SANS Technology Institute, a college based in the United States that offers programmes on cybersecurity, has apologised for wrongly calling Nigeria a state sponsor of terrorism following a fact-check report published by HumAngle.
A screenshot that went viral in June had shown that the school rejected an applicant from Nigeria because the Nigerian government was supposedly designated as one that sponsored terrorism by the U.S.
“Thank you for your interest and enquiry. We appreciate that you highlighted that your education and background is from Nigeria,” the email stated.
“Unfortunately, this does, in fact, impact our ability to accept you into our programs. 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.”
It added that because the U.S. currently listed Nigeria as a state sponsor of terrorism, “we must decline your inquiry to pursue a higher education degree program with the SANS Technology Institute.:
Responding to criticism on Twitter, the college, on Friday said it regretted the misinformation.
“We sincerely apologize for the offense caused by the miscommunication to this applicant, which does not reflect our beliefs.
“We’ve been in direct contact with the student and are reviewing our processes to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” the institution said.
HumAngle had pointed out from its fact-check that not only is Nigeria not designated as a sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. Department of State, it also has never been so designated since the list was launched in 1979.
Nigeria is also not listed as a country that provides a “safe haven” for terrorists. Instead, the country has been praised by the U.S. government as a leader in the fight against terrorism and for partnering with it in combating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
SANS Technology Institute had not replied an email sent to it for clarification about the screenshot before the HumAngle fact-check report.