A WhatsApp message in circulation claims a student was denied admission into a foreign academic institution because the US Department of State listed Nigeria as one of the countries designated as “State Sponsors of Terrorism”.
VERDICT: False. It is false that the US Department of State listed Nigeria as one of the countries designated as “State Sponsors of Terrorism”. Currently, there are four countries designated as such: Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Iran and Syria.
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A message circulating on WhatsApp claims that the application of an unknown admission seeker was declined by the SANS Technology Institute because the applicant’s background and education were from Nigeria.
The message, purportedly from the Institute, claimed that the applicant was not accepted because Nigeria has been designated as one of the state sponsors of terrorism.
The message read: “As a longstanding matter of policy, the SANS Technology Institute does not accept students from a number of countries where the governmental regime is a cause for international concern.
“In your case, the US Department of State currently lists your country of citizenship as one of a handful of countries designated as ‘States Sponsors of Terrorism.’”
How true is the claim that the US Department of State listed Nigeria among countries sponsoring terrorism?
Details sourced from the US Department of State indicated that countries determined by the Secretary of State to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism are designated as “state sponsors of terrorism”.
The designations are done in line with the laws of the United States, including the provisions of section1754(c) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act, and section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.
“Taken together, the four main categories of sanctions resulting from designation under these authorities include restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on Defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual-use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions,” the Department posted on its official website.
The Department said designation also implicates other sanctions laws that penalise persons and countries engaging in certain trade with state sponsors.
Checks on the list of designated nations on the website of the US Department of State show that Nigeria is not on the list.
Currently, there are four countries designated as “states sponsors of terrorism by the United States”: Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Iran, and Syria.
Cuba was designated on January 12, 2021, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea on November 20, 2017, while Iran and Syria were designated on January 19, 1984, and December 29, 1979, respectively.
It is false that the US Department of State listed Nigeria as one of the countries designated as “State Sponsors of Terrorism”.