Extremism & Terrorism » ADL Blogs
March 27, 2015 0

9 People Linked To Islamic Extremism Cases In Illinois Since 2012

Hasan Edmonds and Jonas Edmonds

Court sketch of Hasan and Jonas Edmonds

Hasan and Jonas Edmonds, arrested yes­ter­day for con­spir­ing to travel abroad to join the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) and orches­trate an attack in the U.S., are the 8th and 9th peo­ple from Illi­nois linked to Islamic extrem­ist activ­ity since 2012.

Hasan Edmonds, a 22-year-old con­vert to Islam and a mem­ber of the U.S. Army Reserve Corps, and his cousin, 29-year-old Jonas (Yunus) Edmonds told under­cover inves­ti­ga­tors that they wanted to travel to ISIS-controlled ter­ri­tory with their fam­i­lies and become fight­ers but that, fail­ing that, they wanted to attack the U.S. When Jonas Edmonds was unable to acquire a pass­port because of a past felony con­vic­tion, Hasan Edmonds con­tin­ued his own travel plans while assist­ing Jonas in get­ting mate­ri­als for and plan­ning an attack on the mil­i­tary base where Hasan trained.

Accord­ing to court doc­u­ments, Hasan posted pro-ISIS state­ments and YouTube videos on his Face­book pro­file. He and Jonas were also vocal about their plans and beliefs in con­ver­sa­tions with an under­cover agent whom they met online. “Hon­estly we would love to do some­thing like the brother in Paris did,” wrote Hasan Edmonds, in a ref­er­ence to the attacks on the Char­lie Hebdo mag­a­zine and kosher gro­cery store in Paris this Jan­u­ary. “Hit here and then go to dawlah (ISIS con­trolled ter­ri­tory) inshaAl­lah (God will­ing). We’ll fight wher­ever need be…. Sha­hada (mar­tyr­dom) is a bless­ing.” In other con­ver­sa­tions, he stated, “If I find myself stuck here [in the U.S.]. I intend to take advan­tage of being so close to the kuf­far (apos­tates, used here to indi­cate non-Muslims),” and, “The best of mankind are the mujahideen (fight­ers). May Allah place me among their ranks.”

In speak­ing of plan­ning an attack, he wrote, “We can surely do some­thing. Even the kaf­firs (apos­tates) here are fight­ing the police and gov­ern­ment so we can really strick (sic) harder in tue (sic) cause of Allah,” and, “It would be hard to pull off a lager (sic) scale attack on the gov­ern­ment but police sta­tions and courts are pretty easy and its been done before by kufar (apos­tates) some­times just one person.”

The cousins’ state­ments also attest to the effec­tive­ness of ISIS’s recent strat­egy of devel­op­ing world­wide fran­chises. “When the women are under the pro­tec­tion of the dawlah (ISIS) under any province under the dawlahs rule (any coun­try) we are ready for what­ever our orders may be,” Hasan Edmonds told an under­cover agent accord­ing to court doc­u­ments. In another con­text he allegedly stated, “I am fine being in Egypt, Sham, or Libya to be hon­est akhi (brother, mean­ing com­pan­ion). I just want to answer the call.”

Groups includ­ing Ansar Beyt al Maqdis in Egypt and Boko Haram in Nige­ria have pledged alle­giance to ISIS in recent months, and ISIS strives to cre­ate the impres­sion that it has a global pres­ence in its propaganda.

ISIS has also been encour­ag­ing its adher­ents to either under­take domes­tic attacks or travel abroad in recent months.

This mes­sage has been reflected in the actions of its sup­port­ers. In 2015, the Edmonds plot is the third instance of ISIS sup­port­ers in the U.S. plan­ning a domes­tic attack after unsuc­cess­fully attempt­ing to join ISIS. In Jan­u­ary, Ohio res­i­dent Christo­pher Lee Cor­nell was arrested for his plot to attack the U.S. capi­tol after fail­ing to con­nect with ISIS mem­bers abroad and in Feb­ru­ary, New York City res­i­dents Abdura­sul Juraboev and Akhror Saidakhme­tov were arrested for attempt­ing to join ISIS and dis­cussing the pos­si­bil­ity of a domes­tic attack if they were unable to do so. In addi­tion, 2015 has seen 13 U.S. res­i­dents (includ­ing the Edmonds cousins) charged with mate­r­ial sup­port for ISIS.

