2012 March » ADL Blogs
March 28, 2012

Jihadists Pay Tribute to French Shooter Mohammed Merah

Members of several online jihadist forums have praised Mohammed Merah for his attacks on French Jews and soldiers. Comments on these forums include calls for similar lone-wolf attacks and describe Merah’s shootings as Allah’s revenge on France for its foreign policy and attitude toward Muslims.

Over the weekend, a video tribute to Merah entitled “The Lone Lion” also began circulating on the forums. The video begins with text commending Merah for killing “three French soldiers returning from Afghanistan” and “a Jewish rabbi and his children.” It also applauds him for fighting “the French special forces with courage until he was killed as a martyr.”

Funeral footage of Merah’s victims in France and Israel is juxtaposed with images of bleeding Palestinians and videos of Israeli airstrikes carried out by “the enemies of Allah, the Jews.” This section suggests the type of moral equivalence that Merah claimed prompted him to undertake his attacks. 

The video also includes recordings of Osama bin Laden speaking about a promised war “between us and the Jews” and of current Al Qaeda leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, describing England and the U.S. as legitimate targets because of the civilian casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza. 

The video concludes with a warning, apparently directed at French President Nicolas Sarkozy, that Merah’s wave of terror “is the beginning.”

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March 28, 2012

Radical English Defence League To Form Political Party

The English Defence League (EDL), a UK-based right-wing, anti-Islamic and self-described “Counter Jihad movement,” announced plans to form a new political party in the coming months. EDL’s foray into politics is influenced by the success of other similar political parties in Europe, most notably the Dutch Freedom Party, the political party led by radical Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders.

An EDL spokesman stated that the organization’s party will be named the Freedom Party, and its official launch will take place in May at the EDL Luton demonstration, an annual protest that began with the organization’s founding in 2009. In the past, EDL demonstrations have been marked by violence, with some bordering on full riots resulting in numerous arrests, property damage and injuries to law enforcement.

Members of the Welsh Defense League raising their hands in a Nazi salute
The group has also been accused of being a haven for right-wing racists, a charge the group denies. However, EDL has been linked to various racist English groups, such as the Welsh Defence League, an EDL division that has many local white supremacists in its ranks.

According to the organization’s mission statement, EDL’s mission is “to oppose what it considers to be the spread of Islamism, Sharia law and Islamic extremism in England.” Stephen Lennon, head of the EDL, said that the Freedom Party will be an anti-Islamist political party “that gives everyone an option in a non-racist way.”

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March 28, 2012

Alleged Cop-Killer May Be Anti-Government Extremist

Source: Ogden Standard-Examiner
In the latest twist to a deadly shootout that stunned the residents of Ogden, Utah, a recently revealed search warrant affidavit provides evidence that suggests the defendant, Matthew David Stewart, 37, may have been an anti-government extremist.
The shootout began on January 4, 2012, after police launched a raid on Stewart’s residence to execute a search warrant—an informant had alleged he was growing marijuana (16 plants were reportedly later found).  According to police, Stewart hid, opening fire on officers as they searched his residence.  Six officers were hit, some more than once, and Ogden police officer Jared Francom was wounded fatally.  Stewart allegedly continued firing as the officers fled the residence.  Police eventually wounded and subdued him in a backyard shed. 
Stewart was charged with aggravated murder, seven counts of attempted aggravated murder, and production of a controlled substance in a “drug free zone,” along with a dangerous weapons enhancement.
In March, authorities released an affidavit explaining the results of the search.  According to the affidavit, Stewart’s former girlfriend said that Stewart was “into” conspiracy theories and that he believed the federal government had no right to collect taxes (the primary belief of the anti-government extremist tax protest movement).  She claimed that he had not paid his own federal or state taxes since 2005 and that, if he were “forced” to pay taxes, he would “kill IRS employees.”  According to the girlfriend, Stewart claimed that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was “misunderstood.”
The affidavit further claimed that police recovered “computer-generated documents” related to anti-government extremism, anti-police Web sites, Oklahoma City bombing Web sites, instructions for making potassium chloride (used in explosives), and a map to the closest IRS building (where Stewart once worked as a security guard), among other items.  According to the affidavit, police also discovered “what appeared to be the makings of a bomb,” which were later removed and detonated by the bomb squad. 
Last summer, according to police, Stewart had allegedly told someone that if police ever raided him, he would “go out in a blaze of glory and shoot to kill.”  After the release of the affidavit, a neighbor of Stewart’s told a local television station that Stewart had allegedly talked about moving to Montana and “get[ting] myself a compound.”
Officer Francom was the first police officer to have been killed by a suspected domestic extremist since May 2010, when two West Memphis, Arkansas, officers were killed by anti-government “sovereign citizens.”  Since 2000, 27 police officers have been killed in the United States by domestic extremists. 

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