Fox News quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on the timing of Boko Haram’s designation by the US State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization:

Peter Pham, an Africa expert at the Atlantic Council, agreed that the State Department was ambivalent about designating Boko Haram until 2012, but said the hesitancy was widespread throughout much of the foreign policy and intelligence community at the time. 

“There was tremendous pushback,” Pham told, recalling his own advocacy for the FTO on Capitol Hill as early as 2011. He noted, too, that the Nigerian government was “in denial,” and felt the designation would “impair foreign investment” and other assistance to the county. The government also worried the designation would give Boko Haram additional clout. 

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