A Nigerian-born academic Osaore Aideyan says the U.S. has every right to take stricter security measures agaisnt nationals of several countries including Nigeria considered as security risks
Osaore Aideyan, a visiting assistant professor of government at Franklin & Marshall College, said in a phone interview Thursday that some Muslims in his native country “have become too radicalized” and that Nigeria could develop into a fertile ground for al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations.
In the aftermath of the aborted Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner, the U.S. has introduced tougher screening rules for passengers arriving by air from Nigeria and 13 other nations the government has labeled security risks.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian, was indicted Wednesday in Detroit on charges of attempted murder and trying to use a weapon of mass destruction to kill the 300 people on board the Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
Thursday, as the White House released the results of a two-week review of the incident, President Barack Obama ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to do a better job of recognizing serious terror threats and sharing information with those who can disrupt such plots as quickly as possible.
Islamic fundamentalism is a problem in the northern part of Nigeria, said Aideyan, a Christian. In the last 25 years, there have been dozens of instances in which Muslims behaved violently toward Christians, he said.
Christians and Muslims in Nigeria generally get along, Aideyan said, but some Islamic leaders “use religion as a tool to manipulate people” and divide them.
In addition to Nigeria, the countries on the U.S. security-risk list are Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen. Yemen-based militants have said they trained and equipped Abdulmutallab.
Travelers from those nations will face body pat-down searches and carry-on baggage checks.
The new directives went into effect Monday.
A report early last week on National Public Radio quoted Nigeria’s information minister, Dora Akunyili, objecting to the security measures as unfair.
Aideyan, however, supports the new rules. “Americans have the right to protect themselves,” he said.
He also took issue with Akunyili’s characterization of the Nigerian people as being up in arms, and said travelers from that country will probably welcome the stricter security.
Aideyan said he frankly wasn’t surprised to learn the bombing suspect was Nigerian.