“The (U.S.) president has been briefed several times and his national security team continues to monitor the situation there closely,” – Jay Carney.
The United States has expressed outrage at the kidnap of over 200 girls from a school in Chibok, Borno State.
The girls were kidnapped from their dormitory at the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State on April 14.
“We view what has happened there as an outrage and a terrible tragedy,” White House spokesperson, Jay Carney, was quoted by the BBC as saying during a White House briefing.
“The president has been briefed several times and his national security team continues to monitor the situation there closely. The state department has been in regular touch with the Nigerian government about what we might do to help support its efforts to find and free these young women.”
Mr. Carney confirmed statements made by President Goodluck Jonathan during Sundays Presidential Media Chat that the federal government was getting assistance from the U.S. in freeing the girls.
The White House spokesperson said the U.S. was offering counter-terrorism help to Nigerian investigators that involved “information-sharing” and improving Nigeria’s “forensics and investigative capacity”.
The announcement of help by the U.S. comes hours after a video was released showing the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, claiming responsibility for the kidnap.
“I am the one who captured all those girls and will sell all of them. I have a market where I sell human beings because it is God that says I should sell human beings. Yes I will sell women, because I sell women,” Mr. Shekau said in the almost one-hour video in his native Hausa.
He also threatened to marry off the girls and carry out more attacks against public institutions and civilians.
The Boko Haram has killed thousands of people in Northern Nigeria since the insurgency began in 2009. Over 1,500 people have been killed in 2014 alone.
There has been widespread outrage since the girls were kidnapped. Mr. Jonathan, during the media chat said the government is not aware of their whereabouts and is not certain of the number of girls actually kidnapped.
He sought assistance from the families of the kidnapped girls and pledged the federal government’s determination to free the girls.