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Global security experts warned Africa a 'breeding ground' for terrorists

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Boko Haram terrorists attacked a Nigerian military base and nearby police barracks on in Buni Yadi, killing 31 security personnel, security sources said.

Reuters reports that security sources and witnesses said two attacks in northern Nigeria on Tuesday that killed at least 54 people were also carried out by members of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

Escalating violent attacks by Muslim extremists groups including Boko Haram and al Shabab have killed killing thousands of innocent victims in Africa over several years. In recent years, Boko Haram has carried out multiple suicide attacks on churches, seeking "to eradicate Christians" from areas in Nigeria, in addition to newspapers, government officials, and security forces.

Terrorism and global security experts have criticized the United States government for not doing enough to combat the growing threat of al Qaeda affiliated extremist groups. Terrorism experts and scholars have repeatedly warned that Africa has long been considered a breeding ground for al-Qaeda and its affiliates. However, a 1997 law known as the Leahy Amendment prohibits American forces from working with foreign military units that have been accused of chronic human rights violations. The Leahy Amendment limits the U. S. government’s options and has prevented U.S. officials from dealing with a Nigerian counter-terrorism unit that has experience tracking Boko Haram, officials said.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the West, some experts say have largely ignored widespread corruption and continued extreme poverty and social injustice. Many global security experts have criticized the IMF for its failure to provide oversight of funds allotted to corrupt leaders, consequently fueling Africa's growing terrorism activity. Financial support meant to provide food and medical care to African citizens for instance, instead provided financial support to terrorist organizations.

In August 2004, the findings of a Canadian Security Intelligence Service report titled “The Islamist Threat in Sub-Saharan Africa,” warned that poor Muslim Africans were receptive to the idea of global jihad.

The U.S. State Department has been criticized for refusing to place Boko Haram on the list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2011, after the high-profile suicide attack that targeted the United Nations headquarters in the Nigerian capital of Abuja in August, 2011. The refusal came despite the urging of the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, and over a dozen senators and congressmen.

U.S. Rep. Peter King, the former chair of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security has pointed out in recent weeks that two requests in early 2013 by both the House and Senate Committees to the United State Department of State to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization were ignored.

It was not until November, 2013, that the United State Department of State designated Boko Haram a terrorist organization. The U.S. Department of State describes Boko Haram as "a Nigeria-based militant group with links to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) that is responsible for thousands of deaths in northeast and central Nigeria over the last several years including targeted killings of civilians.

NBC News reports that U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity said Boko Haram’s desire to strike against a U.S. target has grown due to the increasing U.S. involvement in the hunt for 276 missing Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by the group last month.

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