The Department of State designated Abubakar Shekau, Abubakar Adam Kambar, and Khalid al-Barnawi as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224. Shekau is the most visible leader of the Nigeria-based militant group Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad, commonly referred to as Boko Haram. Khalid al-Barnawi and Abubakar Adam Kambar have ties to Boko Haram and have close links to al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Under Shekau’s leadership, Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks in northern Nigeria, its primary area of operation. In the last 18 months, Boko Haram or associated militants have killed more than 1,000 people. Boko Haram is credited with the August 26, 2011 attack on the United Nations building Abuja that killed at least 23 people and wounded scores more. Boko Haram also claimed responsibility for the December 25, 2011 attack on the Saint Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, Nigeria, that killed at least 35 and wounded dozens more. Boko Haram’s deadliest violence occurred on January 20, 2012 in Kano, Nigeria, with a series of attacks that killed more than 180 people. Boko Haram’s victims have been overwhelmingly civilian.
The designation under E.O. 13224 blocks all of Shekau’s, Kambar’s and al-Barnawi’s property interests subject to U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with or for the benefit of these individuals. These designations demonstrate the United States’ resolve in diminishing the capacity of Boko Haram to execute violent attacks. The Department of State took these actions in consultation with the Departments of Justice and Treasury.