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A Response to Dr Sheehan’s article on IPOB that appeared in The Washington Times Igbo Focus 7th October 2021 This is a reply to Dr Sheehan’s article that appeared in The Washington Times about Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Dr Ivan Sascha Sheehan is a U.S. Professor, descendant of Iran wrote an article about the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). He didn't even say what IPOB stand for or their activities. He didn’t even talk about self- determination and referendum that IPOB is pursuing. Nigeria Government has been going around paying people off, bribing them in Nigeria, Europe, U.S. etc., to protest and do all sorts of nonsense and blame IPOB, I think they have bribed Sheehan to write this childish article. The following is the article and the reply is highlighted in green. U.S. ignores small African terrorist group IPOB at its peril State Department needs to designate Indigenous People of Biafra as a foreign terrorist organization By Ivan Sascha Sheehan - - Monday, October 4, 2021 ANALYSIS/OPINION: "An African terrorist organization is suing U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in U.S. federal court. It beggars belief." Here, he didn't say the reason why IPOB is suing U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and defence Secretary Lloyd Austin. Well, if he doesn’t know why they are being sued, he should know that US is selling weapons to the Nigeria government that will in turn be used by soldiers to kill innocent people especially Igbo people which Buhari, the president hate most out of envy. So how did it happen? The answer is frustratingly simple. The violent secessionist group in question – the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) – is yet to be designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the US Department of State. This is despite repeated pleas to do so by longstanding U.S. ally Nigeria, where IPOB is based and carries out its murderous activities. From what the professor wrote above he seemed he didn't research well on his topic. For a start, US is not Nigeria longstanding ally, they just want to cut in. Secondly, British could be said to be the longstanding ally of Nigeria and they know what IPOB is about. It is difficult to explain how U.S. interests are served by inaction and complacency on IPOB. The listing costs nothing. But the designation would have significant implications for the group’s continuance. This is a shame, a Professor of School of Public and International Affairs is writing like this, that it would not cost the U.S. nothing listing IPOB as terrorist organisation. So, U.S. Government would go about listing organisations terrorist without proper research to see what the organisation did first before listing the organisation terrorist. Let’s start with the obvious: Tagging the group with a terror label would hit IPOB’s wallet hard. As soon as the designation is applied, no organization that utilizes U.S. currency would be able to legally conduct transactions with the organization. As a professor of international affairs, you don’t even know why people and countries are opting for Bitcoin, they are trying to do away using the dollar because people like you are bluffing too much with the dollar. By cutting off IPOB’s funding, the U.S. would weaken the 50,000 strong paramilitary outfit and provide Nigeria’s security forces room to train their sights squarely on ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram in the Northeast of the country. Counterterrorism operations against Boko Haram have long been assisted by U.S. agencies working in close coordination with the West African government. This professor doesn’t even know what he is talking about here. He doesn't know that once Biafra (IPOB) and Oduduwa nation get independence there will be no more ISIS or Boko Haram in Nigeria because almost all Christians have left Nigeria to their new nations, and they will perhaps help the rest of the Christians stock in Nigeria to be free. Mind you, if you don’t know this know it now that Nigeria Government is the Boko Haram in question today, it will not allow Christians to go until it finishes them off. Though IPOB may appear to be Abuja’s problem alone, the militants have served as a distraction and bled precious resources. Over the past eighteen months, Boko Haram has regrettably been able to regroup and rejuvenate. The same is true of Al Qaeda-affiliated groups across the volatile Sahel region. That the African continent is rapidly becoming a staging ground for global terror operations should concern U.S. officials. But Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB’s leader, is clearly unconcerned. That he feels no need to even disguise his support of terrorism is worrisome. Put it this way, if Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB believed in terrorism Nnamdi