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U.S. Team in Nigeria to Help Locate Kidnapped Girls

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2014 – The United States has sent a team of experts to Nigeria to help the government in the West African country locate and free more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped last month by the Boko Haram terrorist group, a Defense Department spokesman said today.

Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters the cell is made up of personnel from the FBI, the intelligence community, and the U.S. military.

“They’re going to take a look at what the capabilities are, what capabilities the Nigerians are applying to the effort, and what gaps they may need [to fill], and additional help and/or resources they may need,” the admiral said. “Then, they’ll come back … and they’ll report that up through the interagency process.”

Kirby said Hagel is closely monitoring developments and earlier in the day was briefed on the situation and details about the team being sent to Nigeria by Africom Commander Gen. David M. Rodriguez and by Africa experts on his staff.  

Time is at a premium, Kirby said. The Nigerian government accepted the offer of assistance on Wednesday.

“Within 48 hours, people were moving to get there,” Kirby said. “We’ve responded as quickly as we could, once the offer had been accepted. The effort right now is on trying to help them find these girls.”

President Barack Obama has vowed to do “everything we can” to help find the Nigerian schoolgirls.

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: garamoneAFPS)


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Department of Defense Press Briefing by Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby in the Pentagon Briefing Room

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