33 U.S. res­i­dents have been pub­licly linked to ISIS since 2014.

Other Illi­nois res­i­dents accused of attempt­ing to aid for­eign ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions or carry out ter­ror attacks in the U.S.  include Jamishid Muh­torov, arrested in 2012 for pro­vid­ing mate­r­ial sup­port to the Uzbek ter­ror group Islamic Jihad Union; Abdel Daoud, arrested in 2012 for plan­ning a domes­tic attack; Abdel­lah Tounisi, arrested in 2013 for attempt­ing to join Jab­hat al Nusra; Mohammed Hamza Khan and his brother and sis­ter, detained in 2014 for attempted to join ISIS (Khan’s brother and sis­ter are minors and have not been charged); and Mediha Medy Sal­kice­vic, arrested in 2015 for attempt­ing to send money to ISIS.

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March 26, 2015 3

American White Supremacists Attend Russian Nationalist Conference

On March 22, Amer­i­can white suprema­cists Jared Tay­lor and Sam Dick­son addressed the Inter­na­tional Russ­ian Con­ser­v­a­tive Forum in St. Peters­burg, which fea­tured Russ­ian nation­al­ists and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from extreme-right par­ties in Europe. The extreme-right par­ties included Greece’s Golden Dawn, Germany’s National Demo­c­ra­tic Party and Italy’s Forza Nuova. The visit to Rus­sia is another exam­ple of Amer­i­can white suprema­cists try­ing to build ties with their Euro­pean counterparts.

Jared Taylor at Russian conference

Jared Tay­lor at Russ­ian conference

Tay­lor heads Amer­i­can Renais­sance (AR), an online jour­nal that hosts yearly con­fer­ences. He often speaks to audi­ences in Europe about white nation­al­ism in Amer­ica. Over the past three years, he has attended nation­al­ist gath­er­ings in France, Eng­land, Turkey and Hun­gary. The con­fer­ence in Hun­gary in Octo­ber 2014 was hosted by the National Pol­icy, Insti­tute, an Amer­i­can white suprema­cist think tank that also has close ties to nation­al­ists in Europe.

Dick­son is a reg­u­lar speaker at con­fer­ences spon­sored by AR and the white suprema­cist Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens. At the con­fer­ence in Rus­sia, Tay­lor and Dick­son both talked about pre­serv­ing the white race and bat­tling “Third-World immi­gra­tion” in the United States. Appar­ently, both men also lauded Vladimir Putin, the pres­i­dent of Rus­sia, who is seen as a pro­moter of tra­di­tion­al­ist val­ues in the West.

Other white suprema­cists in the U.S. have embraced Putin for encour­ag­ing nation­al­ism and Ortho­dox Chris­tian­ity in Rus­sia. These extrem­ists believe that Putin and Rus­sia rep­re­sent the antithe­sis of the global, mul­ti­cul­tural, mod­ern soci­ety rep­re­sented by Amer­ica and West­ern Europe.

In Feb­ru­ary, William John­son of the Amer­i­can Free­dom Party (AFP) posted an inter­view he gave to Nicholas Truschalov of the nation­al­ist Russ­ian Impe­r­ial Party, who report­edly attended the con­fer­ence in St. Peters­burg. Like Tay­lor and Dick­son, John­son talked about pre­serv­ing the white race in Amer­ica. When Truschalov asked John­son about who was defend­ing national iden­tity and tra­di­tional val­ues in the U.S. John­son named Tay­lor and Dick­son as two sig­nif­i­cant thinkers in the white nation­al­ist move­ment. John­son also declared that the AFP sup­ports nation­al­ists world­wide when Truschalov asked what John­son would like to tell Russ­ian nationalists.

Matthew Heim­bach of the Tra­di­tion­al­ist Youth Net­work has also pro­moted Rus­sia. In a Feb­ru­ary arti­cle enti­tled, “The New Shin­ing City on the Hill: Mother Rus­sia,” Heim­bach praised Rus­sia as the “true defender of Tra­di­tion­al­ism.” He added that Putin is “doing the exact oppo­site of what the Bush and Obama admin­is­tra­tions are doing and that is why Tra­di­tion­al­ists should look to Rus­sia for inspiration.”

