2013 October » ADL Blogs
October 22, 2013

Flag At Swim Competition In Qatar Triggers Hatred Toward Israel

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Screenshot of Twitter post denouncing display of Israeli flag at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Qatar.

Photos of an Israeli flag at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Doha, Qatar, triggered a wave of angry reactions on Twitter, including calls for future sports boycotts against Israel.

While it is notable that Israeli swimmers participated in the October 20-21 competition – including Amit Ivry, winner of a silver medal – hundreds of Twitter users, including Qatari journalists, took to Twitter to express shock at their government’s decision to allow the Israeli flag to fly outside the Hamad Aquatic Center along with flags representing various other countries competing in the event.

Many of the Tweets condemned the participation of the Israeli team and demanded the removal of the flag form outside the Aquatic Center. Others Tweets protested what they described as the “normalizing of relations with the Zionist Entity.” Several users posted an image of a poster that reads, “Israel not-welcomed in Qatar.”

Reports from the region indicate that the Israeli flag was taken down before the end of the event in response to the reaction on Twitter. A graphic of the Israeli flag was also distorted on the television broadcast of the event when an Israeli swimmer medaled.

One Twitter user wrote, “Boycott should become universal; one of the results should be to ban the Zionist Entity from playing in the World Cup with an official FIFA resolution.” The FIFA World Cup is scheduled to be played in Qatar in 2022.

This incident raises concerns over Qatar’s ability to host international sporting events without succumbing to pressure from those who seek to politicize sports.

As more Arab countries host international sporting events, some Israeli athletes have encountered challenges.  Most international sporting federations mandate that host countries allow all qualifying athletes to compete. However, in 2009, the United Arab Emirates refused to issue a visa to Israeli tennis star Shahar Peer to enable her to compete in the Dubai Tennis Championship, a stop on the Women Tennis Association (WTA) tour. The barring of Peer violated the guidelines of the WTA (which were subsequently tightened further) and the UAE was forced to pay a fine.

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October 18, 2013

Long Island Arrest Highlights Continuing Lure Of Terror Groups Abroad

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Marcos Alonso Zea arrested for attempting to join Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

A Long Island man was arrested Friday for attempting to join Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The arrest came exactly one week after an Orange County man was arrested for attempting to travel abroad to join Al Qaeda in Pakistan.

Both arrests highlight the continued trend of American citizens joining terrorist groups abroad and the continued allure of Al Qaeda and its affiliates. At least three American citizens or permanent residents have attempted to join AQAP in 2013 alone. And at least nine others have attempted to join foreign terrorist groups this year.

Marcos Alonso Zea, also known as Ali Zea, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, attempting to provide material support to terrorists, attempting to provide material support to AQAP, and obstruction and attempted obstruction of justice.

Zea, a 25-year-old Muslim convert from Brentwood, Long Island, allegedly flew from New York to London with plans to continue from there to the Arabian Peninsula on January 4, 2012. He was detained by customs officials and returned to the United States.

His own plans stymied, Zea allegedly encouraged a co-conspirator from his mosque, 18-year-old high school senior Justin Kaliebe, to make the trip. Zea discussed plans to fight abroad and provided him with money to fund the trip, according to the indictment. Kaliebe was arrested at JFK International Airport on January 21, 2013, and is scheduled to be sentenced December 6, 2013.

Zea’s computer reportedly contained a number of materials designed to encourage radicalization, including copies of Inspire Magazine, AQAP’s English-language periodical, and a video from Al Qaeda in Iraq depicting an attack on a military vehicle.

Since 2007, over 50 Amer­i­can cit­i­zens and per­ma­nent res­i­dents have been arrested or charged in con­nec­tion with attempts to join ter­ror­ist groups abroad, includ­ing Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula.

In addition to Zea, eight others have attempted to join foreign terrorist groups this year. They are:

  • Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen of California, arrested on October 11, 2013 for attempting to join Al Qaeda.
  • Amir Farouq Ibrahim, of Pennsylvania, linked with ISIS and assumed dead in Syria in July 2013.
  • Justin Kaliebe of New York, arrested June 25, 2013 for attempting to join AQAP.
  • Nicole Mans­field of Michigan, killed in Syria in May, 2013, reportedly fighting with Jabhat al Nusrah.
  • Abdella Ahmad Tounisi of Illinios, arrested April 19, 2013 for attempting to join Jabhat al Nusrah.
  • Eric Harroun of Arizona, arrested March 27, 2013, for traveling to Syria to fight with Al Qaeda linked rebels. He pleaded guilty to non-terror-related charges in September, 2013, and was sentenced to time served. That Harroun fought in Syria is uncontested; however, reports differ as to whether he fought with Al Qaeda affiliates.
  • Matthew Aaron Llaneza of California, arrested February 8, 2013, for attempted domestic terrorism and plans to travel to join the Taliban in Afghanistan.
  • Shelton Thomas Bell of Florida, arrested January 29, 2013 for attempting to join AQAP.

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October 18, 2013

Matthew Heimbach’s Extreme World View

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Heimbach, standing on far right in T-shirt and jeans, gives salute at hard-core white supremacist event.

Since ADL published a photo of Matthew Heimbach giving a salute along with other extremists at a hardcore white supremacist event in Kentucky, he has felt compelled to assert that he is not a neo-Nazi.  

Yet, he also announced that he will be a speaker at a November 9th rally of the National Socialist Movement (NSM), the largest neo-Nazi group in the country.

In a column Heimbach wrote after the photo was posted, he attempted to justify his embrace of hardcore white supremacists by arguing that he wants to unite disparate groups of whites from neo-Nazis to racist skinheads to soccer moms and Libertarians.

At least one racist group is not buying Heimbach’s vision. His embrace of neo-Nazi groups has made him persona non grata with the neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS). LOS reportedly kicked Heimbach out of the group after finding out that he was consorting with neo-Nazis.

Heimbach has argued that his belief in Christianity sets him apart from neo-Nazis. However, Heimbach’s views about Jews are more in line with those of neo-Nazis.

In a radio interview on “Pro-Think Radio” hosted by anti-Semite Mike Delaney, for example, Heimbach argued that Jews should be separated from the rest of the population. He said, “Jews are not our folk, they’re not our family, and they don’t belong here. They belong with their own people, somewhere else, not meddling in our own affairs, not using our resources…”

In the same interview, Heimbach said that Jews should be barred from churches, the media, and the country.

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