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November 23, 2015 84

“With Open Gates”: Racist Anti-Refugee Video Goes Viral

“With Open Gates: The Forced Col­lec­tive Sui­cide of Euro­pean Nations,” a vir­u­lently anti-refugee pro­pa­ganda video widely cir­cu­lated on the Inter­net has received over four mil­lion views on YouTube over the last two weeks. The video uses selec­tive footage of African and Mus­lim refugees and immi­grants to depict them as cre­at­ing may­hem and destruc­tion through­out Europe.

The video ends with a clip of the founder of a Jew­ish cul­tural insti­tute in Swe­den, who claims that Jews sup­port efforts to pro­mote mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism in Europe. This seg­ment of the video gives fuel to anti-Semites who blame Jews for non-white immi­gra­tion to Europe. The state­ment that accom­pa­nied the post­ing of the video on YouTube blames “Zion­ist inter­est” for destroy­ing Europe “from the inside.”

Still shot from "With Open Gates"

Still shot from “With Open Gates”

The clear aim of “With Open Gates” is to increase anti-immigrant and anti-refugee hys­te­ria in Europe by paint­ing refugees as invaders who are destroy­ing Euro­pean cul­ture and soci­ety and push­ing the con­ti­nent to become a non-white majority.

The racist video orig­i­nated on 8chan, a con­tro­ver­sial Inter­net dis­cus­sion forum whose “Polit­i­cally Incor­rect” sub­fo­rum is noto­ri­ous for racist and anti-Semitic lan­guage. A user with the screen name of Gex appears to have cre­ated the video, with some assis­tance from other users. The same per­son cre­ated an ear­lier video called “End Times Europe,” which uses some of the same footage.

In its first days of release, it was mostly white suprema­cists in Europe and North Amer­ica who were extolling the video. Racists on 8chan and else­where worked to pro­mote the video and gain more view­ers for it. Andrew Anglin, who runs the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer site, asked his read­ers to make the video go viral. Jared Tay­lor, who runs the white suprema­cist web­site Amer­i­can Renais­sance, also sup­ported the video, as did two pop­u­lar white suprema­cist forums, Van­guard News Net­work and Storm­front. InfoWars, an anti-government conspiracy-oriented site, also high­lighted the video.

The Right Stuff, a web site that posts arti­cles and Inter­net radio inter­views by white suprema­cists, claimed that hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple had viewed the video in the first 3 days after it was posted. They wrote, “If half of the peo­ple who watched this video col­lec­tively were as trig­gered as we were.….Thats [sic] like the largest stand­ing army in europe.”

The video picked up steam in main­stream con­ser­v­a­tive cir­cles after Bre­it­bart in Lon­don fea­tured it in a Novem­ber 11 col­umn. Bre­it­bart reported that the video was being rapidly shared on social media includ­ing YouTube and Face­book and online mes­sage boards. The video had over a mil­lion views by the time YouTube took it down for copy­right vio­la­tions. How­ever, mir­ror ver­sions of the video soon appeared on social media sites in the U.S. and Europe. YouTube even­tu­ally allowed the video to be viewed again once the copy­righted music had been removed.

In the wake of the Paris ter­ror­ist attacks, the video received even more atten­tion, par­tic­u­larly in more main­stream cir­cles. For­mer Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Michele Bach­man encour­aged peo­ple to view it, urg­ing, “After 100 killed by Mus­lims, watch this video on migrants.” In addi­tion, Wash­ing­ton Times con­trib­u­tor and radio show host Steve Deace devoted an entire col­umn to the video. He writes dis­parag­ingly of the refugees going to Europe and says that the video shows what could be at stake in Amer­ica, “if we con­tinue to let our own cul­tural her­itage bleed out.”

“With Open Gates” demon­strates graph­i­cally how the ideas of extrem­ists and white suprema­cists can res­onate with a wide audi­ence. It also illus­trates just how recep­tive so many peo­ple in North Amer­ica and Europe are to anti-immigrant and anti-refugee fear and loathing.



