Extremism & Terrorism » ADL Blogs
October 8, 2014 0

Chicago Arrest Provides Example Of An American’s Detailed Plan To Join ISIS

The arrest of a Chicago man for allegedly attempt­ing to join Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) demon­strates the extent to which Amer­i­cans attempt­ing to join ter­ror groups abroad are able to com­mu­ni­cate with for­eign con­tacts and for­mu­late their travel plans.mohammed-khan-isis

Mohamed Hamzah Khan, 19, was arrested Sun­day at Chicago O’Hare Inter­na­tional Air­port as he attempted to board a flight to Turkey.

While many of the Amer­i­cans arrested for attempt­ing to join ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions in the past two years – includ­ing fel­low Chicagoan Abdella Tounisi – have not nec­es­sar­ily had a well-formulated plan, Khan’s case rep­re­sents an exam­ple of an indi­vid­ual whose efforts seem to have been informed, if not directed, by mem­bers of the ter­ror­ist group itself.

In a note­book found in his home, Khan allegedly had drawn maps of the Syria-Turkish bor­der, with arrows show­ing pos­si­ble cross­ings. He also allegedly listed steps to take, includ­ing an itin­er­ary for a trip by bus in Turkey that would get him to that bor­der. His knowl­edge of what to do in order to join ISIS likely came from online sources. Accord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint, he had received phone num­bers for con­tact peo­ple in Syria from an indi­vid­ual he was allegedly in touch with online. Khan had report­edly bought a round-trip ticket to Turkey, pos­si­bly to avert suspicion.

The search of Khan’s home also allegedly uncov­ered an ide­o­log­i­cal affin­ity for ISIS. Police report­edly found a farewell note in which Khan had writ­ten, “We are all wit­ness that the west­ern soci­eties are get­ting more immoral day by day. I do not want my kids being exposed to filth like this,” and urg­ing his par­ents to join him in Syria. Accord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint filed in his case, author­i­ties also found a note­book in his home with a draw­ing of a fighter with an ISIS flag and the words “Come to Jihad” writ­ten in Arabic.

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October 3, 2014 2

Oklahoma Beheading & The Secondary Effect of Terrorist Propaganda

The evo­lu­tion of online ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda has been marked by tar­geted efforts to rad­i­cal­ize and recruit west­ern­ers, often encour­ag­ing them to stage attacks in the U.S. or join ter­ror­ist groups abroad. The influ­ence of this vio­lent pro­pa­ganda, how­ever, goes beyond its intended audience.alton-nolan-via-fb

Alton Nolan, who allegedly beheaded one for­mer coworker and stabbed a sec­ond last week in Okla­homa, did not have any appar­ent ties to ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions or appear to be respond­ing to a spe­cific call for attacks on behalf of any orga­ni­za­tion. But his actions can be viewed as a sec­ondary effect of ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda, which any­one can access with ease.

Nolan’s online activ­ity sug­gests that his inter­est in extrem­ist vio­lence may well have informed his deci­sion to under­take a behead­ing, rather than another form of vio­lence. Some of his Face­book posts, for exam­ple, indi­cate an affin­ity to vio­lent images com­monly prop­a­gated by Islamic extrem­ists. One post from March 2014 fea­tures an image of a behead­ing with text that jus­ti­fies that form of mur­der in Islam, an image of a woman receiv­ing lashes, and an image of a man hold­ing a poster that states “Islam will dom­i­nate the world.” Nolan included a cap­tion that stated “Sharia law will takeover (sic)…Cut the hands off the thieves…Islam is the true religion.”

In June 2014 he posted a screed against Father’s Day together with an image of a mil­i­tant from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He also wrote mul­ti­ple screeds against the U.S. and specif­i­cally the Statue of Lib­erty for allow­ing women to show their hair, sell­ing pork in gro­cery stores, and allow­ing same-sex marriage.

In May 2014, