By Ibrahim Usman
Sean Durns found it very convenient this time, when the new government in Nigeria was soliciting international cooperation to restructure its weak security system and ailing economy, to remind the government of what he referred to as “Iranian-connected Shi’ite Muslims terror threats” on its land.
This is a bait on the Nigerian government under Muhammadu Buhari, to see if it could swallow the hook, as did the Goodluck Jonathan administration. It is also a fake extension of arm of fellowship in the name of aid.
Durns buttressed his point with the following citation: “Calling for the United States to “effectively help African governments,” U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) wrote for Politico in May, “We cannot take our eyes off another region where violent extremists are wreaking havoc in Africa.”
On a broader perspective, the write-up was meant to increase the tempo and illicit support on the re-colonization and the new scramble for Africa, and suppression of the influence of Iran in the continent, which is the only major threat to actualizing the heinous agenda.
And this he did poorly, for he only re-echoed the statements of his predecessors, prominently Darwit Giorgis. Remember him? He was the so-called African security issues expert and a one-time fellow at the Washington DC- based Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank who, in conjunction with CNN framed a faulty report on the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) some years back.
With no evidence to link the IMN to terror groups, Durns had to rely so much on views expressed by other people (of his type and the same affiliation) on the baseless ad failed portrayal of IMN as a terrorist organization trained by Hizbullah and funded by Iran . In the whole of his cloudy write-up, he only mentioned the IMN and name of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky in just one paragraph, the rest he cheaply defended on other people’s views and cloudy references, in addition to unmatched attributions. Yet, his intention, like his predecessors’, was very glaring and crystal clear.
The intent of Durn’s write-up was not entirely different from that of Giorgis’ views, his inspiration. It was meant to present IMN as bearing striking resemblance to Hizbullah, and that Iran funds IMN and Hizbullah to destabilize Africa and western interests. To actualize this, Giorgis framed this: “Certainly, under Zakzaky’s leadership, the IMN has provided Hezbollah-style military training to hundreds of Nigerians in camps throughout Northern Nigeria”. Read the same statement by Durns, reproduced in another form: “IMN members…receiving Iranian arms and funds used to train hundreds in northern Nigeria”.
More semblance of the negative views are as follows:
Giorgis: “When he addresses his followers, Zakzaky typically sits under a big portrait of Ayatollah Khomeini and wields rhetoric akin to that of Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah. The subject of his speeches are what you might expect – heated vitriol aimed at Jews and Israel”.
Durns: “Zakzaky displays a portrait of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei behind him when he gives radical and frequently anti-Semitic sermons”.
Giorgis: “Indeed, Zakzaky has reportedly worked to ensure that his members are recruited into the army, the police force and the state security establishment”.
Durns: “IMN members reportedly have infiltrated the Nigerian state security establishment…”
Giorgis: “The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) is a jihadist organization with strong support among the 5 million Shia Muslims, by some estimates, living in Nigeria”.
Durns: “The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has “considerable support” among the five million Shi’ites residing in the country, according to a CNN report in 2013”.
Both Giorgis and Durns also ambiguously quoted the over flogged reference and situation constantly used by Israeli think tank groups to actualize a selfish agenda. The reference to a former senior Iranian diplomat Abel Assadina, and the arrest of Lebanese in Nigeria with rusty arms planted in their backyard kept resurfacing. Had the writer investigated further than his nose, he would have known that the case had been dismissed; the said accused people were discharged and acquitted by court. We can go on and on with wholesome reproduction of views by Durns.
From the above, it is clear that the views expressed in Durn’s write-up were not entirely his, and are not new. We therefore ask, who is Sean Durns and what does he represents, and why this over-flogged view expressed now? With Iran victorious at the recent nuclear talk with the so-called most powerful nations, these nations had no option but to fulfil their own side of the bargain of lifting some sanctions on Iran. That did not go down well with the Jewish state (Israel). Durns wrote that, “Former Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey has stated that he expects some of the nuclear deal’s up to $150 billion in sanctions relief for Iran to go towards financing terrorism”.
Durns is just but a propaganda tool in the hands of the illegal state of Israel to ensure that sanctions on Iran are never lifted, and that all eyes be focused on Africa, specifically IMN to be crushed. This why Durns also relied on Chris Coons’ writing titled, “In Fight Against Extremism, Remember Africa”.
Who is Sean Durns and what does he represents?
He is said to be a media assistant for the 65,000-member Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA). What is CAMERA?
It is an American non-profit pro-Israel media-monitoring, research and membership organization founded in 1982. The organization was specifically founded to respond to what it considers the media’s “general anti-Israel bias”. The organization was worried over the Washington Post’s fair and balance coverage of Israel’s Lebanon incursion. The committee expanded to cater for and protect Jewish interests in every facet of life such as in books, films, music and became an organ for the Jewish lobby in the U.S. and around the world. At a point the committee lashed out at famous Hollywood film director, for producing what it called anti-Israel movie.
CAMER`A had expanded its tentacles to school campuses as a convenient place of propagandistic assaults, release of distorted literature, extreme lectures and false and inflammatory images to present Israel as the innocent. In essence CAMERA and Durns represent pro-Israel interest, with top so-called Zionists as members. Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel, US Senator Joe Lieberman, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, and former Israeli cabinet minister Natan Sharansky have assisted CAMERA in its fund raising efforts.
When Giorgis published his views and were reproduced, it was adequately challenged and reduced to a pulp, and because it was the same views reproduced by Durns it can be met with the same response.
For Iran and Hizbullah, Israel has given up. More worrisome to Israel is the influence of Iran and Hizbullah on the African continent, as represented by IMN led by Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.