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November 20, 2015 0

Anti-Muslim Activity Escalates in U.S. Following Paris Attacks

Fol­low­ing the ter­ror­ist events in Paris, hos­til­ity and attacks against the Mus­lim com­mu­nity around the coun­try have esca­lated on the ground, online and in the pub­lic discourse. Paris Attack Muslim Backlash

Such anti-Muslim inci­dents and sen­ti­ment not only cre­ate an atmos­phere of fear, but also feed into claims made by ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions such as ISIS of America’s inher­ent ani­mos­ity towards Islam and Mus­lims. They use this nar­ra­tive as a tac­tic to gain more support.

Below are reported threats, attacks and other inci­dents directed at the Amer­i­can Mus­lim com­mu­nity in the week fol­low­ing the Paris attacks:

Novem­ber 13: Threat­en­ing calls to a Mosque in St. Peters­burg, Florida
A man was arrested after he left sev­eral threat­en­ing voice­mails for the Islamic Cen­ter of Pinel­las County in Pinel­las Park. He report­edly cited the Paris attacks and warned that he was going to go to “fire­bomb you and shoot who­ever is there.”

Novem­ber 14: Michi­gan woman tweets threats against Mus­lims in Dear­born, Michi­gan
A woman from Fort Gra­tiot was inves­ti­gated by police after she posted a threat on Twit­ter that read: “Dear­born, MI, has the high­est Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion in the United States. Let’s (exple­tive) that place up and send a mes­sage to ISIS.”

Novem­ber 14: Mus­lim student’s dorm room van­dal­ized in Mansfield,Connecticut
A Mus­lim stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Con­necti­cut found the words “killed Paris” writ­ten under his dorm room nametag.

Novem­ber 14: Shots fired at Mus­lim family’s home in Orlando, Florida
Police are inves­ti­gat­ing reports of shots fired at a Mus­lim family’s house in Florida some­time Sat­ur­day evening while they were out at an event paint­ing pic­tures of peace for the vic­tims of the attacks in Paris.

Novem­ber 15: Acts of van­dal­ism at the Islamic Cen­ter of Pflugerville, Texas
The Islamic Cen­ter of Pflugerville, located in a strip mall near Austin, was smeared with feces and pages torn from the Qur’an. Mosque atten­dees dis­cov­ered the van­dal­ism as they were com­ing for morn­ing prayers. Law enforce­ment is inves­ti­gat­ing this attack as a pos­si­ble hate crime.

Novem­ber 15: Shots fired at the Ahmadiyya Com­mu­nity Mosque in Meri­den, Con­necti­cut
The FBI and local law enforce­ment are inves­ti­gat­ing reports of mul­ti­ple gun­shots fired at the Baitul Aman mosque in Meri­den hours after the Paris attacks. One of the bul­lets pierced mul­ti­ple walls before exit­ing out the back.

Novem­ber 15: An Uber dri­ver in Char­lotte, North Car­olina, attacked
Police are inves­ti­gat­ing an inci­dent where an uniden­ti­fied pas­sen­ger threat­ened a 40-year-old Ethiopian immi­grant who was dri­ving him home because he mis­tak­enly thought he was a Mus­lim. The pas­sen­ger struck the dri­ver in the head, nearly knock­ing him out.

Novem­ber 15: A Nor­man, Okla­homa, man threat­ens to shoot Mus­lims
A man from Nor­man, Okla­homa, called 911 and threat­ened to start shoot­ing Mus­lims after what was done in France. When police arrived at his house he stood in the door­way with a gun in his hand and had to be subdued.

Novem­ber 16: Islamic Cen­ter van­dal­ized in Omaha, Nebraska
The sym­bol of the Eif­fel Tower peace sign, which has cir­cu­lated online after the Paris attacks a pow­er­ful sig­nal of sol­i­dar­ity, was spray-painted onto an out­side wall of the mosque in Omaha.

Novem­ber 16: Pro­test­ers tar­get Port­land, Ore­gon Mosque
Pro­test­ers with loud­speak­ers and plac­ards with phrases like “Jesus Saves From Hell” report­edly shouted obscen­i­ties as Mus­lims made their way into the Rizwan Mosque in Portland.

Novem­ber 17: Threats to “shoot up a mosque” near Hous­ton, Texas
A man, who uploaded a pic­ture to Face­book of an assault rifle and ammu­ni­tion, allegedly told a friend that he wanted to attack a mosque. The man never spec­i­fied which mosque he wanted to tar­get, but there is one close to his Sugar Land home

Such anti-Muslim threats and attacks are part of a larger cul­ture of anti-Muslim hate that is also flour­ish­ing online. Exam­ples of such vio­lent expres­sions post Paris attacks include:

  • BareNakedIslam.com, a U.S. based anti-Muslim web­site, posted a video about burn­ing the tents of Mus­lim refugees in France. Com­ments under the video by “mem­bers” cheered the attack on the refugee camp and one of the mem­bers wrote, “This is a good start but the most cor­rect response is the Chicago way: they pull a knife, we pull a gun. They send one of ours to the hos­pi­tal, we send one of theirs to the morgue. They kill 180 peo­ple in Paris, we burn down every tent vil­lage in France.” Another mem­ber under the name Angry Cit­i­zen wrote “Kill them ALL.” Oth­ers cheered the burn­ing of “nasty islam rats [sic].”
  • A post on the per­sonal blog of anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller about Syr­ian refugees included a com­ment, “Exe­cute the bas­tards with knives dipped in pig lard or blood!!” When report­ing on the news on Paris ter­ror­ist attacks, one com­ment read, “CAN WE PLEASE JUST KILL ALL THESE MOTHER******S NOW? GET THEM OFF OUR LAND, OFF OUR PLANET, OUT OF THE UNIVERSE.[sic]”

The back­lash against Mus­lims has also been fueled by a num­ber of politi­cians that have made state­ments that equate Mus­lims with ter­ror­ists and paint Mus­lim refugees as a dan­ger­ous risk to the United States. Among the most egregious:

  • Don­ald Trump sug­gested in an inter­view that harsh mea­sures against Amer­i­can Mus­lims might be nec­es­sary.  When asked in the inter­view if these mea­sures might require “reg­is­ter­ing Mus­lims in a data­base or giv­ing them a form of spe­cial iden­ti­fi­ca­tion that noted their reli­gion,” Trump did not rule out such actions. Later, he told another reporter that he would absolutely imple­ment a data­base for reg­is­ter­ing Muslims.
  • Sen­a­tor Ted Cruz is advo­cat­ing for a ban against any Syr­ian Mus­lims enter­ing the U.S.  Cruz pro­posed that the coun­try admit only Chris­t­ian refugees, say­ing “There is no mean­ing­ful risk of Chris­tians com­mit­ting acts of terror.”
  • Dur­ing a cam­paign event, Ben Car­son com­pared Syr­ian refugees to rabid dogs. In talk­ing about let­ting in immi­grants from Syria, Car­son said, “If there’s a rabid dog run­ning around your neigh­bor­hood, you’re prob­a­bly not going to assume some­thing good about that dog and you’re prob­a­bly going to put your chil­dren out of the way.”
  • After Mayor David Bow­ers of Roanoke, Vir­ginia, requested that agen­cies stop pro­vid­ing aid to Syr­ian refugees seek­ing relo­ca­tion in his city, he cited the use of intern­ment camps for Japanese-Americans as a jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for his decision.
  • Jeb Bush said that Amer­i­can aid for refugees flee­ing Syria should be geared toward Chris­tians as opposed to Mus­lims. Bush pro­posed that the U.S. should take in a lim­ited num­ber of Chris­t­ian refugees, adding, “We should focus our efforts as it relates to the refugees for the Chris­tians that are being slaughtered.”

*As a 501c3 tax-exempt orga­ni­za­tion, ADL does not inter­vene in cam­paigns on behalf of or in oppo­si­tion to any can­di­date for office.

November 17, 2015 3

The Terror Threat to the US in the Wake of the Paris Attacks

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, believed to have been the mastermind of the Paris attacks

Abdel­hamid Abaaoud, a Bel­gian man believed to have been the ring­leader in the Paris attacks

Fol­low­ing the Novem­ber 13 ter­ror attacks in Paris, cities around the world have ramped up secu­rity. While the type of coor­di­nated attacks that have been car­ried out in France can occur in the U.S., an analy­sis of domes­tic Islamic extrem­ist activ­ity and plots in 2015 indi­cates that the U.S. faces a dif­fer­ent threat land­scape than many Euro­pean countries.

Inves­ti­ga­tors still do not have pro­files of all of the indi­vid­u­als alleged to have taken part in the attacks on Paris. How­ever, cer­tain fea­tures of the attack are already apparent.

1. Exter­nal coor­di­na­tion by for­eign ter­ror­ist organizations

The Paris attack is the sec­ond attack in France this year that appears to have been planned, at least in part, by for­eign ter­ror­ist organizations.

By con­trast, only one of the 15 domes­tic attack plots in the U.S. moti­vated by Islamic extrem­ist ide­ol­ogy this year appeared to have had pos­si­ble exter­nal coor­di­na­tion: Abdi­rah­man Sheikh Mohamud, arrested in Feb­ru­ary, had allegedly been plot­ting an attack with some direc­tion from ter­ror­ists in Syria, although the extent of that direc­tion was unclear.

A sec­ond plot, the shoot­ing of a Draw Mohammed con­test at a Gar­land, Texas com­mu­nity cen­ter, was influ­enced by con­ver­sa­tion with ISIS sup­port­ers online, includ­ing some who are believed to be fight­ing abroad. How­ever, it seems that those online sup­port­ers incited activ­ity against the con­test but did not coor­di­nate the plot with the alleged shooters.

2.  For­eign fighter threat

The attack in Paris was allegedly planned in large part by a Bel­gian cit­i­zen who had spent time fight­ing with ISIS in Syria before return­ing to Europe.

Only one indi­vid­ual in the U.S., Abdi­rah­man Sheikh Mohamud, attempted to plot an attack after allegedly fight­ing with extrem­ists in Syria this year. Inter­est­ingly, Mohamud had allegedly fought with Jab­hat al Nusra, Al Qaeda in Syria, and not with ISIS; how­ever, court doc­u­ments indi­cate that he was also sym­pa­thetic to ISIS.

The U.S. also has far fewer indi­vid­u­als who have trav­eled abroad to join ISIS than France or Bel­gium. At least 100 Amer­i­cans are believed to have joined ISIS – approx­i­mately 1 per­son per mil­lion in the U.S. – com­pared with between 1,000 and 1,200, or 18 peo­ple per mil­lion in France and approx­i­mately 440 indi­vid­u­als, or 40 peo­ple per mil­lion, in Bel­gium. As such, the risk of return­ing for­eign fight­ers attempt­ing to per­pe­trate attacks in the U.S. is sta­tis­ti­cally lower than in France or Belgium.

At least 4 indi­vid­u­als believed to have been plan­ning domes­tic plots in 2015 allegedly con­ceived of their plots after find­ing them­selves unable to travel to join ISIS. At least 3 indi­vid­u­als allegedly planned to travel to join ISIS after per­pe­trat­ing an attack.

In total, 29 U.S. res­i­dents arrested in 2015 allegedly attempted to join ISIS.

3. Plot size

At least ten indi­vid­u­als are believed to have taken part in the attacks in Paris.

By con­trast, the major­ity of attack plots in the U.S. this year have been in small groups. Eight plots were allegedly planned by indi­vid­u­als (but not lone wolves, as they were often coor­di­nat­ing with infor­mants or con­tacts on the inter­net); five were planned by two peo­ple work­ing together; two were planned by groups of three. One plot involved a ring of five ISIS sup­port­ers, but only two of the five appear to have been actively engaged in the plot, while the oth­ers were pri­mar­ily plan­ning to travel abroad to join the ter­ror­ist organization.

Again, none of this data should be inter­preted to mean that a large-scale, exter­nally directed plot in the U.S. can­not occur; the 9/11 attacks proved that the U.S. is vul­ner­a­ble to such attacks. How­ever, it does indi­cate that the threat fac­ing the U.S. remains dif­fer­ent than the threat fac­ing Euro­pean countries.

