2012 April » ADL Blogs
April 27, 2012 0

As Algeria Approaches Elections, Citizens are Warned of Zionist Interference

“Alge­ri­ans must vote because it is about Algeria’s sta­bil­ity, and it is about pre­serv­ing our coun­try from any for­eign inter­fer­ence,” a promi­nent Alger­ian cleric said in an inter­view with Reuters on April 25, adding that Zion­ists are among the con­spir­ers that seek to med­dle in domes­tic Arab affairs.

In case that wasn’t clear enough, Sheikh Chemsed­dine Bouroubi added in his widely cir­cu­lated fatwa, or reli­gious decree, that those who do not vote in May 10 elec­tions will suf­fer divine retribution.

The North African nation-state has largely baf­fled Mid­dle East experts for suc­cess­fully rid­ing out the waves of pop­u­lar revolt that have become the sym­bol of the Arab Spring. Although the thir­teen year author­i­tar­ian rule of Pres­i­dent Abde­laziz Boute­flika did encounter a flash of pop­u­lar protest as rev­o­lu­tion swept across neigh­bor­ing Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, Boute­flika responded by offi­cially lift­ing the nation’s 19-year-old state of emer­gency and promises for grad­ual reforms.

Decrees demo­niz­ing Israel and Zion­ism, such as the one made by Sheikh Bouroubi, have his­tor­i­cally been used by author­i­tar­ian Arab states as the pre­ferred method of deflect­ing pop­u­lar dis­con­tent away from them­selves and onto the Jew­ish state.

In his fatwa, Bour­bouri tried to jus­tify his com­ments that Zion­ists intend to foment rev­o­lu­tion in Alge­ria by point­ing out that a Jew­ish French-Algerian played a role in per­suad­ing Pres­i­dent Sarkozy to help over­throw Muam­mar Qaddafi in Libya. “Lis­ten to what the Zion­ist Bernard-Henri Levy is say­ing: ‘Alge­ria is about to expe­ri­ence an Arab Spring very soon’… What he means by ‘Arab Spring’ is a rep­e­ti­tion of the Libyan sce­nario: blood, killings, destruction.”

Alge­ria emerged from a bloody and pro­longed civil war between the Islamic Sal­va­tion Front (FIS) and the cen­tral gov­ern­ment only when Pres­i­dent Boute­flika assumed power.

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April 26, 2012 0

Jihadists Solicit Help Online to Craft Their Message

The Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), an umbrella orga­ni­za­tion that dis­trib­utes videos, lit­er­a­ture and other mes­sages for Al Qaeda and other ter­ror­ist groups, has appar­ently posted a sub­mis­sion form on Google’s blog ser­vice solic­it­ing “par­tic­i­pa­tion, com­ments or sug­ges­tions” for its propaganda.

The form includes instruc­tions in both Eng­lish and Ara­bic for con­tact­ing the group, with reminders not to “men­tion your real name, address..etc. [sic]” and to include an email address “so we can reply to you.” The page also includes instruc­tions for send­ing encrypted messages.

GIMF’s call for “par­tic­i­pa­tion” not only demon­strates the con­tin­u­ing effort by Jihadist pro­pa­gan­dists to exploit main­stream social media plat­forms to com­mu­ni­cate with poten­tial fol­low­ers (Al Shabaab, for exam­ple, started using Twit­ter in Decem­ber 2011), but also how Jihadist media enti­ties con­tinue to rely on the skills and efforts of indi­vid­ual fol­low­ers to help craft their message.

For exam­ple, Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Peninsula’s English-language mag­a­zine Inspire reg­u­larly encour­ages read­ers to con­tribute arti­cles, quotes and images. It has also pro­vided con­tact infor­ma­tion for read­ers “inter­ested in con­tribut­ing to this mag­a­zine with any skills – be it writ­ing, research, edit­ing or advice” and sug­gested that indi­vid­u­als use the same encryp­tion pro­gram ref­er­enced by GIMF “in order to avoid detec­tion from the intel­li­gence ser­vices [sic].”

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, accused of attempt­ing to det­o­nate a vehi­cle he believed was laden with explo­sives at an Ore­gon Christ­mas tree light­ing cer­e­mony in 2010, is an exam­ple of some­one who responded to such solic­i­ta­tions. Not only did he allegedly write and send an arti­cle to Inspire (which was not pub­lished), he also sub­mit­ted pieces that were pub­lished in Jihad Rec­ol­lec­tions, the self-described “first Eng­lish Jihad mag­a­zine” released by a col­lab­o­ra­tion of online ter­ror­ist sym­pa­thiz­ers, includ­ing Samir Khan. Khan pro­duced Inspire up until he was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Sep­tem­ber 2011 in Yemen.

