Letter to US Attorney General

The Honorable Eric H. Holder
Attorney General of the United States
Department of Justice
Robert F. Kennedy Building
Washington, D.C.

 July 29, 2014

 Dear Honorable Attorney General:

We are writing to request that the United States Department of Justice take prompt and meaningful steps to enforce provisions of United States law that require the prosecution and punishment, in United States courts, of individuals who murder or maim or attempt to murder American citizens in acts of international terrorism, such as the Anti-Terrorism Act, 18 USC Sec. 2332. The Jubilee Campaign has determined that at least two United States citizens were present when Boko Haram, under Sheik Abubakar Shekau’s leadership, bombed the United Nations headquarters on August 26, 2011 and now urge you to take action.

The Department of Justice should (1) investigate those cases involving the murder of or infliction of serious bodily injury on American citizens; (2) where evidence supports, indict those individuals complicit in the deaths of or infliction of serious bodily injury on Americans, (3) seek the extradition of, (4) try in American federal courts, and (5) punish these individuals.

 According to official publications, one of your agency’s purposes “is to ensure that the investigation and prosecution of terrorist attacks against American citizens overseas remain a high priority within the Department of Justice.”

 More than two hundred innocent Chibok schoolgirls were brutally abducted, abused, and forced to convert their religion by the terrorist group Boko Haram in northern Nigeria, sparking global outrage. The head Boko Haram, Sheik Abubakar Shekau, declared a global terrorists by the United States under Executive Order 13224 and sanctioned by the UN Security Council under QI.S.322.14., claimed responsibility for these abductions.

Under Shekau’s leadership, Boko Haram has been responsible for a series of major terrorist attacks, including the heinous suicide bomb attack on 26 August 2011 on the United Nations headquarters in Abuja that killed at least 24 people and wounded many more (the crime heretofore referenced.) As two United States citizens were present when Boko Haram bombed the United Nations headquarters, (including one international protected person and one US diplomat) the United States has every justification and jurisdiction to call for the prosecution of Shekau and extradition of those involved in these attacks.

Furthermore, the trial of the four suspected masterminds of the UN Building bombing – Salisu Mohammed, Inusa Mukailu, Dan’azumi Haruna and Abdulsalami Adamu – has been repeatedly stalled as a result of the prosecution’s inability attend court or to produce key witnesses in court when they decide to be present. These atrocities occurred in 2011 and now, almost three years later, justice has still not been served.  Due to the circumstances of this proceeding and depending on the ultimate decision by Nigerian courts and sentencing, their prosecution under American law is not precluded by principles of double jeopardy, and they should, if prosecuted, suffer the full consequences of having violated American law.

The Department of Justice has not, to our knowledge, done anything to enforce applicable American law in these cases.

Delayed justice is no justice at all. Murder and assault of American citizens anywhere in the world must be promptly and effectively punished by the United States in United States courts under United States law. We call on you to carry out this obligation to send a message to global terrorists that America will not stand by when Americans are attacked.


 The Following Members of the Working Group of Nigeria: 

Ann Buwalda
Executive Director
Jubilee Campaign

Faith McDonnell
Religious Liberty Program
The Institute on Religion and Democracy

Kanayo K. Odeluga, MD., MPH
Igbo League, Inc.

William J. Murray
Religious Freedom Coalition

Don Beehler
2275 Winder Circle
Franklin, TN  37064

Scott Morgan
Red Eagle Enterprises


Katharine C. Gorka
Council on Global Security





Cover image, “Nigeria-Unrest” by Diariocritico de Venezuela on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)