tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 22, 2014 2:00am-4:01am EDT
term. the original bill gave examples of what they voted me. my phone number, my address but the bill has more broad language sam privacy groups say it could allow for more mass collection instead of and privacy groups said could be an entire area. >> the viewers got the of markups. and whose seeds of paul sides of the i/o? >> with said judiciary committee chairman with steve peters of the intelligence committee it started off as sensenbrenner will speak. is his bill it is a
compromise but had some savings including the emergency provision. in this is the provision is. >> with final passage with the bipartisan support and opposition. >> yes. one of the issues is where you see the senate to going with this san senator leahy who offered companion legislation already expressing disappointment with changes and the compromise that has been made to it. >>host: the senate dealing with national security with the nomination of david barron to the first circuit the senate advanced the
nomination 52 / 43 vote. what is the headline here? why was there some sense of opposition? >>guest: the role he played to author a memo justifying that lays out the administration is justification for the drone and strikes abroad targeted against counter terrorism suspects that has been very controversial tactic. rand paul who was the persistent critic has been the loudest voice of that debate. >>host: circling back to the white house from obviously there but the barron nomination to pass what about the nsa bill in the house? >> they endorsed it that the compromise language said appear this week seems to have emerged after a closed
they were abducted. with every passing minute makes their successful rescue less likely. and we meet today to ensure that the united states is doing everything it can to assist in their rescue. just yesterday the house passed a resolution pressing for more aggressive action. and many around the world are just now hearing of boko haram. sadly, though, for communities in northern nigeria, they know the death and destruction that this group brings, only too well, and they've known it for a number of years. they've known it for a number of years, because as boko haram has spread they have continued to burn schools. as of today over 500 schools have been destroyed. over 100 teachers have been killed. this morning committee members
had the chance to meet with deborah peter. deborah, a young woman of just 15 years of age, is from chibok, nigeria. the same town where the recent abductions took place. miss peters is seated in the front row. she is one of only three boko haram survivors in the united states. she courageously shared her traumatic experience at the hands of boko haram with us this morning. and her father, and her brother -- her fair was a pastor, were executed in front of her eyes for not renouncing their christian faith. the church, his church, was burned to the ground. we thank deborah for being with us today. we thank her and her friends for traveling -- for traveling from rural virginia to share her traumatic story in the hopes that the world will act. we are faced with two challenges
in northern nigeria. in the near-term, seeing these girls rescued. and in the long-term, rendering boko haram unable to threaten the region. this is a group that have killed thousands. thousands of nigerians to date. and their loose title of the translation boko haram is western education is a sin. their mission is to carry out a war against those who educate or empower women.oko haram. their mission is to carry out a war against those who educate or empower women. and the greatest sin to them is not treating women as chattel, which they do, or enslaving women, which they purport to justify, or selling women. no the greatest sin to them is to be involved in educating or teaching young women how to read and write.
and over time, this group, boko haram, has developed a vast arsenal of weapons. they are an al qaeda affiliate. they've -- they've sworn their allegiance to al qaeda. they've received training from al qaeda groups. they've built up their resources with that support. and this means greater terror for the people in northern nigeria. and greater challenges for nigerian security forces. unfortunately, these forces suffer unprofessional elements with poor morale. i have been in nigeria several times. it is a struggle for the nigerian military to cope with this threat. and that's led some to say that we should not get involved. but it tells me otherwise.
it tells me that u.s. involvement is critical. u.s. forces are well-positioned to advise and assist. we can advise and assist nigerian forces in the search and the rescue of these girls. in this role, u.s. forces expertly trained to deal with hostage situations, and in jungle environments, and in tracking, could help nigerians with intelligence, planning, and logistics. and if some u.s. laws would hinder such assistance, the administration should use its waiver authority under these extraordinary circumstances. why do we care? we care about deborah. her friends and family. we care about a girl's right to an education. we care about human rights, and religious liberty and the future
of africa's largest country. largest in population, largest economy. and we have direct security interests. commanders at the pentagon have stated that boko haram is, in their words, a threat to western interests. and one of the highest counterterrorism priorities in africa. pressure from this committee was critical in getting the state department to designate boko haram as a foreign terrorist organization. indeed, the administration made that announcement in this room, under pressure from us on this committee. as many have noted, it shouldn't have taken so long. we want to hear from the state department and the pentagon witnesses on the strategy we now have in place. boko haram, with heavy weapons, and grenade attacks, is waging a
brutal war against schoolgirls carrying back packs and books and pencils. we can't sit on the side lines, and i'll now turn to the ranking member for his opening comments. mr. eliot engel of new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you for holding this very timely hearing on boko haram. i'd like to thank our witnesses, dr. sewell and ms. dory for being here today. and, of course, i'd like to welcome miss deborah peter, a brave young survivor of a boko haram attack in 2011. she met with members of this committee earlier this morning to describe her harrowing experience. deborah, we are all grateful for your courage, and your commitment to seeing that these horrible abuses are stopped, so that no other family goes through what your family has gone through. thank you for your courage. we're all very, very proud of you. and i must also say that since i
have the opportunity to meet with her privately, how proud any parent would be of having a daughter like deborah. so thank you, deborah. mr. chairman, boko haram is an islamic extremist group increasingly active since 2010. it operates mainly in northern nigeria. as we all know, one of boko haram's most recent atrocities took place on april 14th of this year. that day nearly 300 schoolgirls were doing what young women and girls all over the world do every day. studying for tests, playing with friends, building a future for themselves. that day boko haram, which roughly translates to western education is forbidden, abducted these girls, tore them away from their families and their communities. today more than a month later we still don't know where they are. our thoughts are obviously with their families, and we pray that they are safely reunited as soon as possible.
the united states and other international partners have offered assistance to bring the schoolgirls home, and we all hope those efforts will prove successful. i agree with chairman royce that we must do everything in our power to bring those girls home, and the united states can be very helpful in assisting this process. but even as we work to address the crisis, we need to focus on the larger challenge. stopping boko haram's reign of terror in nigeria and beyond. just yesterday, boko haram set off two bombs in the city of jos killing over 100 people. 100 innocent people. two weeks ago, the group attacked a market in the town of gamboru killing more than 300 people. and back in 2011 in one of their most high profile attacks, the terrorist group bombed the united nations headquarters in abuja, killing at least 21 people, and injuring more than 120.
you really have to be bold to attack a united nations headquarters. so all tolled, boko haram has murdered more than 5,000 people over the last four years. their victims are both christians and muslims, men, women, and children, and, of course, teachers. much about this brazen kidnapping boko haram was virtually unknown around the world. as more of their violent history has come to light, the international community has reacted with shock, horror, and disbelief. the sad reality is that boko haram is not new, and neither are their tactics. i think our witnesses can shed more light on the situation for us and for everyone, following the plight of these young girls. how did boko haram emerge? and grow into an extremist threat. what has allowed them to thrive as an organization? and what challenges does the u.s. face in working with nigeria to disrupt and dismantle the group. let me just say that contrary to
some of the reporting i've seen, i know the difficulty in weakening boko haram has not been due to a lack of effort or an unwillingness to help. in fact, one of our major challenges is working with the nigerian military itself. its approach in northern nigeria has often alienated the very population that could be providing valuable information about boko haram's activities. but instead of forming these relationships, unfortunately, the military is too often built a record of indiscriminate destruction themselves, theft of personal property, arbitrary arrests, indefinite detention, torture and extra judicial killing of civilians, much of this with impunity. in addition, despite a recent intelligence sharing agreement, there are legitimate concerns that intelligence shared with the military to assist them in their operations, might be leaked. and to make matters worse, this
corruption, it's rampant throughout the force. nigerian security forces are the best funded on the african continent. yet many of the funds are siphoned off by corruption, while troops often aren't paid a living wage, generating increased frustration in the ranks, and fuelling low-level corruption. so how exactly can the u.s. engage with a military force that sometimes lacks professionalism and often seems to fail to respect human rights? and how do we convince nigerian leaders that they aren't doing enough, and, in fact, may be making the problem worse? lastly, while we are very focused on recovering these girls, and stopping boko haram, we need to look at the broader context. years of economic stagnation and neglect have afflicted northern nigeria and created the sort of environment where terrorist groups thrive. in places where there is no support or opportunity, extremists find it easier to prey on vulnerable populations, preaching false ideologies of
violence and hatred. to push back against this tide i believe nigeria's government must address these issues of corruption, improving professionalism of its security forces, and providing additional resources for education, infrastructure, and economic activity. in short, nigeria must take a more holistic approach to counterterrorism. so i look forward to hearing from our witnesses about how the u.s. can more effectively engage with the nigerians to address this scourge of boko haram today. i regard nigeria as our partner in this, and the united states needs to be helpful to them. we need to build an environment that forces development and prosperity in northern nigeria for tomorrow. so thank you mr. chairman for holding this hearing. and thanks to the witnesses, and deborah, for appearing here today. >> thank you. >> i yield back. >> thank you mr. engel. we go to mr. chris smith -- >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. again, thank you for convening this extremely important hearing. obviously words are inadequate
to express our concern and i say that collectively for all of pus for the welfare and whereabouts of the abducted girls, as well as the outrage towards boko haram for this absolutely horrific act of aggression, and violence against these young women. my good friend and colleague mr. engel just mentioned how boko haram is largely unknown around the world until this infamous incident. but not the chairman royce or eliot engel or ranking member bass or me or any other member of this committee. we have been raising the concerns of boko haram for years. especially since 2011, when they seemed to transition into a more lethal stage with the bombing of the u.n. mission in abuja. but also, the very real problem of not being designated a foreign terrorist organization. i held two hearings on boko haram. emmanuel agabe was at one of those hearings. i went with him, he joined us in
joes and in abuja and we met with people who had been the victims of fire bombings, christians, as well as some muslims who are targeted for killings by these thugs, and he made it very clear then, and he is now accompanying deborah peter, just how this is only going to get worse unless all means are used to destroy this terrible threat.only going to g all means are used to destroy this terrible threat. it took years to get that designation. i look forward to what the answer might be. it wasn't until we had another hearing, and at that hearing it was announced that yes, it would be designated an fto, i don't know, i still can't understand what the delay was, when -- and i asked ambassador johnny carson repeatedly at one of those hearings, and that's the one that mr. ogabe testified at, why. why the delay? we all need to work, be on the
same page now and work as never before to assist the government of nigeria. but we lost some precious time in all candor, by not designating boko haram a foreign terrorist organization earlier, rather than later. yield back. >> thank you. congresswoman karen bass isn't with us today, as the ranking subcommittee member. she's in africa. so we'll go to -- we'll go to mr. brad sherman, chairman of the subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation and trade. >> boko haram is but one of many organizations using terror to try to impose a contorted version of ninth century islam. it touches our heart to see the victims from north africa through the middle east and south asia. but it's also a threat to the united states. whether these groups claim to be affiliated with al qaeda, or don't claim the al qaeda franchise, whether their chief
focus is local and their secondary forces -- focus is worldwide jihad, or the reverse, the war against violent extremism is not one that we can declare to be over just because we're tired of it. it has been one of our longest conflicts, exceeded at this point only by the cold war. but it has to be won. we have to turn off the money to groups like boko haram. and i hope that we'll get some testimony as to the gulf oil, and state and other money that is or is not being detected, going to these groups. and we have to provide the military aid to the nigerian government and other host governments. to deal with this extremism. i yield back. >> thank you. lastly, we go to for one minute to mr. ted poe, a former judge and subcommittee on the --
subcommittee chair on terrorism, nonproliferation and trade. >> boko haram showed the world its evil ways when it arrogantly kidnapped over 200 innocent schoolgirls, threatened to marry them off to their fighters, and traffic them out of the country as property and as slaves. as a judge, i've seen the ills of human trafficking and other despicable acts. and this is the ultimate human rights violation. but it's not a surprise, given who these outlaws are. unfortunately the state department did not want to designate boko haram as a foreign terrorist organization until 14 months after the fbi and other government organizations made their plea to designate the group. in fact, the state department didn't make the announcement until the day before my subcommittee held a joint hearing with mr. smith's subcommittee on the threat of boko haram in mid-november of 2013.
interesting timing, wouldn't you think? we should have listed boko haram earlier. instead we worried about diplomatic relations. nonsense rules the day. after fighting the fto designation for so long, i'm curious how the state department now has implemented the designation, and what, if anything, we are doing to stop this foreign terrorist organization. do we have a plan? what's the plan? i yield back. >> we are joined this morning by representatives of the department of state, and department of defense. we welcome them. dr. sewell, prior to being sworn in earlier this year as undersecretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights. dr. sarah sewell served as a senior lecturer in public policy at the john f. kennedy school of government at harvard university. and dr. sewell also served as deputy assistant connect for peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance at the department of
defense from 1993 to 1996. miss amanda dory is the deputy assistant secretary of defense for african affairs, and the office of the secretary of defense. a career member of the senior executive service, ms. dory previously served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy. she is a recipient of the presidential rank award for her work on the 2010 quadrennial defense review. and without objection, the witness' full prepared statement will be made part of the record. members will have five calendar days to submitting statements or questions to the witnesses, or to submit any extraneous material for the record here. and we'll start with dr. sewell, if you would summarize your remarks, and hold it to five minutes, and then afterwards we will go to questions. dr. sewell.
>> thank you, chairman. >> thank you. make sure your microphone is on there, and also, without objection, i would like to include for the record miss deborah peter's testimony, which she recounted, and gave us this morning. members of this committee who met with her. ear going to make that part of the record, and thank you, deborah, for that. all right. dr. sewell. >> chairman royce, ranking member engel and members of the committee, thank you for inviting me here today to discuss nigeria's struggle against boko haram, one of the most lethal terrorist groups in africa today. and thank you, mr. chairman, and the committee, for your longtime leadership on african issues. over a month ago the world was outraged when boko haram kidnapped some 250 young women from a secondary school in chibok and the united states swiftly joined the effort to help the government of nigeria safely recover the hostages. president obama pledged our full
support, and president goodluck jonathan readily accepted secretary kerry's offer of assistance. today, in nigeria's capital abuja, a robust multidisciplinary team from the united states government is working hand in hand with nigerian counterparts, and teams from half a dozen other countries, such as the united kingdom and france. our military and civilian experts in intelligence, military planning, hostage negotiations, strategic communications, civilian protection and victim support, have been given unprecedented access and cooperation to assist nigeria's effort to safely recover the kidnapped schoolgirls. this effort, one that would be daunting for any government, will necessarily entail not just a diplomatic approach but also law enforcement and diplomatic -- not just a military approach, but also a law enforcement and diplomatic effort. during our trip last week, africom commander general david rodriguez and i met with nigeria's top security officials to stress america's support for
nigerian efforts, and to reiterate the need for nigeria to redouble its efforts to defeat boko haram while respecting human rights, and ensuring the protection of civilians. this past weekend, undersecretary of state for political arrears wendy sherman continued america's conversation with nigerian president jonathan, heads of state from neighboring countries, and other key partners, at a summit in paris, convened by french president hollande. coming one day after boko haram killed and kidnapped chinese nationals in northern cameroon the kidnappings underscored why boko haram is a regional challenge. and while the kidnapping has cast a spotlight on this terrorist organization, i want to emphasize that for roughly a decade, the united states has been working to help the people of nigeria, and the nigerian government, address this terrorist threat. today i'd like to highlight some of the kinds of security assistance that we have more recently been providing to help nigeria address boko haram.
fiscal years 2012, 2013, department of state planned approximately $35.8 million in security assistance programs that benefit nigeria, subject to congressional notification, and approval. we're working with vetted police, and civilian security components to build nigerian law enforcement capacities to investigate terrorist cases, effectively deal with explosive devices, and secure nigeria's borders. we do this because the most effective counterterrorism policies and practices are those that respect human rights, and are underpinned by the rule of law. we're also focusing on enabling various nigerian security services, including the police, intelligence agencies, and the ministry of defense, refusing multiple information streams to develop a better understanding of boko haram. we engage in robust dialogue with our nigerian counterparts on these activities including the u.s. through nigeria by national commission's regional security working group. there's also a lengthy history of dod involvement which i'll leave to my defense department
colleague to describe. the department has also considered other steps to support the fight against boko haram. as you know its leaders do not have bank accounts and the organization is not structured as many other terrorist organizations against whom the united states has used particular legal designations. after careful deliberation and consultation with the nigerian government, the united states decided in june 2012 to designate boko haram's top commanders as specially designated global terrorists. which allowed us to implement an asset freeze, a travel ban and a prohibition on providing weapons or material support to these designated individuals as relevant. in june 2013, we decided to add abubakar sha cow, boko haram's official leader, to our rewards for justice program with a $7 million reward for information leading to his arrest. in november 2013, after implementing and assessing these earlier steps and building on our long record of security
cooperation, and shortly after nigeria and the united kingdom made their own designations we also designated boko haram as a terrorist -- a foreign terrorist organization. our approach reflected our evolving assessment of boko haram's threat potential, the utility of additional sanctions of different types, and our close coordination with our partners. significantly while nigeria had been reluctant to seek international attention to the boko haram crisis it has now moved forward in part at our urging to request that the united nations security council designate boko haram under its al qaeda regime. and while these efforts will make a difference, we continue to have concerns that corruption and human rights violations by government forces, particularly those forces that have operated in the northeast continue to undermine the government's attempts to defeat boko haram militarily. given these concerns, we continue to press the government of nigeria to demonstrate that it is working to protect civilians where boko haram is not. and this means ending impunity for human rights violations by security forces. let me be clear that there is no
equivalence between the actions of the nigerian military and those of boko haram, a terrorist group that seeks to murder civilians in large numbers, and terrorize the civilian population as a matter of policy, killing over 1200 people in 2014 this far. yet we also know the power of popular grievance narratives against the government and it's incumbent upon nigeria's government to demonstrate through specific tens the will to ensure its forces protect human rights for all of its people and end impunity for those that use violence indiscriminately. consistent with our counsel two months ago the government of nigeria announced a multifalseated quote soft approach to countering boko haram, and we're eager to see it implemented. and we're also eager to see the nigerian government address the underlying concerns that impede their ability to address boko haram. in closing, i will say that the state department like the american people hopes very much to see the nigerian schoolgirls reunited with their families
soon. but we are also prepared for a long, tough fight to defeat boko haram and to help the nigerian people realize the full potential and economic potential, political and economic potential of their great country. thank you. >> dr. dory. >> good morning. >> good morning chairman royce, ranking member, engel, members of the committee. thank you for calling us together to address the deeply disturbing abductions of more than 270 schoolgirls from northern nigeria by the terrorist organization boko haram. some five weeks ago. the global community has been horrified by this barbarous act. within the context of the u.s. government response the department of defense is taking action to help the nigerian authorities' efforts to recover the girls safely, and address the growing threat of boko haram. 16 dod personnel from multiple locations have joined the multidisciplinary team of experts led by state department
as our embassy in abuja. their initial efforts have been to work with nigerian security personnel to identify gaps and shortfalls, and provide requested expertise and information, including the use of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support. we're also working closely with the uk, france, and other international partners in abuja to coordinate multilateral actions. our intent is to support nigerian-led efforts to safely recover the girls, and help catalyze greater efforts to secure the population of nigeria from the menace of boko haram. to be clear, immediate and long-term solutions to boko haram must be developed, and implemented, by the sovereign government of nigeria. if sustained security is to be achieved. extant in its current form since 2009, the boko haram threat has grown over the past several years, extending its geographic reach, and increasing the sophistication and lethality of
its attacks. along with other u.s. departments and agencies, dod has been engaging for some time with the government of nigeria to help build its capacity to respond. beginning in january 2011, we've used the state department-led u.s./nigeria binational commission as our principle forum to tackle the challenge of enhancing county insurgency efforts while developing a civilian centered approach to security that is comprehensive, engaging law enforcement, border security, as well as the underlying contributors to instability such as governments, education, health, and economic development. for its part, dod is supporting the establishment of counter-ied and civil military operations capacity within the nigerian army as part of nigeria's security doctrine. we've also supported the establishment of a national level intelligence fusion capability to promote better information sharing among the various nigerian national security entities.
most recently, in late april of this year we began working with nigeria's newly created counterterrorism focused ranger battalion. as has been demonstrated recently, boko haram uses the lightly controlled borders between nigeria and its neighbors for cross-border operations. last week, france hosted a very timely summit at which heads of state from nigeria, chad, cameroon, benin, niger, along with the u.s. and uk, sought to improve regional collaboration. for our part, dod and the department of state are working closely together on a proposal to enhance border security along nigeria's common borders, with chad, niger and cameroon, in support of a regional response to counter the threat posed by boko haram. the concept is to build border security capacity and promote better cooperation and communication among the security forces of each country with the aim of reducing boko haram's operational space and safe
havens. as committed as the u.s. is to supporting nigeria, and in returning these girls safely, nigeria's fight against boko haram is a very challenging case. in the face of a new and more sophisticated threat, nigeria's security forces have been greatly challenged by boko haram's tactics. also troubling have been the heavy handed approaches by security forces during operations against boko haram. approaches that risk further alienating local populations. consistent with u.s. law and policy, we review all security units nominated for assistance, and we do not provide assistance when there is credible information of human rights violations. with this important consideration in mind we've worked to engage where we are able. no discussion of how to address boko haram would be complete without addressing some of the political dynamics in nigeria and the underlying security environment. in spite of its vast oil wealth nigeria continues to face enormous development challenges.
when these factors are combined with pervasive corruption, and boko haram's brutal terrorization of the population, northern nigerians lack a reliable source of security. the long-term solution to boko haram cannot come solely from nigeria's security forces, but rather also requires nigeria's political leaders to give serious and sustained attention to addressing the systematic problems of corruption. the lack of effective and equitable governance, and the country's uneven social and economic development. while continuing to draw attention to these broader factors we will remain sharply focused on the heart wrenching event that triggered this broader awareness of boko haram's depp radations. dod is committed to supporting nigeria's efforts to locate and recover these girls. this will not be an easy task, as hostage recovery is a high risk undertaking in the best of circumstances. if this terrible episode is to
resolve with the girls' safe return, the government of nigeria must continue to match its public statements with a serious and focused response that draws on all elements of its government the influence of key social and religious figures and the resources international partners are making available to assist. thank you. >> well, thank you for that testimony. as you testified, you do not provide assistance when human violation -- human rights violations occur. however, there is a provision whereby in an extraordinary circumstance we could. and here's the argument that i would make about boko haram and why this is extraordinary circumstance. you have a situation here where we're focused on the kidnapping of 300 girls some weeks ago.
but in the meantime more have been kidnapped. as we talk about it, an additional group of schoolgirls were kidnapped. as we talk about it additional attacks have occurred. 118 killed this morning, you know, 300 killed a few weeks ago. as we talk about it 500 schools have been destroyed and boko haram, their modus operandi is to destroy the schools, and then recruit young, uneducated men into their ranks, and teach them jihad. and so as the jihad mushrooms out across north africa and into cameroon, and into chad, and into neighboring states, we say, well, you know, human rights violations have occurred in nigeria. so we're limited in what we can do. the difficulty is, that boko haram is in a process of expanding their terror. and the frequency of these
attacks, the attacks on girls. that's been an evolution. i mean, as they've -- as they've intimidated and frightened the nigerian military, they're now to the point where a lot of military units have run away. and so they can go in and take girls, and then, you know, they can turn them into concubines or sell them or, you know, enslave them. because that's what they're actually doing, they're enslaving them. and i would say that is an extraordinary circumstance. that might necessitate the u.s. we have u.s. forces well positioned to advise and assist nigerian forces in the search for these girls. and in this role, u.s. forces are trained to deal with hostage situations.
unfortunately the nigerian forces are not. toy are trained to deal and track in jungle environments. they can advise and assist right up to the point of an attack. they don't have to be involved in the attack. but they could use those unique asset assets that the u.s. has in terms of our spy satellite capabilities and et cetera, in order to track and rescue these girls. this would be very similar to the mission that we have approved with respect to the lords resistance army. for a number of years -- how many years did it take us to galvanize support against joseph coney. marauding and kidnapping young boys and making child soldiers out of 12-year-old boys and young girls and making them concubines. i think 15,000 was roughly the number of people he slaughtered
before we finally put him on defense by authorizing u.s. forces to help track him. so now he's the one that's being tracked instead of the one tracking others, right? it used to be he would maraud, he would take his band in to congo or northern uganda, or southern sudan, or central african republic and just create mayhem. now at least he's on the run. somebody said this morning, well we vont got him yet. no we haven't caught him yet but he is on the run. and there's little doubt that they're going to run him down. it is a completely different situation than it was a couple of years ago when he was on the offensive. now you've got the same situation here. and frankly, we should do the same thing. for the sake of humanity we should do the same thing. we should not allow this cancer to spread the way it is. and we heard from deborah this morning. deborah peter, about the
uncompromising position where they tell her father, you know, that he has to quit -- he was a pastor. they burned the church. they kill him. they killed her young brother. and now they've kidnapped her school mates. i think the time is at hand for the united states to help build the morale. think about what this would mean to the nigerian forces if we were willing to give them this assistance. you could ensure that the strategy for the rescue operation launched by them is very well planned. you could boost the morale and effectiveness of the nigerian forces. and you could ensure that our intelligence reconnaissance surveillance assets are put to best use. so i would just ask for your response, if you could, to the
observation. is there any reason why we can't offer that waiver and treat this the same way we've treated going after joseph koney? >> i think the waiver issue, i would defer to my state department colleague in terms of the specific provisions. but what i could quickly do is agree in terms of some of the diagnostics, as you look at the situation with the lord's resistance army and why we're on a successful path collectively at this point, and how that per trains to the boko haram situation. you've identified congressman the elements of success. you have neighbors who are working together to address the lra challenge. you have a nigerian -- excuse me ugandan government dedicated to addressing the governance and the economic concerns of northern uganda, which helps
give rise to the phenomenon of the lord's resistance army in the first place. with external support uganda and the other forces have been able to develop an intelligence and information picture that's been very important. and then launched a very successful information campaign that reaches the populations in the affected areas that are then able to further assist in the tracking operations. so i think many of those elements are very relevant to how we could productively work with nigeria and its neighbors going forward vis-a-vis boko haram. >> and dory i would add one other thing for your consideration, maybe dr. sewell would like to comment on this, as well, but the one difference is that with boko haram, we have a group that is a threat to u.s. interests, as well. to quote the state department testimony over on the senate side. so -- or perhaps it was the
defense department. but there is no question that a jihadist group like this, that directs its efforts, and its bombing, against those who believe in empowering women or teaching women, is also a threat to the united states. or our interests. so it would seem to me that if we're going to authorize this with respect to going off joseph kony we certainly should do it here. dr. sewell. >> thank you for your observations and i share your sense of urgency about the matter. i think with respect to the specific question concerning sanctions it's my understanding that there is limited waiver authority in the case of national security emergencies. and that the decision rests at the highest levels of the government with regard to exercising a national security emergency exception. >> is it under consideration? as an exemption?
>> i can't speak to what the senior members of this government are discussing with regard to leahy. i think the focus right now is very much on the safe rescue of the girls. and so -- >> well, yes, but the leahy amendment is what prohibits our active cooperation in the steps that i've just enumerated here, you know, in the tracking on the ground, and being able to plan that attack on the ground, that's the whole point. i mean, we had the testimony by the defense department last week in the senate, that this vetting is a persistent and very troubling limitation on our ability to provide assistance. they're talking about the leahy provision here. particularly training assistance that the nigerian's so badly need, unquote. so this is a problem. >> and so i'd like to address it. the issue is to aggregate the immediate crisis and what options are available to deal with supporting the nigerians in their effort to rescue the
girls. versus longer sterm engagement. i think it's important to disaggregate those and look at the facts as they pertain to each case. in the first case i spoke yesterday to the deployment team in abuja, and they are very pleased with the growing level of cooperation that exists, both within the intel fusion center and with their broader discussions with their nigerian counterparts. they are hopeful that u.s. assistance will be increasingly useful to the nigerians in their effort, and they nonetheless rely on choices made by the government of nigeria in terms of what they would like to avail themselves of and how to proceed. more broadly, the security assistance issue, and again i would refer -- i mean i think, amanda dory can speak in great detail about the level of security assistance that is occurring right now, but we have
been able to, pursuant to the leahy law create essentially two new battalions with wlom we are working. one a specialized counterterrorism force, and the other, a ranger battalion to improve their -- to create their specialized military capabilities with regard to the kind of military challenges that boko haram presents. >> here would be my suggestion. thank you. here is my suggestion. ask for a temporary waiver. if you don't want a permanent waiver, ask for a temporary waiver, designate this as an extraordinary circumstance, and get to an answer to the point that your colleague made, to the department of defense, that it is a persistent and troubling limitation on our ability to provide assistance, particularly training assistance that the nigerians so badly need. that is the statement from the department of defense. it needs to be addressed. but i need to go to mr. engel and allow him. my time's long since expired.
engel. >> thank you. thank you very much, mr. chairman. i was in favor of declaring boko haram as a terrorist organization. but i want to address the undercurrent with some of my friends on the other side of the aisle that somehow the lack of designating them as a terrorist organization earlier contributed somehow to this kidnapping. i think that's absurd. you know, when the state department didn't designate boko haram as an fto it wasn't because anyone was being careless, it wasn't because they weren't paying attention. it was a policy decision based on facts on the ground. facts change, and the department issued the designation. it's not clear whats designation does, asset freezes, prohibition on material support but that's actually made a difference. but designating boko haram as an fto earlier would have helped
the organization's fund-raising and recruiting efforts. organizations like boko haram aren't afraid of being branded terrorists by the u.s. they wear it as a badge of honor. i'm also told that the nigerian government didn't want the designation. that's the reason the state department didn't issue it. and in may of 2012, 25 leading experts on nigeria wrote the state department saying that an fto designation for boko haram was a bad idea, and in 2012 the state department did designate the top three leaders of boko haram a special designated nationals which are terrorists meaning that we could go after them and their network. in fact secretary clinton visited nigeria in 2012 to consult with the nigerian government and how we could work together so while i have been in favor of declaring them as a terrorist organization, i don't think anyone could seriously think if we had done it earlier it would somehow have prevented this kidnapping.
i would like either dr. sewell or miss dory to comment on what i've just said. >> congressman, ranking member engel, i think, yeah, it's fair to say that we work closely with host nation governments regardless of the -- the designation issue. that boko haram had certainly been on the radar screen in terms of the type of security cooperation that's been effective with nigeria since it emerged in the nigerian context years ago. so, the point about the formal designation, it brings some additional tools to bear. principally in the financial domain you mentioned the visa bans, also, so it can be helpful from that perspective. but it does escalate in a sense and that can be why, when engaging with host nations, they may be reluctant to have such an international designation, because it draws more attention to the problem, potentially in
unproductive ways. so i think that's, you know, making a linkage to at what point did the designation occur, and the practical engagement that's been under way with the nigerians are really separate issues. >> i think the key point is the extent to which sanctions actually achieve their objectives. and i think one of the reasons why the administration decided in june 2012 to designate the three top commanders of boko haram as specially designated terrorists was because most of the tools that would be available against boko haram as an organization were then available to use against those three recognized leaders. the rewards for justice program was an additional effort to find ways to put pressure on the organization. and what fundamentally changed in the context of the fto designation that followed both
of those actions was the ability to take action against the group as opposed to its three top leaders. so i think it's in that context that it's very important to look at the evolution of u.s. actions, and the primary significance, i think, was in the june 2012 designation of the three boko haram top leaders, as specially designated terrorists. thank you. >> thank you, let me ask you both, both this. given the enormous domestic and international attention following these kidnappings, has the nigerian government, i said some of it in my opening remarks, and ms. dory you mentioned as well, has the nigerian government become more receptive to our messages urging them to change their approach to boko haram? and what concrete things have they done to shift their strategy, and their relationship with us? >> i believe the quick answer is yes, the intensity of the international public opinion and support is -- is productively
contributing to our dialogue with the government of nigeria. i think their illingness to accept the multidisciplinary team, and their robust engagement with its since its arrival are the most concrete indicators in the near-term. >> in my recent visit with africom commander david rodriguez, we stressed both of the points that you referenced, both the need to take rapid action to rescue the girls, and the need to fuddly rethink their approach to counterinsurgency. we talked a lot about the evolution of the u.s. approach to counterinsurgency, and the ways in which it is critical to think of a holistic approach. the ways in which a careful approach to violence is absolutely vital for attaining the cooperation, and therefore the intelligence from the local population, one of the main
hindrances in the fight against boko haram thus far. and we also spoke frankly about our concerns about the inability of a seemingly very large defense budget to translate into the receipt of bullets and workable trucks at the level of the seventh division in the northeast. >> does the state department have an estimate of how many people the nigerian security forces have killed over the last four years in northern nigeria? >> we do not have an estimate. but i will tell you that given my own background as someone who urged the united states government to count civilian casualties during its county insurgency campaigns this was an issue that i raised repeatedly with all four of the military officials with whom we met. and my strong advice to them was that they would be unable to evaluate and reform their efforts to protect civilians, and to more directly avoid killing civilians by mistake unless they very carefully tracked those casualties. so it is my hope that going
forward we will be able to see progress in that regard. >> the chairman and i agree on what we in the united states must do in order to help bring these girls back in terms of working with other countries, and forces. could you outline for us what are some of the operational challenges to finding and rescuing these girls? >> thank you. the operational challenges are significant. you've seen some of the comparisons in terms of the vastness of the terrain in which the girls may be located. we are working with the nigerian counterparts, and the other international partners to develop a better understanding of where they may be. but our sense at this point is that they've been dispersed into multiple, smaller groups. they may or may not all be in
nigeria. so the sheer number of individuals involved the complexity of the terrain, jungle for a great part of it, and the movement that could be associated over the weeks that have elapsed, creating a greater area of operations make this a very difficult environment in which to contemplate what a recovery might look like. it -- just to give an example, if you think back to the hostage incident in -- in algeria two years ago, where you had 800 hostages who were in a single location, and the algerian government and military took action as the aqi m&m oqtar
began to disperse the hostages they engaged in an assault that left 40 of the hostages dead. and that was in a desert environment, and the hostages were all concentrated together. so it would be hard to overestimate the complexity, first of, of locating the hostages, and then in considering that how that might be resolved successfully. if you look at the -- if we have an fbi witness here today, he or she i imagine would indicate that the vast majority of hostage recovery situations are resolved through dialogue, and negotiations. and not through rescues and assaults. >> thank you. anything to add, dr. sewell? >> i think any military experts in hostage recovery would also tell you that a dialogue is often very helpful, even in the event that dialogue fails. and so i think we have to be respectful of the ways in which the nigerians may choose to try
to achieve the safe return of the girls. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> we go now to mr. chris smith from new jersey. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for your testimony. a couple of questions, i know this isn't -- and i'm cognizant this is an open hearing, but do you have reason for optimism that progress is being made in ascertaining the whereabouts of these abducted young women? and any indication at all about their welfare and well-being? their health? >> i would say that the -- the team when i spoke to them yesterday was very pleased by the level of cooperation. was very pleased by the multiple sources of information flowing in to the intel fusion center. was encouraged by the professionalism, and the commitment of the nigerians in the intel fusion center. and was hopeful that the degree
of intelligence information would continue to increase over time. given time, i am hopeful that we will make progress. and i think that's the extent to which i can respond in this kind. >> thank you very much for that. let me ask you with regards to the designation of fto status, which i think is a very serious issue. on july 10th, 2012 i chaired a hearing, assistant secretary for african affairs johnny carson, testified, and i asked him repeatedly at that time why boko haram was not designated a foreign terrorist organization. and he said, while acknowledging it's a very important question, that he believes that the larger element -- he goes, we believe that the larger element of boko haram is not interested in doing anything but attempting to discredit, disgrace the nigerian government. he went on to say that he would -- i says, ambassador corson speaking, i would remind people that the phenomena of boko haram is one of discrediting the central
government in power for its failure to deliver services to the people. in retrospect, do you believe that was a -- an assessment that had validity? i mean, services to the people. that's why they're doing this? i would also note parenthetically that assistant secretary principal deputy assistant secretary robert jackson acknowledged that week that in retrospect we might have done the designation earlier. he then added, and i think we will be quicker to make designations based on our own assessments earlier, based on this. i actually went, as you may know, in september of last year to jos and to abuja, and repeatedly raised the question of foreign terrorist organizations designation. and frankly, in government meetings, on the nigerian side, in meetings with our own people in the embassy, there was a very strong sense that this could have a very very
valuable effect, particularly in tracking where all the weapons are coming from. maybe they don't have bank accounts. maybe they do, i don't know. but if we really look and probe and try to discern who are providing the ak-47s and the ieds and the like that are killing so many people, we may be able to put a tourniquet or at least begin putting a tourniquet on this bloodshed. so your sense on that statement, that this -- for its failure to deliver services to the people. >> i think it's hard to look at boko haram as an insurgency that rests predominantly on the failings of the state. but there is no question that the failings of the state create a context in which disaffected
voices are prey to recruitment. and when you look at the specifics of boko haram's tactics in terms of forcible recruitment of persons, that is a way to explain how it continues to survive additionally. i think from the perspective of our efforts to counter boko haram from the outside, from legal mechanisms that exist outside of the nigerian context in which the nigerian decisions are central, the important step to me was the june 2012 designation of the three leaders as -- >> let me just ask you because i'm almost out of time. should we have done the fto designation earlier? >> i wasn't here. >> you're in a very high position. i look back and forward, we all do, all the time. should it have been done? >> i thank you for your leadership on this important issue and it's clear that the committee played a very vital
role in continuing to press the issue. i think the important thing is that the three leaders were designated in 2012. >> i understand that. i'm almost out of time. have there been attacks by boko haram against americans? joss has the highest number of americans in northern nigeria. following yesterday's bombings have all americans been accounted for? and when the u.n. compound was bombed, were any americans present? >> i'm not aware that there were americans involved in the u.n. compound bombing. i think in terms of joss we would have to check with the embassy to see if there's a full accounting of americans. >> you can get back to us then. mr. brad sherman of california. >> thank you. mr. miss dory, perhaps you can give me a one-word answer. boko haram has a lot of weapons. are they mostly captured from the nigerian military, purchased
or we don't know? >> i could give slightly more than one word. it's a mixture in our understanding. they have resources as a result of kidnapping for ransom operations so they're able to purchase to include -- >> are the weapons that we've seen them use or captured from their caches or stores the same weapons found in nigerian military arsenals? >> some of them are also captured from nigerian security services or raids against arsenals so it's a mix. >> dr. sewall, mr. maman nur is a high ranking member of boem ha boko haram. he may be a link between certain affiliates like al shabaab, may have been behind the 2011 u.n. bombing. should we be designating this individual as a specially
designated global terrorist? >> i don't know the answer off the top and i'll have to look into that and get back to you. i simply can't answer it right now, i apologize. >> there are lots of reports in the press that the nigerian military knew hours in advance of this attack. do either of you have any information that would either confirm or discredit beyond what we've all read in the newspapers? >> i'm familiar with the press reports but don't have additional information either way. >> dr. sewall, i'm trying to understand the attitude of the nigerian government. it's acting as if it's almost disturbed that the whole world is now focused on boko haram. can you explain why the nigerian government pressing us to
designate this -- boko haram as a terrorist organization and wasn't doing more to bring in international support in its efforts against this terrorist organization? >> well, i'm not sure i can really speak for the nigerian government, but i can share with you, congressman, my impressions based on the conversations that we had in our recent visit. and so i think the nigerian government believes that it has heard the message about the need to change the way it does its business. it believes it has taken a more offensive approach in recent months and it has -- it has expressed the belief that the more recent rounds of bombings have been the efforts by a desperate group to gain attention.
i think that the nigerian view about international attention was misguided in some ways along the same lines that i have heard commentary in the u.s. public discourse, which is to say that the world ignored nigeria and is now only now focusing on nigeria with the kidnapping of the school girls. and so i found myself reiterating the decade-long security cooperation assistance that we had had and the messages that we had been sending them about corruption, about the comportment and accountability -- >> and we would have designated boko haram earlier had we not, i think, correctly taken into consideration the views of the nigerian government. it's just i'm con founded as to why the nigerian government wasn't pushing us forward, why they were pulling us back. we have designated certain individuals. we've designated the entire
organization. the view i have of boko haram is that of all of the islamic extremist organizations, they're the ones that are most in the jungle, least likely to have bank accounts, et cetera. have we successfully frozen any of the individual assets of the specially designated global terrorists, frozen any of the assets or been successful in going after boko haram? a lot of discussion here is why didn't we do it sooner, but we did do it over six months ago. and if they're really an in the bush organization that would have very little effect on them, a great effect on us psychologically, because we like to feel like we've done something, like we indict chinese military officers because they're engaged in hacking. but other than making us feel better, what have we been able to accomplish with all these designations?
>> i would need to refer you to my colleagues in other agencies to speak to the specifics of the enforcement actions pursuant to the sanctions designation and perhaps in the hearing tomorrow. >> but you're not aware of anything that the designations of certain individuals, especially designated global terrorists or the designation of boko haram as a terrorist organization, there isn't -- to your knowledge there isn't a particular bank account, a particular intercepted or prevented fund-raising effort, no tangible effect of six months or well more than six months of such designations? >> unfortunately i really need to refer you to the colleagues that do the enforcement. i'm just not in a position to answer the question, i apologize. >> i yield back. >> mr. sherman, congressman sherman, in answer to your first question or further answer to it, we had -- there was testimony from the fbi and i'll just give you their quick
response. fbi director james comey testified that boko haram has communications, training and weapons thinks with al qaeda as well as al shabaab based in somalia and al qaeda in the arabian peninsula based in yemen and then he also testified that these links in his words may strengthen boko haram's capacity to conduct terrorist attacks against u.s. or western targets in the future. so in terms of the weapons movements, that's the fbi's testimony. >> it's good to have expertise both from there and from here. >> right. we go to mr. mike mccall of texas. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to follow up -- well, let me say last night i watched the video again of boko haram, the leader, with these 270 girls. it is horrific. and it's hard to stand back idly
and watch that happen, knowing that we could do more to help them. the chairman raised the issue of the waiver process, and i guess my question to dr. sewall is if that waiver is granted, what additional assistance could be given to this situation? >> i think one of the -- one of the distinctions that i've been trying to articulate is that the waiver really is geared toward the training and material support for forces and some 50% of the nigerian military at this point in time are not eligible for that form of cooperation with the united states because of the lahi law. we have been able to be involved with the remaining 50%.
in terms of the operational pieces, i should turn to my colleague, miss dory, to speak about what additionally might happen in a waiver. but at this point we are doing everything that the nigerians want us to be doing and we are there and available to do more, completely consistent with the lahi law with our deployment team and our military planners there in abuja. >> if that waiver is granted, what additional assistance militarily could be provided? >> sir, it's predominantly a function of what type of assistance is requested by the government of nigeria. we have a complete menu of training activities, equipping activities, advising, assisting, the usual inventory that the department can pursue in partnership with another country, but it really rests with the host nation to identify in what areas it wishes to cooperate. >> you mentioned earlier that a
military operation would be risky and risky to the hostages and i understand that. but has there been any effort to have our fbi's hostage rescue team assist with this? >> there are fbi personnel who are part of the multidisciplinary team and i believe the services of fbi's hostage recovery experts are on the table. >> i would hope so. i mean this -- i would hope the answer is yes to that question. i think they could be very valuable in this situation. i chair the homeland security committee. in 2011 we released a report and tell boko haram an emerging threat to the homeland. we asked they'd be designated back then because it would support u.s. intel against. to heighten public awareness and signal to other governments that the threat is serious.
in september 2013 we issued a follow-up report. boko haram, the growing threat to the homeland, again asking that designation take place. members of congress additionally made that request. and finally the head of the justice department's national security division sent a letter to the state department requesting that boko haram be put on this list. now, i know, dr. sewall, that eventually they were put on the list, but it took years to get a network on the list, it took years to get the people behind the benghazi attack to be put on the list. why is it so difficult for the state department to put what is so obvious on the foreign terrorist organization list? >> i can't speak to the decisions that were made before i came to the department, sir, i'm sorry. i know that there are many different considerations that go
into other decisions. i mean in the context of the nigerian case, i think i explained that there was a discussion with the government. there was a discussion about the nature of the threat and there was a discussion about the efficacy, the true impact of the sanctions. i can only speak to that case and i unfortunately can't speak to the prior cases. >> and it's not just members of congress, it's not just the justice department, general hamm, carter hamm talked about this threat. director clapper mentioned this threat. general david rodriguez, this is coming in from multiple points. not just members of congress, not my committee, but multiple points in the military, justice department. i don't really understand why when you look at that video and it's so obvious that they are terrorists why they aren't put on the fto. which may not have stopped this event from happening but at
least we could have put some pressure on their financial ties and their funding mechanisms. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> we go now to mr. gregory meeks of new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first, mr. chairman, i want to thank you for the way that you've been conducting this hearing and the investigations and the education that you have done to talk about the waiver, to figure out how we resolve this. you've done it in a manner and i think the record to be clear with me that i concur with you and your opinion and how we should be able to assist the nigerian government. i think that the research that you and your staff has done is excellent and i think the record -- i want the record to reflect that this is clearly something that we all agree upon in that regards. i want to say to miss peters,
who is sitting in the audience, who i had to listen to her tell the horrible story in regards to her family that happened before her eyes in 2011, no child, no child should have to see their parents killed and siblings before their eyes, none. and it really angers me inside when i hear that. and when you hear and see this group, boko haram, who now has kidnapped these 200 girls but has killed boys, destroyed churches, taken away hope, there is no redeeming factor for individuals like that. they're in the same category as al qaeda and al shabaab.
and i don't see any -- and i want to make sure that we do everything that we can to free those girls. i don't care whether it's negotiate, whatever it is. but let me tell you, i don't want that to be the end of it. generally i'm a multi lateral guy and i think i haven't heard any country or anybody dissent on the evil of this group. so i don't see why that once we get these girls free, i'm going to tell you for me, i want drones, i want something, because they don't belong on this earth. threatening people and having people living in fear, this is something that i see that this world, not just this nation, but other nations all across are coming together to say we're going to stop this. and we need to do it. we need to do it in nigeria, we
need to do it in syria and pakistan and somalia, wherever al shabaab, wherever these individuals are. and then we've got to do more than that. because the attacks of these girls, over 200 school girls in northern nigeria, we talked about and it is a global outcry to keep children safe in schools and protect their right to education. but unfortunately we are all too aware of these same groups, extremist groups that are doing the same thing. so i'm wondering whether or not there is a plan to ensure that children, all children, especially those in conflicted areas, are protected and have access to quality education. i know you can't answer that question, but i'm just upset right now. i wish i could think rationally
as the chairman does and has done. that's why i think it's a good thing that he's doing because you need rational thinkers at the time like this and not have emotion take over like it is with me. but just listening to miss peters' story i can't do what the chairman has done so i thank god that the chairman is doing what he is doing right now. but it seems to me that i've had -- i've got, like miss peters, same year, 15, 14-year-old daughter who's asking me about this scenario and what are we doing and what should we do. you know, so when i think about it, i can't think rational. tell me why we should -- miss sewall. >> first, congressman meeks, i want to tell you that i can be every bit as irrational as you are on this issue. i don't think there's a single
american that doesn't detest boko haram from the bottom of their hearts. i have four daughters. i have three 17-year-old daughters and one 12-year-old daughter. and when i left them to go to nigeria, you can imagine how heavily they weighed on my heart. and when i met with the activists that had been protesting the government's response to the crisis, when i called the principal of the school to express americans' support for her and for bringing the girls back safely, i was able to give voice to the emotion that i think we all feel in the context of this immediate crisis. at the same time, it's very -- it's abundantly clear that if we are to move to address boko haram as an enduring threat beyond the question of these 200 plus school girls, that the nigerian government itself has to make changes. it has to address corruption. it has to address the excessive
use of violence. there are ways we can support them in those efforts and there are way that say we can do specific things for them, but those are fleeting things. those will not solve the boko haram problem. the boko haram problem in nigeria needs to be addressed by nigerians. the boko haram problem as a regional threat needs to be addressed by the regional actors. the value of this crisis is that it has brought together in a conversation all the actors that are seized not just with the school girls but with the enduring threat of boko haram. and this moment offers the hope that we will coordinate the assistance and focus the efforts to address the underlying problems here, which are the scourge of boko haram. but any sustained solution requires the government of nigeria to show a degree of commitment and to take a set of actions that it has thus far not committed to. and so this -- we cannot lose
sight of the fact that this is not our problem to solve and we must seize the moment to bring together all of the voices of concern about the school girls and about boko haram to press and support the nigerian government in undertaking its own critical changes and reforms. >> thank you, mr. meeks. we go now to mr. jeff duncan of south carolina. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank mr. meeks for his passion on this issue. it's touching. and i share your passion. i just hope that that same passion will continue to carry forward as we talk about terrorists wherever they are, whoever they are, attacking not just interests in africa, but americans and folks that love liberty anywhere in the world. and so i appreciate that and look forward to working with you going forward. listening to miss peters' story and thinking about christians in general, her father was a pastor, her brother could have
grown up to be a pastor is what the terrorists thought. so the question i have for you, miss sewall, do you think christians are specifically targeted in the boko haram attacks? >> i wish there was such discrimination in boko haram attacks. boko haram attacks everyone who is nigerian. boko haram is an equal opportunity threat for all nigerian citizens. >> thank you for that. i'd like to delve into the links with al qaeda and the broader al qaeda network. boko haram's ties to other al qaeda affiliates and associated groups as well as the focus by some of its members on pursuing a more transnational agenda have amplified concerns of the group's threats. u.s. officials have suggested that boko haram and al qaeda and the islamic or aqim were likely sharing funds, training and explosive materials. so could you provide some clarity, and i'm going to ask both of you this question and
ask you to be brief, but provide clarity to the extent of cooperation and support that aqim has provided to this organization. >> congressman -- >> financial, material support, all that, please. >> in this setting, there are limits on the ability to go into detail, but we can absolutely confirm the categories that you're talking about in terms of the cooperation between boko haram and aqim in particular, where the ties seem to be the strongest. that it does include training, facilitation, financing, weapons. that's the type of influence and material that is being traded back and forth between aqim and boko haram. boko haram also has sought linkages with some of the other aq affiliates, as was discussed earlier. the intensity of those linkages is less clear, but there is an
all-member briefing tomorrow, a classified briefing tomorrow where we could get into some of those details. >> miss sewall, a question just came to mind. what's the state department, the fbi, treasury doing to track the money? do we have folks on the groundworking with the financial institutions in and around nigeria and africa in general to trace this money to make sure that we know the sources and whether there are any al qaeda links? can you tell me what we're doing in that regard, if anything? >> congressman, i wish i could. i don't have the details on that, but i would be happy to go back to the other agencies and to the specific elements of the state department that might be involved in this and get you a more fullsome answer. >> i appreciate that. the other thing is can you answer the question about the extent of the cooperation that you know of between boko haram and al qaeda affiliates? >> our understanding -- >> material support, financial,
anything you might have. >> our understanding is there is intermittent support as much as deputy secretary of defense dory described. >> are we connecting those dots within the state department? >> sir, the state department is always working hard to connect the dots. >> have any of the nigerians who have been prosecuted in u.s. courts in recent years for providing material support to terrorist groups, such as aqap, had any links to the boko haram group? do you know of any connections? >> i don't, but again i am not fully briefed to answer that question to 100% of certainty and so i would have to take it for the record also. >> okay. last question before my time runs out. have we identified individuals within boko haram and put them on the terrorist watch list to make sure they don't infiltrate the united states of america? do we know who these leaders are, members of this terrorist organization? have we put them on the list to make sure they're not going to
infiltrate the united states of america? >> i would be surprised if we hadn't, given they have been designated terrorists themselves but that is a dhs function and so i can check on that and get back to you as well. >> thank you so much. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> we go back to mr. david sicillini of rhode island. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you for this hearing and thank you for your sensitivity in bringing debra peter to us for our conversation earlier before this hearing. it has been a tremendous honor to meet with her and to see her extraordinary courage and horrifying to hear the story of how she and her family were owe brutalized by boko haram. i know that every member of this committee is committed to doing everything we can to hold these individuals accountable and to rescue these girls, so thank you for being with us today, debra. when you look at the information we've learned about the impact of this terrorist organization
in addition to more than 4,000 people having been killed in boko haram-related violence, the u.n. and nigerian officials report more than 6 million nigerians have been affected and more than 300,000 nigerians have been displaced so i think it's really important for us to understand and the world to understand the significant impact of this terrorist organization. so my first question to either dr. sewall or miss dory is do we have a sense of where boko haram gets its resources, its weaponry and its financial support? >> congressman, i think i've briefly touched on this already, but it's a variety of sources in terms of their access to finances and equipment. some of it comes from their activities in nigeria, whether it is stealing resources, food, equipment from local populations, whether it's taking them from the military and other security services in the course of attacks.
you may be familiar with an incident where they destroyed aircraft at a nigerian air force base, for example. so that's one source. they also through kidnapping for ransom schemes have financial resources at their disposal so they're able to purchase weapons and supplies on the open market and there's a connection into the libyan arms markets in that regard. >> i know that you have said, miss dory, that the principal responsibility for defeating boko haram has to come from the nigerian people and that requires them to folkous on governance issues, reduction of corruption, ending mass arrests and disappearances within the government, their own human rights record. so what can we do and what is the u.s. doing or what can we do in addition to that to pressure the nigerians to do that so they have the capacity to respond to boko haram, and what kind of leverage do we really have in
this moment to really make that case to the nigerian government? do you see any signs that they are serious about undertaking whatever those recommendations might be? >> i'll take the question and also share it with my colleague. i think the head of state to head of state engagement that we've seen over this issue is indicative of both our level of concern and our level of support and our willingness
there's an emergency necessitating or should authorize the issue of a visa. it seems as if this related to a mother who was attempting to come back to the united states who retrieve a child who had been murdered in the u.s. for burial back in their home country and there was not a provision in the existing state department protocols because she had no -- no deep ties in her home country, no business, no employment, so they argued that there was not sufficient basis to give her visa for fear that she would overstay it and remain here. in the example that we heard about this morning, it seems as if i'm on the right track in trying to develop some exemption, some emergency issuance of a visa for those who have been victims of terrorism or, you know, we can set out the criteria, but it sounded at least initially debra was in a situation in which she was not
given a visa, which i think everyone agrees doesn't make sense, and i'd just like your thoughts on that. >> i'm sorry, i really know very little about the visa process and so i just don't feel comfortable commenting. thank you. >> thank you. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we go to mr. mo brooks of alabama. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in your judgment does nigeria currently have the police or military capability of defeating boko haram? >> congressman, from my perspective, nigeria's military is the force with which i'm most familiar and they have been a premiere peacekeeping force for many decades, focused external to their country, if you think about their long history in that regard. and the process of retooling from a peacekeeping orientation to focusing on a domestic
insurgency is something that takes an entire recalibration in terms of how you engage in your home country. i would say -- >> might i infer from your comments that you just made that the answer is no? that as of today, they don't? that things have to be done before they have that capability? >> part of it -- when we speak of the capability, part of it is the strategic approach and the mindset. as yet, nigeria has not yet finalized a counterterrorism strategic approach which i think leaves gaps in terms of the operational employment of the security forces, their training and readiness for those type of missions and the equipment available to them. >> dr. sewall, do you have a judgment on whether the nigerian police or military have the capability of defeating boko haram as of today? >> it's a great question and i want to answer it thoroughly so i have to step back just one moment and say that the ability
of a police force or a military force to effectively defeat a virulent insurgency is limited, and so that's just the first point to make. this is why the u.s. has been in a dialogue with the nigerians about the need for a holistic approach that includes economic development, political engage maenlt and a host of other things. in a narrow sense, the nigerians have capability that we would recognize as strong in the sense that they have a number of forces, they have a certain number of equipment. i think the challenge for both the police and the military is how their assets and resources, human and otherwise, are actually deployed and that's why the questions about corruption and that's why the questions about the mindset are so critical. >> i'm not sure if i'm getting a response. i'm trying to get something simple, a yes, no or i don't know. do you have a judgment as to
whether the nigerian police and military have the capability as of today to defeat boko haram. yes, no or i don't know. >> so the united states when it began its invasion in iraq was the finest military force -- >> i'm sorry, i'm asking yes, no or i don't know. i'm limited time here. >> it's complicated. >> it's complicated. so maybe, maybe not, is that a fair way to assess your opinion. >> if you wish to describe it that way. >> what short answer can you give me that describes your opinion of whether boko haram today can be defeated by the nigerian police and/or military? >> i think that with the appropriate political redirection as well as the concerted effort on the part of specific capabilities that the nigerian -- the country of nigeria, the government of nigeria can make significant progress in defeating boko haram, completely eliminating i would hedge on that. the time frame, i would hedge on that. but i don't think there's any question that the government of
nigeria both can and will. >> thank you for your response. the very first sentence of the charter of the united nations in chapter 1, article 1, paragraph 1 states the purposes of the united nations are to maintain international peace and security and to that end to take effective collective measures for the prevention of threats to the peace and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace. if we are to look at the history of boko haram in nigeria, august 26, twlechbt, a bomb attack on a u.n. building, 21 killed. january 20, 2012, attacks in cano state. 12 targets, over 150 people killed. we've already talked about the young school girls who were kidnapped. may 5th, 2014, an attack lasting 12 hours. 300 people killed. the list goes on and on and on. you've provided two pages of attacks. as of today, what has the obama administration undertaken to
secure a united nations force to take on the boko haram inasmuch as that seems to be the primary purpose of the united nations charter. >> so the united nations charter as you know is based on the concept of sovereignty and so typically when there is an insurgency within a government, the government is expected to address the security threat and is free to seek assistance. terrorism has typically been treated in a slightly different venue. boko haram has elements of both. and so i think that it is certainly -- that there are a variety of ways in which the international community can respond to what is increasingly recognized as a threat -- >> again, i don't think you're responding to my question. the question was what has the obama administration done to request the kind of support from the united nations that we would need to eliminate boko haram's influence in nigeria and central
africa inasmuch as that is the primary purpose of the united nations? i don't think we can be any clearer when the united nations says in its charter supposed to take effective, collective measures for the prevention of threats to the peace and for the suppression of acts of aggression. so what has the obama administration done to invoke the united nations chaufrter to get the united nations to do their job? >> right now the way the obama administration has interacted with the united nations on the question of boko haram is to encourage the nigerian government to designate boko haram pursuant to the al qaeda list. what the united states and the obama administration has been doing since president obama has been in power is working to strengthen nigeria's capacity to defeat boko haram. so we've been very actively engaged in this. this engagement began before the obama administration. and ultimately the nigerian government has great progress that it can make to defeat boko haram. it needs to decide and commit itself to do that in ways that
are similar to those learning curves that we, the united states, have had to take in defeating -- >> thank you mr. chairman for indulging. >> we go to jerry connelly of virginia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. here we go again. so, dr. sewall, clearly it's the fault of the obama administration that these young girls are kidnapped. is that true? >> no. >> someone in the administration embedded with boko haram? >> do you really want me to answer the question? >> yes, ma'am. >> no, sir. >> no. conspiracy to turn a blind eye to the activities of boko haram. >> no, sir. >> changing talking points to make sure that somehow the administration was protected even at the expense of innocent victims of boko haram?
>> no, sir. >> dilatory tactics by the administration to prevent effective action by the united nations, well known, i might say to my friend from alabama, for its effective actions. so we were engaged in some kind of activity in new york to slow it down and not designate them in a timely fashion or coordinate international reaction to the unspeakable outrage of the kidnapping of these young women? >> i would argue that the united states has been among the most concerned about boko haram for the longest period of time among all the actors within the international community. >> including at the united nations? >> it's been a concern of american officials for some time as evidenced by our significant both personnel and financial investments in enhancing nigeria -- >> including at the united nations? >> including at the united nations insofar as we have been supporting nigeria's efforts to designate the country --
>> thank you. >> -- the terrorist organization. >> so i guess from your testimony, there's no evidence of anything other than an administration deeply concerned and doing everything in its power to try to assist the international community and the government of nigeria and when necessary to prod the government of nigeria to try to take effective action to defang boko haram and release these young women, is that correct? >> it's a high priority of the united states government and we have been consistent in our efforts, yes. >> it just strikes me as something not worthy of the congress when we actually continue to fall into a false narrative to try to make partisan political points when we're trying to do foreign policy. there used to be a time, it was actually a republican who pronounced the philosophy that our differences, partisan differences ended at the water's
edge for the sake of the country. it just seems to me something deplorable that any of us would yield to the temptation, no one here, of course, to try to make political points off of this kind of tragedy and to hold the president and his administration somehow responsible for every event, especially every unsavory or tragic event that occurs around the world is simply nonsensical. it may play well on certain networks with certain pundits, but it's not worthy of a great country and it's not worthy of this congress. why can't we come together to try to support a cohesive policy to effectuate the goal, which is to lessen and dismantle boko haram and to release safely these young women to their families and try to prevent that
kind of kidnapping activity from ever recurring again. isn't that really the goal of the united states government, dr. sewall, miss dory? i need you to answer on the record. shaking head doesn't -- we can't record that. >> i think all americans share a concern about the school girls and threat from boko haram and i believe that the united states will be stronger in supporting the desires of the american people if it speaks with one voice in that regard. >> miss dory? >> i agree, the objectives as you laid out, the safe recovery of the school girls and the effective addressal of boko haram is a threat to nigeria and the broader region. >> and those are our goals? those are the goals of this government, is that correct? >> those are among our many goals when we're relating to nigeria and in the broader region. >> yeah. i'm talking specifically since this hearing is focused on that about the boko haram activity.
