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Was Nelson Mandela a terrorist?

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Quick Answer

As late as 2008, Nelson Mandela was considered a terrorist by the U.S. government, according to NBC News. In 1986, Mandela's political party, the African National Congress (ANC), was condemned by President Ronald Reagan for engaging in "calculated terror." South Africa's apartheid regime declared the ANC a terrorist group, as did the Reagan administration.

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Full Answer

In 1990, after he was released from prison, Mandela was invited to the White House by President George H.W. Bush, despite being on the U.S. government's terror watch list. Due to a "bureaucratic snafu," Mandela and other African National Congress leaders were left on the watch list until 2008. At that time, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice brought the issue to the attention of a Senate committee, prompting then-Senator John Kerry to write a bill, dropping the terrorist label from Mandela and other leaders of the African National Congress.

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