Boko Haram has become a household word lately. The group, now known worldwide for abducting hundreds of girls from schools, sparked the hashtag campaign #bringbackourgirls (Bring Back Our Girls). They are an Islamic fundamentalist group advocating the implementation of Sharia law that occupies northern Nigeria.
Boko Haram was classified a terrorist organization when John Kerry became Secretary of State. But now we learn that some people wanted them to be classified as such even back when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. Clinton had declined to do so.
Now people are starting to ask why. The whole thing harkens back to the pre-9/11 days when some say George W. Bush did not take seriously the warnings that Al Qaeda planned to strike within the United States.
Why did the-Secretary of State Clinton not add Boko Haram to the list of organizations known to engage in terrorist activities?
The simple answer may be that there was no threat from Boko Haram to United States interests at the time. Clinton reasoned that, if the United States were to list Boko Haram as a terrorist organization, it would only catch their attention. The result would be a point around which such an extremist group could rally and recruit adherents.
Right now, most of Boko Haram's attacks are on fellow Muslims, those that they accuse of allowing in Western influence, such as education for women. But if they were to be able to point to a sleight from The Great Satan, the United States, then they could promote themselves as under attack from and in opposition to the biggest enemy of Islamic militants.
So Clinton kept an eye on Boko Haram, but left the official statement aside for the time being.
Now, of course, Boko Haram will not be ignored. They are bigger, meaner, and more active than ever. They still may pose no threat to American interests directly, and The U.S. has not been asked to intervene militarily in the current struggle with the group, but they have certainly been added to the list of terrorist organizations.
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