Today, Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and Pastor Laolu Akande, Executive Director of the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans (CANAN), issued the following joint statement in response to Sunday's Boko Haram bombing of a Catholic church in northern Nigeria, which killed a woman and a child and injured 48:
"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the latest atrocity waged by the Islamist terror group Boko Haram in Nigeria. Sunday's bombing at Saint John's Catholic Church in Bauchi is the latest in ongoing, coordinated attacks by Boko Haram on Catholic and other Christian churches in Nigeria, including the 2011 Christmas Day and 2012 Easter Day bombings. Since January 2011, these terrorist attacks have killed over 1,500 Nigerian Christians.
"Boko Haram is closely tied to al-Qaeda's regional affiliates in North and East Africa, and presents a potential threat to our Homeland and citizens. With a renewed sense of urgency, we once again call upon the U.S. Department of State to formally designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization."
Twice this year, King and Rep. Patrick Meehan, Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, have requested that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). Their most recent letter to Clinton is available HERE. Last year, under the leadership of Subcommittee Chairman Meehan, the Committee released a bipartisan report entitled "Boko Haram - Emerging Threat to the U.S. Homeland" and convened a related hearing.
Pastor Akande and other Nigerian-American Christians established CANAN on September 11, 2012, to address the Boko Haram terrorist killings in Nigeria and other broader issues related to Nigerian-Americans.