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U.S. to Help Nigeria in the Search for Kidnapped Girls

President Obama discusses the kidnapping of more than 200 teenage girls in Chibok, Nigeria, and says the United States will send military and law enforcement advisors to Nigeria to help rescue the girls.

More than three weeks ago, on the night of April 14, a group of militants kidnapped more than 200 teenage girls from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria. In a video released earlier this week, Abubakar Shekau, who leads the terrorist organization Boko Haram based in northeast Nigeria, claimed that his group was behind the kidnappings.

“I abducted your girls,” Shekau said, adding that Boko Haram was holding the girls and would “sell them in the market.”

Yesterday, while talking with Al Roker of “The Today Show,” President Obama called it a “terrible situation,” and explained that the U.S. will send military and law enforcement advisors to Nigeria to support its efforts to find and free the girls:

Boko Haram, this terrorist organization that’s been operating in Nigeria, has been killing people and innocent civilians for a very long time. We’ve always identified them as one of the worst local or regional terrorist organizations there is out there. But I can only imagine what the parents are going through.

So what we’ve done is we have offered -- and it’s been accepted -- help from our military and law enforcement officials. We’re going to do everything we can to provide assistance to them. In the short term, our goal obviously is to help the international community and the Nigerian government as a team to do everything we can to recover these young ladies. But we’re also going to have to deal with the broader problem of organizations like this that can cause such havoc in people’s day-to-day lives.

In additional comments with Ginger Zee of “Good Morning America,” the President shared his hope that, after the teenage girls are rescued, this event will help “mobilize the entire international community to finally do something against this horrendous organization that’s perpetrated such a terrible crime.”