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S. 3249 (112th): Boko Haram Terrorist Designation Act of 2012

The text of the bill below is as of May 24, 2012 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.



2d Session

S. 3249


May 24, 2012

(for himself, Mr. Chambliss, and Mr. Risch) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


To require a report on the designation of Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Boko Haram Terrorist Designation Act of 2012.


Report on designation of Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization



Congress finds the following:


On August 26, 2011, a vehicle borne explosive device (VBIED) was detonated after being driven into the lobby of a United Nations facility in Abuja, Nigeria. At least 21 people died as a result of the explosion, and the Islamist militant organization commonly called Boko Haram claimed responsibility.


On December 25, 2011, a series of bombs were detonated across northern Nigeria. Some of these attacks killed worshippers attending Christmas Day services, and killed an estimated total of 41 people. Boko Haram claimed responsibility.


From their inception, Boko Haram has killed hundreds of innocent civilians and has continually enhanced its lethality, pledging to continue its use of terrorist tactics. In a July 2010 statement, Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, issued support to al Qaeda and made threatening remarks to the United States.


On January 31, 2012, in testimony before Congress, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper included Boko Haram in his worldwide threat assessment, stating, There are also fears that Boko Haram—elements of which have engaged al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)—is interested in hitting Western targets, such as the U.S. Embassy and hotels frequented by Westerners..


On February 23, 2012, United States Ambassador to Nigeria Terrence P. McCulley indicated Boko Haram’s danger was expanding. He said, We’ve seen an increase in sophistication, we’ve seen increased lethality. We saw at last a part of the group has decided it’s in their interest to attack the international community..


On February 27, 2012, at a conference held by the African Society of the National Summit on Africa, former United States Ambassador to Nigeria Howard F. Jeter described Boko Haram by saying, It is a terrorist group. If you kill 28 innocent people worshipping in a church, it is a terrorist group..


The Foreign Office of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, a major United States ally, publicly refers to Boko Haram as the main terrorist threat in Nigeria.




In general

Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees—


a detailed report on whether the Nigerian organization named People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad (commonly known as Boko Haram and by other aliases, including Ansaru and Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad), meets the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189); and


if the Secretary of State determines that Boko Haram does not meet such criteria, a detailed justification as to which criteria have not been met.



The report required by paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex if appropriate.


Appropriate congressional committees defined

In this subsection, the term appropriate congressional committees means—


the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate; and


the Committee on Homeland Security, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives.


Rule of construction

Nothing in this Act may be construed to infringe upon the sovereignty of the Government of Nigeria to combat militant or terrorist groups operating inside the boundaries of Nigeria.