Kanu wouldn't have been in DSS detention now. Though IPOB’s principal aim is to restore a breakaway state of Biafra in the Southeastern parts of Nigeria, Mr. Kanu’s rhetoric has become increasingly strident. “I don’t want peaceful actualization (of Biafra),” Mr. Kanu has said through his Radio Biafra channel, used to project threats, instructions, and propaganda into Nigeria from the safety of London. “If they don’t (give us Biafra), they will die.” Neither does Mr. Kanu make idle threats. The December revelation of IPOB’s 50,000 strong- armed paramilitary wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), complete with a Swastika-style flag, marked the end to all pretenses of being a peaceful movement. What had been largely unspoken was publicly declared. Since then, violent IPOB attacks on both security personnel and civilians have surged by a terrifying 59%; deaths by 344%. Is it IPOB attacking security force or security force attacking IPOB? In the country like the U.S. that you are in now, people demonstrate without being shot at by security force or people driving without being killed by security force, etc. But the Nigeria you’re busy defending or writing about, people get shot for demonstrating or drivers driving their cars get killed without any reason whatsoever by the security force and no questions asked. More than 20 attacks were carried out in the first three months of this year alone, including the retribution-style bombing of a local state governor’s home where four were killed, and an attack on a prison that freed some 2,000 dangerous criminals. Even neighboring states were forced to impose curfews to protect their citizens from marauders. Well, done you wrote it well, every attack is carried out by IPOB as if you were there to monitor the events. There is also a nasty racial element to the IPOB attacks. In addition to attacks on the state, much of their violence is directed towards the Fulani people, a nomadic tribe of herders that roam across West Africa. Through Biafra Radio, IPOB regularly calls on its supporters to not only kill the Fulani, but to kill “any landlord that gives accommodation or rents his house or her house to a Fulani person.” Professor, you are well informed by your Fulanis’ narrators, but did the Fulanis told you that they are the fourth deadliest terror group in the world according to world terror index? Do you think Americans would love to live side by side with the world fourth deadliest people? In one recent attack on a Fulani community, six young children were butchered with machetes – one, a baby, was burned alive. Their bodies were discarded in mass graves. Fulanis have been narrating good stories to write home about and you bought it. Whether with threats made on Biafra Radio or repeated acts of violence, IPOB coerces politicians and civilians to acquiesce to its radical political demands. One example saw all the governors of Southeast Nigeria bow to a 14-day ultimatum to ban open grazing in their districts – a move targeting the livelihoods of the Fulani – rather than face the wrath of the ESN. Where you are, do they do open grazing in your districts in the U.S.? Similarly, it enforces a sit-at-home day every Monday, intended to economically cripple the region, through acts like the torching of passenger buses. How would protesters protest without police and army firing at them? It is called “sit-at-home protest.” The U.S. has correctly prescribed terror labels to other secessionist groups that employ these tactics – the ETA in Spain, the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, and the PKK in Turkey. Now the people IPOB claims to represent, the Igbo, are even seeking to distance themselves from the group. So why hasn’t the U.S.? One reason may be the group’s million-dollar contracts with prominent American lobbying firms paid to whitewash the group’s reputation and lobby on Capitol Hill. It is impossible to believe that IPOB and Kanu’s deep pockets are not being lined by external organizations. So, the above is what it takes for the U.S. not to list an organisation as a terrorist. A terror designation would put a stop to this influence peddling. It would also mean the group could not use the US or its Western allies, like London-based Radio Biafra, to further their cause. How do you know that Radio Biafra is based in London and not in Nigeria, New York, Spain, Germany, Japan, South Africa or Geneva? The group’s outsized influence – a function of its radio station, paid hands, and US lawyers – would be severely curtailed. Law enforcement in the US, the U.K., and elsewhere would be obligated to act by shutting down these activities. Thats another problem, here you are saying that U.S. is a terror country that for the fear of the U.S. the Law enforcement in the U.K., and elsewhere would be obligated to act for them. That a small terrorist organization can bully senior U.S. officials in American