The United States Government will on Thursday formally tag three leaders of the Boko Haram sect as “foreign terrorists”, a Reuters report said.
The administration of the current US President Barack Obama has come under pressure to take more serious action against the Nigerian homegrown terrorist sect. For months US lawmakers have urged the State Department to place Boko Haram on its terror watch list, a move that was rejected by top Nigerian officials who felt doing so will make international travel more difficult of Nigerian citizens.
While the whole Boko Haram group is yet to make the terror list, officials said three key figures of the sect will get the “terrorist” stamp.
The Boko Haram sect has recently intensified its attacks on Christian places of worship and security agents in the past few weeks. It has claimed almost 2,000 lives in a series of attacks since its insurgence began in 2009.
A recent report showed that the sect vowed to launch its bloodiest campaign in the month of June.
Boko Haram attacks have been focused mostly in the northern region of Nigeria and targeted locals, but its impact is being felt beyond borders. The 2011 bombing of the United Nations Nigerian headquarters in Abuja that claimed at least 23 lives, was the sect’s first hit at an international body.
An official revealed that the three individuals set to be labeled as “foreign terrorists” by the United States are
- Abubakar Shekau, the spiritual leader of the terrorist sect said to be about age 43. Shekau has featured in recent video messages released by the sect on YouTube where he is seen threatening more mayhem upon the Nigerian government and all other “infidels”.
- Abubakar Adam Kambar, aged about 35.
- Khalid al Barnawi, aged approximately 36.
What being on the list means? Any assets the three “terrorist” branded individual have in the United States will be frozen and they will be unable to carry out any transactions with persons in the US.
Comment below. Will the US “foreign terrorist” label impede the sect in anyway?