During a Wednesday question and answer period, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the abduction of Nigerian girls by Boko Haram as “abominable, it’s criminal, it’s an act of terrorism and it really merits the fullest response possible."
What she left out was in 2011, despite the urging of the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, and over a dozen senators and congressmen, Mrs. Clinton's State Department refused to place Boko Haram on the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations (after the group bombed the U.N. headquarters in Abuja).
The Daily Beast's Josh Rogan reports:
The one thing she could have done, the one tool she had at her disposal, she didn’t use. And nobody can say she wasn’t urged to do it. It’s gross hypocrisy,” said a former senior U.S. official who was involved in the debate. “The FBI, the CIA, and the Justice Department really wanted Boko Haram designated, they wanted the authorities that would provide to go after them, and they voiced that repeatedly to elected officials.
In May 2012, then-Justice Department official Lisa Monaco (now at the White House) wrote to the State Department to urge Clinton to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization. The following month, Gen. Carter Ham, the chief of U.S. Africa Command, said that Boko Haram provided a “safe haven” for al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and was likely sharing explosives and funds with the group. And yet, Hillary Clinton’s State Department still declined to place Boko Haram on its official terrorist roster.
When he took over the State Department in 2013, John Kerry gave Boko Haram the terrorist designation, which allows U.S. law enforcement agencies and spymasters to use certain tools, including several found in the Patriot Act. It also makes it illegal for any U.S. entities to do business with the group, and cuts off access to the U.S. financial system not only for the terrorist group but for anyone with whom it associates.