US to slap “terrorist” label on Boko Haram Reviewed by Momizat on . The US government is expected to formally apply a "foreign terrorist" label on three alleged leading figures of the violent militant group, Boko Haram, on Thurs The US government is expected to formally apply a "foreign terrorist" label on three alleged leading figures of the violent militant group, Boko Haram, on Thurs Rating:
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US to slap “terrorist” label on Boko Haram

The US government is expected to formally apply a “foreign terrorist” label on three alleged leading figures of the violent militant group, Boko Haram, on Thursday, officials said.

The action by the State and Treasury departments follows growing pressure on the Obama Administration to take stronger action against Boko Haram.

The fundamentalist group, which says it wants to establish an Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria, has stepped up attacks on Christian places of worship this year.

Thursday’s anticipated action, officials said, involves applying the “terrorist” designation to three men presumed to be central figures in the group.

The three individuals, an official said, are Abubakar Shekau, aged around 43, described as a Boko Haram leader who allegedly aligned himself with al Qaeda in a video message; Abubakar Adam Kambar, aged roughly 35; and Khalid al Barnawi, aged approximately 36. All three are native Nigerians.

The expected action will freeze any assets they have in the United States, and bar U.S. persons from any transactions with them.

It is among the first such action the U.S. government has taken against Boko Haram, but falls short of demands from some U.S. lawmakers and the Justice Department to designate the entire group as a “foreign terrorist organization.”

The State Department has been under pressure to act against Boko Haram for months. In January, Lisa Monaco, the Justice Department’s top national security official, sent a letter to the State Department arguing that the Nigerian group met the criteria for a “foreign terrorist” listing because it either engages in terrorism that threatens the United States or has a capability or intent to do so.

Boko Haram increasingly is seen as a potent threat to Nigeria, the continent’s most populous state and major oil producer, and as part of growing arc of Islamist extremist groups stretching across northern Africa.

More recently, a group of Republican senators led by Scott Brown of Massachusetts introduced legislation requiring the State Department to determine whether Boko Haram should be designated as a terrorist group.

Republican Representative Patrick Meehan, who chairs a Homeland Security subcommittee in the House, also introduced an amendment that would force the administration to add Boko Haram to the terrorism list or explain why it was not doing so.

Empowering radicals

However, U.S. diplomats are weighing these demands against counter arguments, including those made by a group of academic experts on Africa who sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last month urging her not to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist group.

The academics argued that the move could backfire by enhancing the group’s reputation among potential recruits and other militant groups. A U.S. designation might also empower more radical elements of Boko Haram, which is divided into factions, the professors said.

In her letter to the State Department, Monaco of the Justice Department reported that since 2009 Boko Haram has conducted violent attacks against Nigeria’s “police, politicians, public institutions and civilian population.”

Monaco said that according to press reports, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for 510 victims in 2011, and also took credit for a January 20 attack on government buildings in Kano in which more than 160 were killed.

She said that although Boko Haram attacks until now have occurred only within Nigeria, Washington should not underestimate the threat the group poses to U.S. interests.

REUTERS

Despite efforts by the federal government to reduce reliance on foreign wheat imports, top Nigerian milling executives have declared that Nigerian flour millers, continue to need more U.S. supplies.

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  • Gbolahan_p

    I think it is right not to label the entire group or sect as a terrorist org as that will hardened it further and may backfire indeed

  • Samfol4luv20062000

    if the foreign security will be willing to help this situation i think is better rather raising unnecesary hope

  • Chike Oshi

    I would like to know why the US State Department has not come out to condemn the attacks by Boko Haram. If it were an attack on a Mosque or Islamic Institution, would they not have come out to condemn it immediately? Why the soft spot? 

  • Daniel

    Please let the  US State Department do the right thing  urgently as they should have done long ago, they know already that these people have connection with  al cada  (foreign)  already a lot of  damages has taken place already on so many innocent citizens of these so call Nigeria, we have lose hope already on the oneness, unity of this country.   

  • Bashalab

    it is now obvious that the GEJ led govt. has not gotten a clue as to how to curtail  boko haram, i think the best bet, is for us to protect ourselves by ourselves, as for me any attack against any member of my family will not be taken lightly,     BASHORUN  AKIN ALABI.  lagos

  • Luca

     
    I say all those against listing Boko Haram as a terrorist group are per taker in the sects act and will share in their doom. How do you dialogue with evil? Tell your boys oh you preacher of dialogue that the small axe is ready to cut you all down.

  • Militia

    BOKO HARAM ARE AGAINST BAD GOVERNMENT. DO NOT MISTAKE THEM. THEY ARE DOING WHAT NIGER DELTA MILLITANTS COULD NOT DO.

    • Luca

      Against bad Government by bombing churches and
      killing Innocent people? You are a disgrace to your community. Your life will
      not have peace because the ghost of those Innocent people will hunt you even
      when you die.

    • Baby4

       hw can u say dat? if boko haram is against bad govt den it shud go n faced govt if dey can, and nt killin innocent souls by bombin places and churches to d extent dey even do serial killings n u stil call it fightin against bad govt.God would punish u alongside d boko haram members mtweeeeech>>>>>.knw dat wat has a beginin must showly have an endin.we shall see d end of d boko haram very soon

    • Femiokoloise

      By killing christans? Na wa for you boko haram

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