courts and leverage the influence of foreign agents to challenge an ally’s security would be laughable were it not so alarming. Washington must not ignore Nigeria’s terrorists any longer. Professor or Dr Ivan Sascha Sheehan, from what I read so far, I pity your students learning useless from you, for all I know you are carrying a bogus qualification that does not worth paper it was written on. It is a shame that a professor like you cannot even conduct desk research on IPOB and Nigeria Government to write whatever useless you want to write about them. We know the Federal Government of Nigeria had bribed you to write this pointless article about IPOB. Nigeria Government has been doing this just to tannish the image of IPOB. They will get people to burn down houses to claim that IPOB members did it. Police and army will kill people and they are IPOB member or IPOB members shot them, and they shot back and kill them. Police will bomb a prison to claim IPOB did it. Nigeria Government is the Boko Haram; when they buy armament, they are buying them for Boko Haram because they will pretend, they are after Boko Haram and in so doing abandoning the new armament for Boko Haram to claim that Boko Haram took the armament from them. Hence, continue writing for Boko Haram Government, you will soon lose your job. The following below is Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheeha’s article published in The Washington Times U.S. ignores small African terrorist group IPOB at its peril State Department needs to designate Indigenous People of Biafra as a foreign terrorist organization By Ivan Sascha Sheehan - - Monday, October 4, 2021 ANALYSIS/OPINION: An African terrorist organization is suing U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in U.S. federal court. It beggars belief. So how did it happen? The answer is frustratingly simple. The violent secessionist group in question – the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) – is yet to be designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the US Department of State. This is despite repeated pleas to do so by longstanding U.S. ally Nigeria, where IPOB is based and carries out its murderous activities. It is difficult to explain how U.S. interests are served by inaction and complacency on IPOB. The listing costs nothing. But the designation would have significant implications for the group’s continuance. Let’s start with the obvious: Tagging the group with a terror label would hit IPOB’s wallet hard. As soon as the designation is applied, no organization that utilizes U.S. currency would be able to legally conduct transactions with the organization. By cutting off IPOB’s funding, the U.S. would weaken the 50,000 strong paramilitary outfit and provide Nigeria’s security forces room to train their sights squarely on ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram in the Northeast of the country. Counterterrorism operations against Boko Haram have long been assisted by U.S. agencies working in close coordination with the West African government. Though IPOB may appear to be Abuja’s problem alone, the militants have served as a distraction and bled precious resources. Over the past eighteen months, Boko Haram has regrettably been able to regroup and rejuvenate. The same is true of Al Qaeda-affiliated groups across the volatile Sahel region. That the African continent is rapidly becoming a staging ground for global terror operations should concern U.S. officials. But Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB’s leader, is clearly unconcerned. That he feels no need to even disguise his support of terrorism is worrisome. Though IPOB’s principal aim is to restore a breakaway state of Biafra in the Southeastern parts of Nigeria, Mr. Kanu’s rhetoric has become increasingly strident. “I don’t want peaceful actualization (of Biafra),” Mr. Kanu has said through his Radio Biafra channel, used to project threats, instructions, and propaganda into Nigeria from the safety of London. “If they don’t (give us Biafra), they will die.” Neither does Mr. Kanu make idle threats. The December revelation of IPOB’s 50,000 strong- armed paramilitary wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), complete with a Swastika-style flag, marked the end to all pretenses of being a peaceful movement. What had been largely unspoken was publicly declared. Since then, violent IPOB attacks on both security personnel and civilians have surged by a terrifying 59%; deaths by 344%. More than 20 attacks were carried out in the first three months of this year alone, including the retribution-style bombing of a local state governor’s home where four were killed, and an attack on a prison that freed some 2,000 dangerous criminals. Even neighboring states were forced to impose curfews to protect their citizens from marauders. There is also a nasty racial element to the IPOB attacks. In addition to attacks