Congress Demands Action On Boko Haram After Nigeria Visit

“It is a larger issue than we may have thought," said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.

Posted: 06/18/2014 12:59 PM EDT

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a ten-term Democrat from Texas, wants to make sure that the terrorist group Boko Haram is given as much “immediate attention” as the devolving situation in Iraq.

"They are decapitating, they are slicing the throats of women, leaving them for dead,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee told the Daily Beast, having recently returned from a congressional delegation to Nigeria. “It is a larger issue than we may have thought. They have taken over villages, they are raping, they are pillaging, they are taking resources from villages, stealing.”

During the trip, officials reported to Jackson Lee that, in the past nine days alone, the Islamic extremist organization was responsible for about 480 deaths. Reps. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Steve Stockman (R-TX) and Lois Frankel (D-FL) also joined Jackson Lee on the delegation, where they called for the creation of a Nigerian fund to compensate the victims of the Boko Haram attacks, the Daily Beast reported.

"What we learned firsthand was the viciousness and the lack of any morality on the part of Boko Haram,” said Jackson Lee. “Boko Haram should not be taken lightly… they're killing villagers as we speak.”

The congresswoman also pointed out that the hundreds of school girls who were abducted by Boko Haram on April 14 “should not be an international side story.”

Boko Haram have killed thousands since launching an insurgency in 2009 in an effort to overthrow the government and enforce an Islamic state. As of May 2013, the northeast states of Borno,Yobe and Adamawa have been under a state of emergency.

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(Photo: Kris Connor/Getty Images for TV One)

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