Fact Check: Chris Christie Accuses Hillary Clinton of Boko Haram Terrorist Watch List Fumble

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the second day session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie addressed the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on the second day of the event. The former attorney reached for his previous job, as he turned the convention into a political court of opinion.

Chris Christie fired at Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, when he accused her of fighting hard to keep Boko Haram off the United States terrorist watch list, leading to the abduction of over 200 girls two years ago in Nigeria. The New Jersey governor said “in Nigeria, Hillary Clinton amazingly fought for two years to keep an Al Qaeda affiliate off the terrorist watch list”.

Its indeed a fact that during Hillary Clinton’s leadership as the Secretary of State, the dreaded Boko Haram sect was never designated a foreign terrorist group. The group was labelled a terrorist group after John Kerry took over as Secretary of State in December 2013.

According to a report by The Daily Beast on the 5th of August 2014 “In May 2012, then-Justice Department official Lisa Monaco (now at the White House) wrote to the State Department to urge Clinton to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization. The following month, Gen. Carter Ham, the Chief of U.S. Africa Command, said that Boko Haram “are likely sharing funds, training, and explosive materials” with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. And yet, Hillary Clinton’s State Department still declined to place Boko Haram on its official terrorist roster.

Being placed on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations allows U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to use certain tools and authorities, including several found in the Patriot Act. The designation makes it illegal for any U.S. entities to do business with the group in question.

It also cuts off access to the U.S. financial system for the organization and anyone associated with it. And the designation also serves to stigmatize and isolate foreign organizations by encouraging other nations to take similar measures. The State Department’s refusal to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization prevented U.S. law enforcement agencies from fully addressing the growing Boko Haram threat in those crucial two years, multiple GOP lawmakers said.”

However, what was not proven was the fact that this decision, or lack thereof, led to the kidnapping of the girls as claimed by Christie. And also there is no evidence to prove that Hillary Clinton was personally involved in stalling or delaying the designation, falsifying Chris Christie’s accusation of her “fighting hard to keep them off the list”.