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March 26, 2015 0

ISIS Cyber Unit Announces More Hacks

Hacker(s) iden­ti­fy­ing as “ISIS cyber army” claimed respon­si­bil­ity for hack­ing fifty-one Amer­i­can web­sites on March 24.

Screenshot of the defaced websites

Screen­shot of the defaced websites

Each of the hacked web­sites was defaced with the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a state­ment that the web­site was “Hacked by Islamic State [sic],” and an e-mail address for the ISIS cyber army, the unit believed to be behind the cyber activ­i­ties of ISIS. In the past, the ISIS cyber unit  claimed respon­si­bil­ity for involve­ment in a series of attacks against a num­ber of Israeli web­sites.

The recent ISIS cyber-attack tar­geted a vari­ety of web­sites, rang­ing from sim­ple online retail stores to forums to help preg­nant women—all web­sites per­ceived to be tech­ni­cally vulnerable.While the attack does not show a high level of tech­ni­cal capa­bil­i­ties by ISIS, it demon­strates their com­mit­ment to engag­ing directly in cyber warfare.

Tweet from ISIS Cyber Army: "...message to the dog of the Jews, #Obama"

Tweet from ISIS Cyber Army: “…mes­sage to the dog of the Jews, #Obama”

Accord­ing to a tweet by the ISIS_cyberarmy Twit­ter account , the recent cyber-attackwas a mes­sage to “the dog of the Jews, Obama.” ISIS and its sup­port­ers have reg­u­larly referred to Pres­i­dent Obama as a “mule of the Jews,” and the phrase “dog of the Jews” may be a vari­ant of this.

The ISIS_cyberarmy Twit­ter account, which appears to have been sus­pended as of March 25, was pre­vi­ously fol­lowed by more than a thou­sand ISIS supporters.The account pub­lished the urls of the hacked web­sites and linked to a state­ment on justpaste.it, a file-sharing web­site reg­u­larly used by ISIS and its sup­port­ers to post infor­ma­tion, which also included the list of hacked web­sites and the seal of what appears to be the ISIS cyber army. The state­ment on justpaste.it started with an Islamic prayer in Ara­bic and included the seal of the ISIS cyber army.

Record­ings show­ing the defaced web­sites were also posted on Aljyyosh (“the armies” in Ara­bic), an online forum for Arab hack­ers, which in the past has been a hub for anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hack­ers. The videos show the hacked web­sites defaced with ISIS flags and an e-mail address of the ISIS cyber army.

In the past, sev­eral promi­nent hacker groups launched cyber-attacks in sup­port of ISIS, but recently ISIS esca­lated its cyber activ­ity by claim­ing direct respon­si­bil­ity for hack­ing per­sonal infor­ma­tion of 100 Amer­i­can mil­i­tary per­son­nel and pub­lish­ing the infor­ma­tion on a “hit list.” These hack­ings are the lat­est exam­ple of what appears to be direct activ­ity by ISIS’s cyber unit.Earlier this year, social media accounts of the U.S. military’s Cen­tral Com­mand were hacked by a group that claimed to be act­ing in sup­port of ISIS.

This capa­bil­ity to engage in cyber-attacks may be a reflec­tion of ISIS’s calls for sup­port from indi­vid­u­als with var­i­ous skills, from media experts to doc­tors, to join and con­tribute to the group and its ter­ri­tory how­ever they can.

The tac­tic of hack­ing U.S. web­sites may also be related to ISIS’s calls for small-scale and lone-wolf attacks against the U.S. and its inter­ests. In the past, ISIS has recruited out­side hack­ers and hack­ing groups to under­take such cyber-attacks on its behalf.

Pro­mot­ing the hack­ings of Amer­i­can web­sites with anti-Semitic lan­guage demon­strates how ISIS’s anti-Semitic sen­ti­ment extends into its sub­di­vi­sions, includ­ing its cyber arm. Like other Islamic extrem­ist ter­ror groups, ISIS has been known to use anti-Semitism to appeal to fol­low­ers.

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