Hillary Clinton’s State Department Would Not Label Boko Haram as Terrorists

May have hindered government's ability to confront Nigerian group

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As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fought against placing al Qaeda-linked militant group Boko Haram on the State Department’s official list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2011, the Daily Beast’s Josh Rogin reports.

The group responsible for the kidnapping of over 250 Nigerian schoolgirls.

And now, lawmakers and former U.S. officials are saying that the decision may have hampered the American government’s ability to confront the Nigerian group that shocked the world by abducting hundreds of innocent girls.

In the past week, Clinton, who made protecting women and girls a key pillar of her tenure at the State Department, has been a vocal advocate for the 200 Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, the loosely organized group of militants terrorizing northern Nigeria. Her May 4 tweet about the girls, using the hashtag #BringOurGirlsBack, was cited across the media and widely credited for raising awareness of their plight.

On Wednesday, Clinton said that the abduction of the girls by Boko Haram was “abominable, it’s criminal, it’s an act of terrorism and it really merits the fullest response possible, first and foremost from the government of Nigeria.” Clinton said that as Secretary of State she had numerous meetings with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and had urged the Nigerian government to do more on counterterrorism.

Clinton was urged by several officials, including Justice Department official Lisa Monaco and Chief of U.S. Africa Command Gen. Carter Ham, to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization.

Secretary of State John Kerry added Boko Haram to the State Department’s official list  in November 2013 following several church bombings and other terrorist acts.

Lawmakers are now pushing for the terrorist organization to be added to the United Nation’s list of foreign terrorist groups.

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