on the state, much of their violence is directed towards the Fulani people, a nomadic tribe of herders that roam across West Africa. Through Biafra Radio, IPOB regularly calls on its supporters to not only kill the Fulani, but to kill “any landlord that gives accommodation or rents his house or her house to a Fulani person.” In one recent attack on a Fulani community, six young children were butchered with machetes – one, a baby, was burned alive. Their bodies were discarded in mass graves. Whether with threats made on Biafra Radio or repeated acts of violence, IPOB coerces politicians and civilians to acquiesce to its radical political demands. One example saw all the governors of Southeast Nigeria bow to a 14-day ultimatum to ban open grazing in their districts – a move targeting the livelihoods of the Fulani – rather than face the wrath of the ESN. Similarly, it enforces a sit-at-home day every Monday, intended to economically cripple the region, through acts like the torching of passenger buses. The U.S. has correctly prescribed terror labels to other secessionist groups that employ these tactics – the ETA in Spain, the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, and the PKK in Turkey. Now the people IPOB claims to represent, the Igbo, are even seeking to distance themselves from the group. So why hasn’t the U.S.? One reason may be the group’s million-dollar contracts with prominent American lobbying firms paid to whitewash the group’s reputation and lobby on Capitol Hill. It is impossible to believe that IPOB and Kanu’s deep pockets are not being lined by external organizations. A terror designation would put a stop to this influence peddling. It would also mean the group could not use the US or its Western allies, like London-based Radio Biafra, to further their cause. The group’s outsized influence – a function of its radio station, paid hands, and US lawyers – would be severely curtailed. Law enforcement in the US, the U.K., and elsewhere would be obligated to act by shutting down these activities. That a small terrorist organization can bully senior U.S. officials in American courts and leverage the influence of foreign agents to challenge an ally’s security would be laughable were it not so alarming. Washington must not ignore Nigeria’s terrorists any longer. • Ivan Sascha Sheehan is the executive director of the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore. Opinions expressed are his own.
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A Response to Dr Sheehan’s article on IPOB that appeared in The Washington Times Igbo Focus 7th October 2021 This is a reply to Dr Sheehan’s article that appeared in The Washington Times about Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Dr Ivan Sascha Sheehan is a U.S. Professor, descendant of Iran wrote an article about the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). He didn't even say what IPOB stand for or their activities. He didn’t even talk about self- determination and referendum that IPOB is pursuing. Nigeria Government has been going around paying people off, bribing them in Nigeria, Europe, U.S. etc., to protest and do all sorts of nonsense and blame IPOB, I think they have bribed Sheehan to write this childish article. The following is the article and the reply highlighted in green. U.S. ignores small African terrorist group IPOB at its peril State Department needs to designate Indigenous People of Biafra as a foreign terrorist organization By Ivan Sascha Sheehan - -Monday, October 4, 2021 ANALYSIS/OPINION: "An African terrorist organization is suing U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in U.S. federal court. It beggars belief." Here, he didn't say the reason why IPOB is suing U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and defence Secretary Lloyd Austin. Well, if he doesn’t know why they are being sued, he should know that US is selling weapons to the Nigeria government that will in turn be used by soldiers to kill innocent people especially Igbo people which Buhari, the president hate most out of envy. So how did it happen? The answer is frustratingly simple. The violent secessionist group in question – the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) – is yet to be designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the US Department of State. This is despite repeated pleas to do so by longstanding U.S. ally Nigeria, where IPOB is based and carries out its murderous activities. From what the professor wrote above he seemed he didn't research well on his topic. For a start, US is not Nigeria longstanding ally, they just want to cut in. Secondly, the British could be said to be the longstanding ally of Nigeria and they know what IPOB is about. It is difficult to explain how U.S. interests are served by inaction and complacency on IPOB. The listing costs nothing. But the designation would have significant implications