Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) have vowed revenge against the United States for the assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani last week, The Daily Beast reports. The news comes after Iranian ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi said to CNN that Iran could not be held responsible for the actions of militias and other sympathizers.
The IMN is reportedly headed by Shia Islam converts that were initially inspired by the Iranian Revolution. The group calls America the “the tyrants of this century” and vowed to punish the country for its recent actions.
The Daily Beast noted that the news exemplifies how difficult it will be for anyone to restrain proxies that decide to attack U.S. citizens and interests.
“And, yes, at the same time it will be hard for the U.S. to pin the blame squarely on Tehran for the actions of such a group,” the report reads.
Members of the IMN reportedly took to the streets in Abuja, Nigeria, following Soleimani’s death. The Daily Beast said they were visibly angry and chanted “death to America,” echoing the Shiite protesters in Iran that protested in the wake of the general’s death.
“We’ll make America pay,” a protester told The Daily Beast. “It will happen when nobody expects.”
Iran’s latest propaganda video is a doozy. The Qods Force blows up the Capitol dome, captures the White House, and kills Donald Trump — to avenge Qassem Soleimani. pic.twitter.com/6QLML3S6h3
— Mike (@Doranimated) January 11, 2020
Iranian proxies reportedly vary in goals and interests. Although some may follow Tehran’s orders, others may act on their own accord to build their reputation, either with Iran or in their home countries. A recent example is an al-Shabab group operating out of Somalia, which killed two American contractors and an American serviceman in Kenya. The attack was allegedly part of the group’s “Al-Quds Will Never Be Judaized” guerrilla campaign.
Journalist Yashar Ali, a contributor for New York Magazine and HuffPost, previously addressed his belief that Iran’s ballistic missile attacks against military bases housing U.S. soldiers did not account for Iran’s revenge. He noted the country’s history of asymmetric warfare that targets unprotected or vulnerable targets and do not follow a strict timeline.
“So what I’m saying is all these people with their chest thumping, I would be cautious about what you see as Iranian revenge and unfortunately prepare yourselves for the kind of attacks that are unexpected, that don’t follow a tight timeline, and show up where you least expect,” he tweeted.
Yashar claims that it’s naive to believe that Iran’s missile attacks were out of a desire to save face and claimed the U.S. should expect retribution at some point, noting that Iran has historically opted for conventional warfare.