim north.

Lubeck, co-director of UCSC's Center for Global, International, and Regional Studies (CGIRS), spent six weeks last summer conducting research in Kano.

"It's very dangerous and very sad," Lubeck said of the recent bombings.

Saturday, Al Jazeera interviewed Lubeck about Boko Haram, the extremist group that claimed responsibility for the bombings.

Lubeck is scheduled to meet with U.S. State Department officials in Washington, D. C. next week to discuss possible resolutions of the crisis in northern Nigeria.

International news media frequently turn to Lubeck for analysis of the increasingly violent insurgency in the northern portion of the country. When at least 39 people were killed in Christmas Day attacks on Christian churches there, PBS NewsHour anchor Margaret Warner interviewed Lubeck about the origins of Boko Haram.

Last August, when the same Islamist insurgent group claimed responsibility for bombings at the UN headquarters in Nigeria's capital, the New York Times and BBC World Service sought Lubeck's comments.

Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation with approximately 166 million people. Roughly half are Muslim, more than in Egypt, the Arab world's largest country.

Lubeck said the strife in the north is the result of an enormous demographic explosion, mass unemployment, radical Islamic preachers, directionless government policies, and now a full-blown insurrection. His research in Nigeria includes working with industrialists and policy makers Kano who are trying to invigorate the economy.