The U.S. said on Thursday that it decided to designate three leaders of Boko Haram as terrorists because their plans had gone beyond discrediting the Nigerian Government.
Mr Johnnie Carson, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, made the clarification at a news conference in Abuja.
“We have not designated the entire organisation; we constantly keep that under review, but we have designated the three top leaders we believe to be out establishing broader terrorist networks.
“They have a broader jihadist agenda that goes beyond simply discrediting the Nigerian government.’’
Carson, who spoke on `Presidential Policy Directive on Sub-Saharan Africa’ at the U.S. Embassy, said the activities of the group also served as a major concern to neighbouring countries.
“The issue of Boko Haram is not only of major concern to Nigeria, but to neighbouring countries. Boko Haram, we believe, comprises several different kinds of groups.
“We believe that the Boko Haram movement is trying to do everything in its power to show that the government is ineffective in the defence of its people and in the protection of government institutions.’’
Carson reiterated the U.S. Government’s commitment to maintaining a high degree of security presence in its embassies globally.
It will be recalled that the U.S. on June 22 labelled the acclaimed leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, and two others – Abubakar Adam Kambar and Khalid al-Barnawi – as global terrorists.
A statement by the State Department said the designation under Executive Order 13224, “blocks all of Shekau’s, Kambar’s and al-Barnawi’s property interests subject to U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with or for the benefit of these individuals”. (NAN)