Boko Haram - 2012
Boko Haram perpetrated numerous killings, bomb and suicide bomb attacks, prison breaks, and kidnappings throughout the country during 2012, when the sect expanded its campaign of assaults and bombings from Borno, Bauchi, and Yobe states to Adamawa, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, and Taraba states. The sect claimed responsibility for coordinated assaults on multiple targets in Kano on 20 January 2012; the suicide bombing of churches in Kaduna and Jos on Easter; the suicide bombings of the This Day newspaper offices in Abuja and Kaduna on April 26; the kidnapping and killing of British, Italian, and German hostages; the bombing of multiple churches in Bauchi, Plateau, and Kaduna states in June 2012; prison breaks in Lokoja and Abuja; and the killing of government, religious, and traditional figures throughout the year. Government officials, civil society, and religious leaders on multiple occasions claimed to have initiated a dialogue with Boko Haram, but elements of the sect denied any involvement in such talks.
On 21 June 2012, the United States designated as terrorists 3 members of the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram. The State Department said it was adding Abubakar Shekau, Abubakar Adam Kambar and Khalid al-Barnawi to its list of terrorists, meaning they would not be allowed to hold property or assets in the United States and that Americans would be prohibited from dealing with them. The State Department said Kambar and al-Barnawi had close links to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. Shekau was Boko Haram's "most visible leader" in the push for an Islamic state in the north outside of Nigeria's federal constitution. The designation of the 3 individuals was just short of designating Boko Haram as a terrorist organization. The Obama administration also said it was working with the Nigerian government to address some of the social and economic problems underlying the violence in northern Nigeria and on how best to address the threat posed by Boko Haram.
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