for the group’s continuance. This is a shame, a Professor of School of Public and International Affairs is writing like this, that it would not cost the U.S. nothing listing IPOB as terrorist organisation. So, U.S. Government would go about listing organisations terrorist without proper research to see what the organisation did first before listing the organisation terrorist. Let’s start with the obvious: Tagging the group with a terror label would hit IPOB’s wallet hard. As soon as the designation is applied, no organization that utilizes U.S. currency would be able to legally conduct transactions with the organization. As a professor of international affairs, you don’t even know why people and countries are opting for Bitcoin, they are trying to do away using the dollar because people like you are bluffing too much with the dollar. By cutting off IPOB’s funding, the U.S. would weaken the 50,000 strong paramilitary outfit and provide Nigerias security forces room to train their sights squarely on ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram in the Northeast of the country. Counterterrorism operations against Boko Haram have long been assisted by U.S. agencies working in close coordination with the West African government. This professor doesn’t even know what he is talking about here. He doesn't know that once Biafra (IPOB) and Oduduwa nation get independence there will be no more ISIS or Boko Haram in Nigeria because almost all Christians have left Nigeria to their new nations, and they will perhaps help the rest of the Christians stock in Nigeria to be free. Mind you, if you don’t know this know it now that Nigeria Government is the Boko Haram in question today, it will not allow Christians to go until it finishes them off. Though IPOB may appear to be Abuja’s problem alone, the militants have served as a distraction and bled precious resources. Over the past eighteen months, Boko Haram has regrettably been able to regroup and rejuvenate. The same is true of Al Qaeda- affiliated groups across the volatile Sahel region. That the African continent is rapidly becoming a staging ground for global terror operations should concern U.S. officials. But Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB’s leader, is clearly unconcerned. That he feels no need to even disguise his support of terrorism is worrisome. Put it this way, if Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB believed in terrorism, Nnamdi Kanu wouldn't have been in DSS detention now. Though IPOB’s principal aim is to restore a breakaway state of Biafra in the Southeastern parts of Nigeria, Mr. Kanu’s rhetoric has become increasingly strident. “I don’t want peaceful actualization (of Biafra),” Mr. Kanu has said through his Radio Biafra channel, used to project threats, instructions, and propaganda into Nigeria from the safety of London. “If they don’t (give us Biafra), they will die.” Neither does Mr. Kanu make idle threats. The December revelation of IPOB’s 50,000 strong- armed paramilitary wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), complete with a Swastika-style flag, marked the end to all pretenses of being a peaceful movement. What had been largely unspoken was publicly declared. Since then, violent IPOB attacks on both security personnel and civilians have surged by a terrifying 59%; deaths by 344%. Is it IPOB attacking security force or security force attacking IPOB? In the country like the U.S. that you are in now, people demonstrate without being shot at by security force or people driving without being killed by security force, etc. But the Nigeria you’re busy defending or writing about, people get shot for demonstrating or drivers driving their cars get killed without any reason whatsoever by the security force and no questions asked. More than 20 attacks were carried out in the first three months of this year alone, including the retribution-style bombing of a local state governor’s home where four were killed, and an attack on a prison that freed some 2,000 dangerous criminals. Even neighboring states were forced to impose curfews to protect their citizens from marauders. Well, done you wrote it well, every attack is carried out by IPOB as if you were there to monitor the events. There is also a nasty racial element to the IPOB attacks. In addition to attacks on the state, much of their violence is directed towards the Fulani people, a nomadic tribe of herders that roam across West Africa. Through Biafra Radio, IPOB regularly calls on its supporters to not only kill the Fulani, but to kill “any landlord that gives accommodation or rents his house or her house to a Fulani person.” Professor, you are well informed by your Fulanis’ narrators, but did the Fulanis told you that they are the fourth deadliest terror group in the world according to world terror index? Do you think Americans would love to live side by side with the world fourth deadliest