In remarks following a recent trip to Nigeria, Representative Chris Smith (R) (NJ-4) called for the immediate cessation of Boko Haram. A radical Islamic insurgency, Boko Haram was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the Department of State in November of 2013, in large part as result of the work of Rep. Smith’s Sub-committee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations. Boko Haram has, for years, perpetrated a campaign of terror against Christians, moderate Muslims, educators and government and military personnel in an effort to establish a separate Islamic state in the nation’s north.
06/24/2014 Washington, D.C. (Star-Ledger) – On a four-day return visit to Nigeria this month, I met with one of the few young women who escaped the infamous mid-April Chibok School abduction by Boko Haram — a brutal, Sunni extremist terrorist group committed to eradicating Christianity, forced conversions to Islam, an end to all things “western” especially education, and the violent overthrow of the elected local and national governments.
When the Boko Haram vehicle that this brave 18-year-old Chibok student was riding in became disabled, she and others ran into the bush, hid and evaded recapture. Almost two months later, clearly she was still traumatized — you could hear it in her quivering voice and see it in her eyes. Yet she spoke mostly of her deep concern for her friends and classmates still in captivity and pleaded for their immediate rescue. I told her there can be no higher priority than bringing her classmates — and other abducted Nigerian girls — home.
In the capital city of Abuja, I also met with other survivors, including a 47-year-old woman whose two daughters were abducted by Boko Haram more than two years ago — in February 2012.