NEWSFLASH: Need-to-Know Stories 5/1 – 5/8

This week, the Obama administration announced it would help search for 270 Nigerian girls kidnapped in April by terrorist group Boko Haram. Additionally, Congress voted to create a special committee to investigate the Obama administration's handling of 2012's controversial Benghazi attacks.

Welcome back to NEWSFLASH, giving you the week's biggest stories!

U.S. to Aid in Search for 270 Girls Kidnapped By Nigerian Terrorist Group

On Tuesday, the U.S. government declared it would help Nigeria rescue 270 teenage girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group. 

The girls were kidnapped from the Government Girls Secondary School in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim northeast region. The incident occurred April 14, marking a fairly significant gap in time between the mass kidnapping and the start of serious search-and-rescue efforts.

The Nigerian government has come under scrutiny for not responding quickly enough to the kidnappings. The U.S. government  has agreed to send intelligence, law enforcement and military advisors to the country, and Britain, France and China have also offered to aid in the search.

In a video released this week, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau took credit for the mass abduction.

"I abducted your girls," Shekau says in the video. "There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell."

Given the amount of time that has passed, officials believe the girls have been separated and removed from Nigeria.

Boko Haram was reportedly founded in 1995 and has caused an estimated 10,000 deaths between 2002 and 2013.

House Votes To Create Special Committee For Benghazi Investigations

On Thursday, Congress voted in favor of forming a special committee to review the Obama administration’s management of the 2012 attacks in Benghazi.

Republicans tipped the 233-to-186 vote, which was mainly divided along party lines. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) is set to chair the committee, whereas the other Republican members have yet to be determined.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) requested that membership on the committee be divided 50-50 among the two parties, but in the end, House Republican leaders decided that seven of the members will be Republicans and five will be Democrats. This has made some believe that Democrats will completely refuse to participate, though nothing has been confirmed.

On Sept. 11, 2012, a group of unidentified individuals attacked the U.S. Consulate at Benghazi, in Libya. The attack killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, along with two other Americans. Since the attacks, the Obama administration has undergone extensive criticism, alleging neglect and mishandling of the situation.