people? In one recent attack on a Fulani community, six young children were butchered with machetes – one, a baby, was burned alive. Their bodies were discarded in mass graves. Fulanis have been narrating good stories to write home about and you bought it. Whether with threats made on Biafra Radio or repeated acts of violence, IPOB coerces politicians and civilians to acquiesce to its radical political demands. One example saw all the governors of Southeast Nigeria bow to a 14- day ultimatum to ban open grazing in their districts – a move targeting the livelihoods of the Fulani – rather than face the wrath of the ESN. Where you are, do they do open grazing in your districts in the U.S.? Similarly, it enforces a sit-at-home day every Monday, intended to economically cripple the region, through acts like the torching of passenger buses. How would protesters protest without police and army firing at them? It is called “sit-at-home protest.” The U.S. has correctly prescribed terror labels to other secessionist groups that employ these tactics – the ETA in Spain, the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, and the PKK in Turkey. Now the people IPOB claims to represent, the Igbo, are even seeking to distance themselves from the group. So why hasn’t the U.S.? One reason may be the group’s million-dollar contracts with prominent American lobbying firms paid to whitewash the group’s reputation and lobby on Capitol Hill. It is impossible to believe that IPOB and Kanu’s deep pockets are not being lined by external organizations. So, the above is what it takes for the U.S. not to list an organisation as a terrorist. A terror designation would put a stop to this influence peddling. It would also mean the group could not use the US or its Western allies, like London-based Radio Biafra, to further their cause. How do you know that Radio Biafra is based in London and not in Nigeria, New York, Spain, Germany, Japan, South Africa or Geneva? The group’s outsized influence – a function of its radio station, paid hands, and US lawyers – would be severely curtailed. Law enforcement in the US, the U.K., and elsewhere would be obligated to act by shutting down these activities. Thats another problem, here you are saying that U.S. is a terror country that for the fear of the U.S., the Law enforcement in the U.K., and elsewhere would be obligated to act for them. That a small terrorist organization can bully senior U.S. officials in American courts and leverage the influence of foreign agents to challenge an ally’s security would be laughable were it not so alarming. Washington must not ignore Nigeria’s terrorists any longer. Professor or Dr Ivan Sascha Sheehan, from what I read so far, I pity your students learning useless from you, for all I know you are carrying a bogus qualification that does not worth paper it was written on. It is a shame that a professor like you cannot even conduct desk research on IPOB and Nigeria Government to write whatever useless you want to write about them. We know the Federal Government of Nigeria had bribed you to write this pointless article about IPOB. Nigeria Government has been doing this just to tannish the image of IPOB. They will get people to burn down houses to claim that IPOB members did it. Police and army will kill people and they are IPOB member or IPOB members shot them, and they shot back and kill them. Police will bomb a prison to claim IPOB did it. Nigeria Government is the Boko Haram; when they buy armament, they are buying them for Boko Haram because they will pretend, they are after Boko Haram and in so doing abandoning the new armament for Boko Haram to claim that Boko Haram took the armament from them. Hence, continue writing for Boko Haram Government, you will soon lose your job. The following below is Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheeha’s article published in The Washington Times U.S. ignores small African terrorist group IPOB at its peril State Department needs to designate Indigenous People of Biafra as a foreign terrorist organization By Ivan Sascha Sheehan - - Monday, October 4, 2021 ANALYSIS/OPINION: An African terrorist organization is suing U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in U.S. federal court. It beggars belief. So how did it happen? The answer is frustratingly simple. The violent secessionist group in question – the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) – is yet to be designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the US Department of State. This is despite repeated pleas to do so by longstanding U.S. ally Nigeria, where IPOB is based and carries out its murderous activities. It is difficult to explain how U.S. interests are served by inaction and complacency on IPOB. The listing costs nothing. But the designation would have significant implications for the group’s continuance. Let’s start with the obvious: Tagging the group with a