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November 13, 2013 9:46 pm

U.S. Names Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization

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Members of the Islamic group Boko Haramin in Nigeria. Photo: The American Jewish Committee (AJC) praised the U.S. State Department’s decision to label Nigeria’s Boko Haram, along with its splinter group Ansaru, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

“Boko Haram’s murderous attacks in Nigeria, targeting Christians in particular, have been a deep concern for a long time,” AJC Executive Director David Harris said. “The U.S. designation both recognizes the reality of the threat Boko Haram presents, and gives a boost, we hope, to the Nigerian government’s efforts to defeat this terrorist scourge.”

The State Department said that this designation would help U.S. and other law enforcement partners “to investigate and prosecute terrorist suspects.”

Religious conflict between the mainly Christian south and Muslim north has raged in Nigeria for decades. Boko Haram, which has links to al-Qaeda, calls for the formation of a “pure Islamic state” governed by Sharia law. It has attacked Christian targets, government offices, and moderate Muslims repeatedly since its formation in 2001.

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