obviously it's not only the desire of all americans, dr. sewall, it is in fact the pronounced policy of the united states government that we want them released. is that not correct? >> that is correct. general rodriguez and i traveled to nigeria to convey that point. >> and one final question. can you both reassure us that our government is doing everything in its power to effectuate that end? >> the president, the secretary of state and the entire government is doing everything it could to effectuate that end. >> and from the defense department point of view, miss dory? >> we have brought our maximum effort into the engagement with the nigerians and hope that we can support them in whatever way they'll let us. >> i thank you both for our testimony and i assure you there are many of us up here who will be behind you and side by side in trying to make that happen. thank you for your service to this country and thank you for trying to help us achieve a positive end in this tragic set of events. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. scott perry of pennsylvania.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. dr. sewall, it's my understanding that officials have repeated -- administration officials have repeatedly stated that boko haram is not motivated by religious causes but by issues of economic deprivation. is that -- is state department also led to that conclusion? >> i'm not sure what the -- whether there is a piece of paper that describes the state department's view about the motivations of boko haram. what i can tell you is we know from watching boko haram over the years that they are bent on destroying institutions that support the people of nigeria in the northeast. and that they have no compunction about killing any nigerian that is in their path. >> i understand and i think we as americans understand that but i'm trying to focus on how state department views boko haram. >> we view boko haram as a terrorist organization. >> and what is their motivation, if you can describe that.
what are they motivated by? not what are their actions, what are they motivated by? >> i'm not in the head of their leader. i've watched the video like you have. >> i understand. but you must make assessments. >> we do make assessments. as in the case of the lra, sometimes it's easier to discern motivations than others. al qaeda is very clear about its motivations. some other terrorist organizations are a combination of criminally motivated, ego maniacally motivated and opportunistic. so i think it's really important -- >> would you accept that they're motivated by religious fanaticism. extremist islamic religious fanaticism. >> i can speak to the elements of religion -- >> i know you can speak to it. is that a clear assessment or would you assess it somehow differently than i've just stated? >> i've you're asking for an official state department assessment i will need to take that question back and return it to you later. >> all right. i just want to give you this information and you can roll that up into your assessment.
when the leader of boko haram says that nobody can stop us and live in peace except if you accept islam and live by sharia law. he has also said they will kill anyone who stands against the will of allah by opposing sharia and they are fighting a religious war against the christians and has also said we will kill whoever practices democracy. with that, when he says things like that and says nobody can live in peace except if you accept islam and live by sharia, do you see any economic nexus there? >> i think when he talks about religionism as one lens through which he defines his enemies, i think that's very revealing. when he talks about democracy about one lens through which he defines his enemies, i think that's very revealing. when he decides that killing people who are seeking an education, it constitutes his ideology. i think that's very revealing. so i think it is a mix of things
among which clearly in his rhetoric religion is very important. >> is there an economic -- because i've heard the administration and got reports of the administration saying -- >> okay, i understand now. yeah. so the economic nexus is something that we have learned through our own experience with combatting both violent extremism and counterinsurgency, which is to say if you have a well governed, economically vibrant society, you are less likely to have disenfranchised persons who can be lured by extremist ideology of any type. >> i understand the lure, but that has nothing to do with their motivation. that's how they recruit. their motivation is otherwise. >> their motivation is economic insofar as he was talking about ransom -- kidnap for ransom as being a means of finance themselves. >> i understand that's the way of financing, but administration officials say that their motivation -- the reason they exist is due to economic
deprivation that they don't have, but there are many people in countries around the world that don't resort to kidnappings, killings, bombings and forced views on extremist religious ideology, but i move on. would you -- does the administration, does state department accept and acknowledge that there's a nexus with boko haram and the muslim brotherhood. >> do you want to speak to that? >> quickly, please, if you could. >> congressman, from the department of defense perspective, i'm not aware of a linkage, but i would be glad to take that back. >> i've got the linkage here which shows the leaders came from and it depogoes way back te 1980s. here's my last concern in my last 15 seconds. it seems to me in some ways that the state department is living in some altered state of reality that yet most of the world
understands and recognizes. if you can't acknowledge your adversary and your enemy for who they are, there's no way to combat them effectively. and i appreciate, mr. chairman, just your indulgence as i close up. this holistic approach should include something in the national security strategy, and i can see no inclusion in the national security strategy that either of you folks are following and that's my concern because we can't fix the problem if we don't identify it. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. juan vaur gas of california. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much for the opportunity to speak. i have to say i think you can see the emotions up here because we're very much outraged with what has happened and i think the american people are outraged but i have to ask this question. where's the muslim outrage? i mean i have to say that if this happened and they did it in the name of christ, from the pope on down to the street preacher, everyone would be yelling and screaming this is
not right, this does not follow our religion, it's wrong, and people would try to find these girls and these people. so i mean i ask where is the outrage from the imans. where is the outrage, this is an insult to islam. it has to be. they're peaceful people. i had the opportunity and the privilege of having a muslim family live with me and my family for two years because of what was going on in kosovo so we adopted this family and they lived with us, and they're wondersful people. and they live peacefully. they have two girls, i have two girls. i love my daughters as much as they love their daughters and i have to ask where is the outrage? and again, if this was happening in the name of christianity, every official christian group from, you know, the catholics down to the unorganized christians, everyone would think this is the biggest scandal in
the world. where is the outrage? >> well, where i heard the outrage when i was in abuja was from the voices that were demonstrating in the public squares, which included community leaders and just community members and concerned citizens, many of them from the borno state who are in -- they were by and large muslim and were outraged at the perversion of islamic tenets in the rhetoric of the boko haram leadership. so i think certainly in the context of nigeria there is outrage and it comes from the community that is most affected by these events. >> i have to say it doesn't seem like it. as someone who watches the news all the time, and i know that the muslim community and the world has gotten outraged over other things, where they protested in the street and gotten very angry and
understandably so in some instances. i don't see that here. i mean i see us fighting and very frustrated over this issue. i see us fighting over whether the administration is doing enough, why aren't we sending the soldiers, you know, we have people there, we ought to go out find them, shoot them, kill them and rescue these girls. that's basically what we're saying up here and we're frustrated because we don't seem to be able to do that, it violates a lot of laws but i think as every parent that's what we want to do. go find the bad guys and put them away or shoot them. but you don't see and you don't feel this outrage in the rest of the muslim world, you don't see it. it is shocking to me. you would think they would be turning in these people and say here they are. come and get them, here they are. maybe you can tell us and maybe you'll tell us in a secured situation, a classified situation, but is there this type of help in the community there? are they helping us find the bad guys? >> so if the question is whether
tactically on the ground there is an outpouring of support to identify the boko haram people, i think what you see -- i think the way to characterize the situation in nigeria is that boko haram has so terrorized the local population that they are very fearful of being perceived as participants in the war by actively cooperating with the government. the situation, of course, is greatly complicated by the fact that security forces from the seventh division have often in their pursuit of boko haram killed numerous civilians in addition to boko haram. so by virtue of trying to draw attention to an area, they could be jeopardizing their own children. so it's very difficult -- >> no, that part is understandable. no one is saying that the nigerian military -- government has clean hands here. i mean i think that's the issue. they have done some terrible things and that's why i think the population has a lot of issues. that's the underlying problem you're trying to solve.
but at the same time it seems that there was more outrage in the muslim world, there would be more pressure to try to find these guys and rescue these girls and there doesn't seem to be it. that's really my question and i will yield back after that, mr. chairman. but again, i find it disturbing that there is not more outrage. the outrage comes from the western world and the outrage should be coming from the muslim world. we've got to do something here. thank you. >> thank you, mr. vargas. ms. dory has to be at the pentagon for a meeting at noon and we appreciate her being here this morning. i'll remind members of an all-house closed session on boko haram, which we will be doing, eliot engel and i in the house will be doing tomorrow. dr. sewall has agreed to finish with our members who remain. so we appreciate that very much,
but ms. dory, we will let you go. thank you. we go now to rhonda santos -- ron desantos. >> florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman. dr. sewall, i know my colleague from south carolina, mr. duncan, had asked whether the boko haram attack on the school girls was anti-christian in nature, whether that was one of their motivatio motivations, and you seemed to suggest that it was not. did i hear you correctly? >> i believe what you heard me say is that the attack was against nigerian school girls. >> but you don't think that it was an attack motivated by being anti-christian at all? >> again, you're asking for speaking to motivation when i'm unable to be in the mind of someone and i hope never to be in the mind of sne