Fox's Revisionist History On The State Department's Handling Of Boko Haram

Blog ››› ››› OLIVIA KITTEL

Jennifer Griffin

A Fox News correspondent maligned Hillary Clinton for the State Department's alleged refusal to identify Boko Haram as a terrorist organization. In reality, during Mrs. Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, the State Department identified three of the group's leaders as foreign terrorists and noted that they were connected to al Qaeda.

On Wednesday, the United States deployed 80 members of its armed forces to Chad to aid in the search for the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram. Fox national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin jumped off this new development on the May 22 edition of Special Report, falsely claiming that the State Department "resisted" listing Boko Haram as "an Al Qaeda linked group" until November 2013 and implied that this characterization could have prevented the kidnapping:

Contrary to Griffin's claim, the State Department designated Boko Haram's top leaders as "foreign terrorists" in June 2012, noting that the leaders were "tied both to Boko Haram and to al Qaeda's north African wing." Reuters reported that this constituted the "first time [State] has blacklisted members of the Islamist group":

The United States on Thursday named three alleged leaders of the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram as "foreign terrorists," the first time it has blacklisted members of the Islamist group blamed for attacks across Africa's most populous nation.

The State Department identified the three as Abubakar Shekau, calling him the "most visible" leader of the group, and Abubakar Adam Kambar and Khalid al-Barnawi, who it said were tied both to Boko Haram and to al Qaeda's north African wing.

"These designations demonstrate the United States' resolve in diminishing the capacity of Boko Haram to execute violent attacks," it said, saying that Boko Haram or associated militants were responsible for more than 1,000 deaths in the past 18 months.

Despite the facts, right-wing media have pushed the myth that the State Department refused to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization in a desperate attempt to tie Hillary Clinton to the kidnappings. 

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