2012 September » ADL Blogs
September 20, 2012

Chicago Teen Arrested For “Violent Jihad” Bomb Plot

Adel Daoud Photo From Facebook

An 18-year-old Chicagoan was arrested last week by the FBI for attempting to detonate what he believed was a car bomb outside a bar in downtown Chicago. The plot was apparently intended as retaliation for America’s perceived war with Islam and “oppression against Muslims.”

Adel Daoud was arrested after trying to set off a fake device set up by FBI agents as a part of a sting operation. Federal authorities began monitoring Daoud in October 2011, after discovering his radical posts on Jihadist Internet forums.

His online activity included sending friends copies of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s English-language terrorist magazine, Inspire, in order to “brainwash them.” On one online extremist forum, Daoud described Inspire as “the best magazine I have read.”

He also shared recorded lectures by Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born Muslim cleric killed in Yemen last year, and a video by American terrorist Omar Hammami, an Alabama native who became the pub­lic face and voice of Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia.

According to the FBI affidavit, Daoud also used the internet to research justifications for suicide bombings and attacks on civilians. In May of this year, federal authorities began communicating with Daoud online and by July, undercover agents were meeting with him in person.

During the course of the FBI investigation, according to the affidavit, Daoud expressed his desire to carry out attacks in the United States and to travel abroad to join terrorist groups overseas, in particular in Yemen. Daoud allegedly applied for a new passport in March 2012.

Before settling on the bar, Daoud presented a list of proposed targets, including military instillations, concerts, malls and tourist attractions. According to a recorded conversation with the undercover agent, Daoud alluded to the fact that Muslims shouldn’t be at a bar, and if they are, they deserve what they get.

“I want [to do] something that’s gonna make it in the news,” he said, according to the affidavit. “If it’s only like five, ten people, I’m not gonna feel that good.”

One of Daoud’s friends was allegedly involved in the plot as well, but dropped out after being confronted by the sheikh at the mosque they attended.

Daoud has been charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and an explosives violation. He faces a maximum punishment of life in prison.

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September 20, 2012

One-Time Domestic Terrorist Now Leads White Supremacist Biker Gang

A wise man once said, “Old extremists never die. They just change uniforms.”

That seems to be the case for long-time Illinois white supremacist Dennis Michael McGiffen.  In the 1990s, McGiffen and other white supremacists (most associated with a Klan group or Aryan Nations) formed a group they dubbed The New Order, after the 1980s terrorist organization known as The Order.  In 1998, McGiffen and five other members were arrested by the FBI on weapons and explosives charges in connection with alleged plots to rob banks and armored cars, poison public water supplies, and to attack blacks, Jews, and civil rights organizations.  Five of the defendants, including McGiffen, pleaded guilty, while a sixth was convicted in court.  McGiffen received a seven-year prison sentence.

Now McGiffen, 50 years old and living in Wood River, Illinois, has once again found a leadership role in the world of white supremacy. McGiffen is president of the Sadistic Souls Motorcycle Club (SS-MC), a white supremacist biker gang that started in 2010. In July 2012, the SS-MC formally merged with the neo-Nazi group Aryan Nations, with which McGiffen has had past ties. 

The Sadistic Souls are a small Illinois-based gang with approximately two dozen members and associates.  The bulk of the membership comes from small towns outside of East Saint Louis, such as Wood River, Edwardsville, Brighton, Godfrey, Alton, and Jerseyville.  The gang’s “colors” (i.e., the emblems they put on their vests and jackets) include a Totenkopf death’s head and SS lightning bolts.  Most members have added an Aryan Nations patch to their colors. 

Since the merger, Aryan Nations has heavily promoted McGiffen and the SS-MC, even “donating” one of its registered Web sites for the use of SS-MC. On that site, the SS-MC dubs the relationship “a new beginning.”  The site sells SS-MC merchandise and also promotes the McGiffen-owned Peckerwoods Gym and Fight Club.  Morris Gulett, the current leader of Aryan Nations, is clearly staking much on this relationship, perhaps because of recent defections.

In April of this year, McGiffen and fellow Sadistic Soul Ryan R. Duckett were arrested by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and charged with felony mob action for an alleged assault at a bar in Godfrey, Illinois.  Both posted bond and were released.

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September 14, 2012

Anti-Muslim Christian Activists Responsible For Inflammatory “Innocence of Muslims” Film

The anti-Islam film that has sparked considerable outrage and violence across the Middle East and Islamic world appears to be a product of several Christian anti-Muslim activists.

