Washington (AFP) - The US Treasury singled out two leaders of the violent Boko Haram Islamist group in Africa for economic sanctions Tuesday, saying both are closely involved in deadly attacks in Nigeria.
The Treasury said Mohammed Nur, a Boko Haram commander who has represented the group in negotiations with the Nigerian government, was placed on its financial blacklist for his involvement in suicide bomb attacks, including one on the United Nations headquarters in Abuja in 2011.
Nur "is a senior Boko Haram member who supports Boko Haram's campaign of violence against the government of Nigeria," the Treasury said.
The second Boko Haram figure placed on the sanctions list is Mustapha Chad, a Chadian national who in 2013 directed Boko Haram activities in Yobe state in northern Nigeria, the Treasury said.
The sanctions, which seek to freeze assets of the individuals and lock them out of the global financial system, add to US designations of Boko Haram as an international terror group two years ago. The Treasury pointed out that earlier this year Boko Haram also pledged allegiance to the Islamic State jihadist group based in Syria and Iraq.
"From kidnapping schoolgirls to mass fatality terrorist attacks, Boko Haram represents a threat not just to innocents in Nigeria but to all civilized society," said Treasury Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam Szubin in a statement.