The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
Statement by Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco on the Designation of Boko Haram and Ansaru as Foreign Terrorist Organizations
Today, the United States designated Nigeria-based groups Boko Haram and Ansaru as Foreign Terrorist Organizations and Specially Designated Global Terrorists. In the last several years, Boko Haram and Ansaru have been responsible for thousands of deaths in northeast and central Nigeria, including dozens of attacks on churches and mosques, targeted killings of civilians, and the 2011 suicide bombing of the United Nations building in Abuja that killed 21 people and injured dozens more.
By cutting these terrorist organizations off from U.S. financial institutions and enabling banks to freeze assets held in the United States, these designations demonstrate our strong support for Nigeria’s fight against terrorism and its efforts to address security challenges in the north.
As President Obama emphasized when he met with Nigerian President Jonathan in September, we encourage Nigeria to pursue a comprehensive counterterrorism approach that uses law enforcement tools effectively, creates economic opportunity, and ensures that human rights are protected and respected. The United States stands firmly with the people of Nigeria in their efforts to bring the terrorist violence perpetrated by these groups to an end.