U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee Chairman Peter T. King (R-NY), and Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Meehan (R-PA) released the following statement regarding the Department of State designating Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), a move the Committee has long advocated for.
In addition to numerous requests for designation submitted to the Secretary of State over the past two years, the Committee has released two reports on the threat of Boko Haram. In September, Chairman McCaul, Subcommittees Chairmen King and Meehan released a report entitled "Boko Haram: Growing Threat to the U.S. Homeland." Last Congress, the Committee released a bipartisan report entitled "Boko Haram - Emerging Threat to the U.S. Homeland."
Boko Haram has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to waging violent jihad. The organization's growing capacity and alliance with al Qaeda make it a threat to the U.S. Homeland and U.S. interest abroad. Designating Boko Haram an FTO will ensure support for the group's activities is prohibited by law.
McCaul, King and Meehan: "Today the Department of State recognized the threat Boko Haram and their splinter group Ansaru pose, and finally designated Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization. As members of the Committee on Homeland Security, we have repeatedly called on the Department to issue this designation and join our Nigerian and British allies in providing our law enforcement and intelligence communities the authority they need to prosecute support for Boko Haram. Today we welcome the Department taking this step in an effort to help our allies in the region tackle the growing threat of al Qaeda, their affiliates and similar groups.
"As the Committee detailed in our recent report, since 2011 Boko Haram has readily demonstrated increased sophistication and lethality in their attacks. The training and money they have received from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has made Boko Haram a threat to U.S. interests in West Africa and potentially the Homeland. We cannot underestimate their ruthlessness and willingness to wage jihad against innocent Nigerians and our Western allies, and we are glad the Department of State has taken our recommendations to address this threat."