Nigeria has the continent’s largest population and largest economy, and it plays a vital role in efforts to resolve crises and promote stability and prosperity in West Africa and beyond. In the midst of rapid economic growth, however, Nigeria faces security challenges, notably Boko Haram, a violent Islamist movement that has staged regular attacks in northern Nigeria since 2010.
Countering terrorism requires a holistic approach. The United States is working with Nigeria and other international partners to help promote and support such an approach to Boko Haram. This list identifies 10 ways the United States is working to assist Nigeria's counterterrorism efforts.
- Boko Haram commanders Abubakar Shekau, Khalid al-Barnawi, and Abubakar Adam Kambar were designated on June 21, 2012, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.
- The U.S. government designated Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under E.O. 13224 in November 2013.
- Since June 2013, the State Department’s Rewards for Justice program has advertised a reward offer of up to US $7 million for information leading to the location of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.
- Counterterrorism support to Nigeria focuses on building critical counterterrorism capabilities among Nigeria’s civilian and law enforcement agencies.
- As part of the U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission Framework, the United States and Nigeria holds regular Regional Security working group meetings focused on the Boko Haram threat.
Soldiers and police inspect a compound attacked by Boko Haram in Nigeria, Dec, 2. 2013. [AP File Photo]
- The State Department’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program enhances Nigerian law enforcement’s capability to prevent, detect, and investigate terrorism threats; secure Nigeria’s borders; and manage responses to terrorist incidents in a rule-of-law framework.
- Countering violent extremism efforts include promoting engagement between law enforcement and citizens, and elevating the role of women civil society leaders.
- Nigeria is an active member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) and will join the United States as one of the founding members of the International Institute on Justice and the Rule of Law, which will open its doors in June 2014 in Malta to provide rule of law based counterterrorism training.
- Nigeria is a member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP), a U.S. government-funded and implemented effort designed to enhance regional security sector capacity to counter violent extremism, improve border and customs systems, strengthen financial controls, and build law enforcement and security sector capacity.
- The State Department’s Counterterrorism Finance (CTF) program provides training that aims to restrict Boko Haram’s ability to raise, move, and store money.
The United States has been working to counter Boko Haram for many years, and we will continue to do so.
For more information:
- Frequently Asked Questions About Terrorism Designations
- Addressing the Growing Threat of Boko Haram, Testimony Before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on African Affairs, May 15, 2014
- Background Briefing on the Situation in West Africa, May 14, 2014
- Background Briefing on Designation of Boko Haram and Ansaru as Foreign Terrorist Organizations and as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, November 13, 2013