The fol­low­ing is a list of domes­tic attack plots against the U.S. in 2015:

  • Joshua Ryne Gold­berg of Florida was arrested in Sep­tem­ber for allegedly send­ing bomb-making instruc­tions to and devel­op­ing a plot with an under­cover source. The plot involved build­ing a pres­sure cooker bomb and det­o­nat­ing it at a 9/11 memo­r­ial in Kansas City, MO. Fol­low­ing his arrest, Gold­berg claimed he had planned to alert law enforce­ment prior to the bomb’s detonation.
  • Harlem Suarez of Florida was arrested in July for allegedly plot­ting to det­o­nate a bomb at a Florida beach. He also dis­cussed attack­ing law enforce­ment officers.
  • Moham­mad Yousef Abdu­lazeez of Ten­nessee was killed after he opened fire at two mil­i­tary facil­i­ties in Chat­tanooga, Ten­nessee in July. The attack resulted in five deaths, in addi­tion to Abdulazeez’s death. Abdu­lazeez was report­edly inspired by Al Qaeda propaganda.
  • Alexan­der Cic­colo of Mass­a­chu­setts was arrested in July as a felon in pos­ses­sion of a weapon. Cic­colo allegedly planned to attack a state university.
  • Justin Nojan Sul­li­van of North Car­olina was arrested in June for allegedly plot­ting an attack that included shoot­ings in pub­lic venues and a bomb plot that involved bio­log­i­cal weapons.
  • Munther Omar Saleh and Fareed Mumuni of New York were arrested in June after each attempted to attack law enforce­ment offi­cials in sep­a­rate instances. The two had allegedly planned to under­take an attack on a New York City land­mark. Saleh and Mumuni were part of a con­spir­acy that also involved at least three other peo­ple, Samuel Rahamin Topaz, Alaa Saadeh and Saadeh’s brother, but these three were appar­ently more focused on trav­el­ing to join ISIS and the degree of their involve­ment in the plot is unclear.
  • Usaama Rahim of Mass­a­chu­setts was killed when he drew a knife after being approached for ques­tion­ing by law enforce­ment offi­cers. He had allegedly plot­ted with David Wright of Mass­a­chu­setts and Nicholas Rovin­ski of Rhode Island to behead Pamela Geller (head of the anti-Muslim orga­ni­za­tion Stop Islam­i­ciza­tion of Amer­ica) on behalf of ISIS; the plot later shifted to attempt­ing to behead a police officer.
  • Elton Simp­son and Nadir Soofi of Ari­zona were shot and killed when they attempted to under­take a shoot­ing at a Gar­land, Texas com­mu­nity cen­ter. They were allegedly assisted by co-conspirator Decarus Thomas of Ari­zona, who was arrested in June.
  • Miguel Moran Diaz of Florida was arrested in April on charges that he was a felon in pos­ses­sion of a firearm. Reports indi­cated that he planned to tar­get Miami residents.
  • John T. Booker and Alexan­der Blair of Kansas were arrested in April for allegedly attempt­ing to under­take a sui­cide attack at the Ft. Riley mil­i­tary base.
  • Noelle Velentzas and Asia Sid­diqui of New York were arrested in April for allegedly pur­chas­ing bomb-making equip­ment with plans for an attack.
  • Hasan and Jonas Edmonds of Illi­nois were arrested in March and charged with attempt­ing to join ISIS and plot­ting an attack against a mil­i­tary base.
  • An unnamed minor from South Car­olina was arrested in Feb­ru­ary and accused of for­mu­lat­ing a plot to attack a North Car­olina mil­i­tary base and then travel abroad to join ISIS.
  • Abdura­sul Juraboev and Akhror Saidakhme­tov of New York were arrested in Feb­ru­ary and charged with mate­r­ial sup­port for ter­ror. Court doc­u­ments state they were attempt­ing to join ISIS and dis­cussing the pos­si­bil­ity of a domes­tic attack.
  • Abdi­rah­man Sheikh Mohamud of Ohio was arrested in Feb­ru­ary and charged in April with join­ing Jab­hat al Nusra. He allegedly returned to the U.S. with the inten­tion of per­pe­trat­ing an attack against a mil­i­tary base in Texas. Court doc­u­ments indi­cate that Mohamud sup­ported both ISIS and Jab­hat al Nusra, although he had fought with Jab­hat al Nusra.
  • Christo­pher Lee Cor­nell of Ohio was arrested in Jan­u­ary for his alleged plot to attack the U.S. Capi­tol after fail­ing to con­nect with ISIS mem­bers abroad.

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