terror label would hit IPOB’s wallet hard. As soon as the designation is applied, no organization that utilizes U.S. currency would be able to legally conduct transactions with the organization. By cutting off IPOB’s funding, the U.S. would weaken the 50,000 strong paramilitary outfit and provide Nigeria’s security forces room to train their sights squarely on ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram in the Northeast of the country. Counterterrorism operations against Boko Haram have long been assisted by U.S. agencies working in close coordination with the West African government. Though IPOB may appear to be Abuja’s problem alone, the militants have served as a distraction and bled precious resources. Over the past eighteen months, Boko Haram has regrettably been able to regroup and rejuvenate. The same is true of Al Qaeda- affiliated groups across the volatile Sahel region. That the African continent is rapidly becoming a staging ground for global terror operations should concern U.S. officials. But Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB’s leader, is clearly unconcerned. That he feels no need to even disguise his support of terrorism is worrisome. Though IPOB’s principal aim is to restore a breakaway state of Biafra in the Southeastern parts of Nigeria, Mr. Kanu’s rhetoric has become increasingly strident. “I don’t want peaceful actualization (of Biafra),” Mr. Kanu has said through his Radio Biafra channel, used to project threats, instructions, and propaganda into Nigeria from the safety of London. “If they don’t (give us Biafra), they will die.” Neither does Mr. Kanu make idle threats. The December revelation of IPOB’s 50,000 strong- armed paramilitary wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), complete with a Swastika-style flag, marked the end to all pretenses of being a peaceful movement. What had been largely unspoken was publicly declared. Since then, violent IPOB attacks on both security personnel and civilians have surged by a terrifying 59%; deaths by 344%. More than 20 attacks were carried out in the first three months of this year alone, including the retribution-style bombing of a local state governor’s home where four were killed, and an attack on a prison that freed some 2,000 dangerous criminals. Even neighboring states were forced to impose curfews to protect their citizens from marauders. There is also a nasty racial element to the IPOB attacks. In addition to attacks on the state, much of their violence is directed towards the Fulani people, a nomadic tribe of herders that roam across West Africa. Through Biafra Radio, IPOB regularly calls on its supporters to not only kill the Fulani, but to kill “any landlord that gives accommodation or rents his house or her house to a Fulani person.” In one recent attack on a Fulani community, six young children were butchered with machetes – one, a baby, was burned alive. Their bodies were discarded in mass graves. Whether with threats made on Biafra Radio or repeated acts of violence, IPOB coerces politicians and civilians to acquiesce to its radical political demands. One example saw all the governors of Southeast Nigeria bow to a 14- day ultimatum to ban open grazing in their districts – a move targeting the livelihoods of the Fulani – rather than face the wrath of the ESN. Similarly, it enforces a sit-at-home day every Monday, intended to economically cripple the region, through acts like the torching of passenger buses. The U.S. has correctly prescribed terror labels to other secessionist groups that employ these tactics – the ETA in Spain, the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, and the PKK in Turkey. Now the people IPOB claims to represent, the Igbo, are even seeking to distance themselves from the group. So why hasn’t the U.S.? One reason may be the group’s million-dollar contracts with prominent American lobbying firms paid to whitewash the group’s reputation and lobby on Capitol Hill. It is impossible to believe that IPOB and Kanu’s deep pockets are not being lined by external organizations. A terror designation would put a stop to this influence peddling. It would also mean the group could not use the US or its Western allies, like London-based Radio Biafra, to further their cause. The group’s outsized influence – a function of its radio station, paid hands, and US lawyers – would be severely curtailed. Law enforcement in the US, the U.K., and elsewhere would be obligated to act by shutting down these activities. That a small terrorist organization can bully senior U.S. officials in American courts and leverage the influence of foreign agents to challenge an ally’s security would be laughable were it not so alarming. Washington must not ignore Nigeria’s terrorists any longer. • Ivan Sascha Sheehan is the executive director of the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore. Opinions expressed are his own.

IGBOFOCUS