State Department designates two Nigerian Networks as Terrorist Groups

By Abraham Shanedling

The U.S. Department of State formally added Nigerian Islamist militant groups Boko Haram and its splinter group, Ansaru, as “Foreign Terrorist Organizations and Specially Designated Global Terrorists” last week.

Boko Haram, which has ties to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, is responsible for thousands of deaths in northeast and central Nigeria over the last several years, including a 2011 suicide bombing of the United Nations building in Abuja, the State Department said in a statement. Also operating in Nigeria, Ansaru was responsible for the 2013 kidnapping and execution of seven international construction workers and various attacks on Nigerian and Western targets.

The designations of Boko Haram and Ansaru under the Immigration and Nationalization Act and Executive Order 13224 now prohibit any material support to the groups and calls for the freezing of all of the organizations’ assets in the United States. Read more on the impact here.