Although the false claim that the film Innocence of Muslims was the work of an “Israeli Jew” received widespread attention in the U.S. and abroad, recent reports indicate that the film was created, produced and promoted by individuals connected to a network of anti-Muslim organizations.

The film, which was produced during the summer of 2011 and portrays the Prophet Muhammad as a child-molester, homosexual and philanderer, was advertised in the Anaheim-based Arab World newspaper under its original title, The Innocence of Bin Laden. The advertisement described the movie as revealing the true identity of the terrorists behind the killing of Muslims in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. The advertisement also indicated that the film would be shown during Ramadan, and provided a screening date of June 30 at the Vine Theatre in Los Angeles.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula

Screenshot of “Innocence of Muslims”

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old California-based Coptic Christian, appears to be the one responsible for creating the impression that the film was created and supported by Jews. According to American officials in an interview with the Arabic-language television station Al Hurra, Nakoula is the alleged producer and filmmaker of the anti-Islam film. Nakoula initially exposed his role to international media under the pseudonym Sam Bacile, a fictitious individual that the Associated Press had initially reported was “an Israeli filmmaker based in California.” In the interview with the AP, Nakoula, speaking under a pseudonym, said the film cost $5 million to make “and was financed with the help of more than 100 Jewish donors.” These claims have since been disproved with the revelation that Sam Bacile does not exist.

Joseph Nasralla

Joseph Nasralla with Pamela Geller

Nasralla is a self-described “Coptic Christian activist from Egypt” and founder of the California-based The Way TV, a satellite television station devoted to matters concerning Egypt’s Coptic community. He is also the founder and chief executive of the California-based Media for Christ, the conservative Christian production company reportedly responsible for producing Innocence of Muslims. Nasralla is connected to prominent anti-Muslim activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer and their conspiratorial anti-Muslim organization, Stop Islamization of America (SIOA). According to Geller, Nasralla popped onto her radar following his attendance at the SIOA’s June 6, 2010 “D-Day Rally” in front of the proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan. In a letter addressed to Geller and Spencer following the rally, Nasralla described himself as a refugee from “the oppression of Islam” and said that he seeks to “expose to the American public what kind of instigation we [Coptic Christians] suffered at the hands of hateful Muslim preachers…” Since 2010, Nasralla has been invited to speak at various SIOA events, including at SIOA’s 2010 and 2011 September 11 rallies in New York.

Morris Sadek

Morris Sadek with Terry Jones

Sadek, head of the U.S.-based National Coptic Assembly, an anti-Muslim organization that claims to represent and speak on behalf of Egyptian Christian Copts, was instrumental in the film’s accessibility to the Arabic-speaking world. Sadek released the 14-minute trailer of the film on YouTube on September 5 with Arabic subtitles. Sadek claims to be the president of a Coptic state in Egypt and asserts that this independent Coptic state is under the occupation of “Arab Muslim invaders.” According to Sadek’s website, he frequently writes letters to Israeli leaders appealing for their assistance in “liberating the Coptic state.” He also has a working relationship with controversial Qur’an burning Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center and has participated in demonstrations held by Jones and his church. On his personal website, Sadek has voiced his support for Jones’ distasteful mockery of the Prophet Muhammad. Sadek also attended the 2010 ACT! for America National Conference. ACT! promotes the idea that Islam is a backward and seditious political ideology and that Muslim immigration to the U.S. must end.

Steve Klein

Steve Klein

Steve Klein is a California-based anti-Muslim Christian activist and former U.S. Marine who claims that he provided consulting services for the production of Innocence of Muslims. In a recent interview following the outbreak of violence in Cairo and Benghazi, Klein described the film as being designed to spark outrage. In addition to his alleged role in the film’s technical production, Klein is founder and board member of Courageous Christians United (CCU), an organization that protests outside of mosques, abortion clinics and Mormon temples. CCU issued a statement today denouncing the film and indicating that Klein had been removed from the board. Many of the links on the group’s website redirect readers to sites designed to convince Muslims, Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses to convert to Christianity. Klein is also the founder of Concerned Citizens for the First Amendment (CCFA), an anti-Muslim group whose primary initiative is to warn high school students that they are being brainwashed through courses and lesson on Islamic history. He has spoken at conferences on the subject of Islam at the Church at Kaweah, a militant Christian church base in California.

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