Oth­ers have taken it upon them­selves to cre­ate jihadist pro­pa­ganda with­out nec­es­sar­ily uti­liz­ing estab­lished ter­ror­ist media out­lets, rely­ing on inter­net forums and other social media for dis­tri­b­u­tion of their mate­ri­als. For exam­ple, an April 2012 image of the New York sky­line with the mes­sage “Al Qaeda Com­ing Soon Again in New York” attracted wide­spread media atten­tion and prompted enhanced law enforce­ment vig­i­lance. The image, appar­ently cre­ated by an indi­vid­ual mem­ber of a jihadist forum, demon­strated the pro­pa­ganda value that can be cre­ated by indi­vid­u­als using com­mer­cially avail­able software.

While these mes­sages may lack the cachet of a “brand name” pro­pa­ganda dis­trib­uted by GIMF and sim­i­lar ter­ror­ist media pro­duc­ers, the mate­ri­als still attract atten­tion, cre­ate fear and encour­age oth­ers to play an active role in the cre­ation of pro­pa­ganda in sup­port of terror.

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April 26, 2012 3

Divestment Effort at the Methodist General Conference in Tampa

Should the United Methodist Church divest from its invest­ments in “com­pa­nies that sus­tain the Israeli occu­pa­tion?”

The answer to that ques­tion will be decided in Tampa, Florida, at this year’s Gen­eral Con­fer­ence of the United Methodist Church (UMC). The con­fer­ence began on Tues­day and is sched­uled to take place through May 5, 2012.

The UMC includes on its agenda a list of “major issues” that will be addressed at the con­fer­ence, includ­ing the church’s stance and efforts regard­ing abor­tion, gay rights, bul­ly­ing and immi­gra­tion. Also included in the agenda is a res­o­lu­tion on divest­ment from three Amer­i­can com­pa­nies – Cater­pil­lar, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard – until they “end their involve­ment in the Israeli occu­pa­tion of the Pales­tin­ian ter­ri­to­ries.” The res­o­lu­tion fur­ther calls on “the United Methodist Church boards and agen­cies, annual con­fer­ences, local churches and indi­vid­u­als to prayer­fully con­sider cor­po­rate involve­ment in Israel’s occu­pa­tion when mak­ing invest­ment decisions.”

The res­o­lu­tion is being pre­sented to the Gen­eral Con­fer­ence by the United Methodist Kairos Response (UMKR), an anti-Israel con­tin­gent that was formed in 2010 fol­low­ing the release of the “Kairos Pales­tine Doc­u­ment.” That doc­u­ment, which calls for a global BDS cam­paign, denies Jew­ish con­nec­tion to the Holy Land and jus­ti­fies terrorism.

If the res­o­lu­tion is passed, UMC gen­eral boards will be required to present reports on their respec­tive progress at the church’s 2016 conference.

UMKR has a doc­u­ment on its web­site list­ing indi­vid­u­als and groups that sup­port the res­o­lu­tion and it takes care to specif­i­cally high­light the Jew­ish anti-Zionists who sup­port BDS. This is likely an attempt to obvi­ate alle­ga­tions of anti-Semitism. The res­o­lu­tion has received sup­port from Jew­ish Voice for Peace, a vari­ety of Israeli anti-occupation activists and two anti-Zionist Holo­caust sur­vivors, Hedy Epstein and Hajo Meyer. In his state­ment, Meyer claims that, as a sur­vivor of Auschwitz, he “[refuses] to belong to a group which is a per­pe­trator, and there­fore I do not agree to allow the state of Israel to com­mit its crimes in the name of Judaism.”

In addi­tion to the divest­ment res­o­lu­tion, par­tic­i­pants at the con­fer­ence may be asked to vote on other vir­u­lently anti-Israel res­o­lu­tions, includ­ing one regard­ing endors­ing the Kairos Pales­tine Document.

Efforts by Methodist anti-Israel activists to divest from Israel began in 2008. Then, the UMC voted to con­tinue to allow its agency staff to make com­par­isons of Israel to the apartheid regime that existed in South Africa and par­tic­i­pate in the US Cam­paign to End the Israeli Occu­pa­tion. The Gen­eral Coun­cil did not, how­ever, vote in favor of divest­ing from Israeli companies.

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