Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Pressure to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization

The Justice Department is pressing the State Department to designate Boko Haram, a Nigerian militant group alleged to be responsible for hundreds of deaths, as a "foreign terrorist organization," according to a document obtained by Reuters.
Mallam Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram Spiritual Leader

Lisa Monaco, head of the Justice Department's national security division, sent a letter in January to State Department counter-terrorism chief Daniel Benjamin requesting that Boko Haram, also known as the "Nigerian Taliban," be put on the list.
 
A Congressional source said that in the last few days, State Department representatives have lobbied Congress to try to stop legislation which would force the administration to act against the group or explain why they had not done so.
 
On Thursday, Rep. Patrick Meehan, a Republican who chairs a House subcommittee on Homeland Security, introduced an amendment to a defense bill that does just that, after he said State officials inexplicably cancel a briefing on Boko Haram.
 
In several recent cases, including that of the so-called underwear bomber, in which a Nigerian failed to blow up an airliner headed to Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, the United States has been handcuffed by waiting too long to designate a group as "terrorists," Meehan said.
 
"Only later, after they've committed terrible acts have we put them on the list of foreign terrorists," Meehan told Reuters.
 
Representative Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said: "Boko Haram claimed credit for the suicide bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Abuja, killing 23 people and injuring more than 80 others.
 
"That meets my definition of a terrorist group, but if the administration has a reason why they don't want to designate them, I would like to hear it," Rogers said.

Source: The Nation

0 comments:

Post a comment

Site Search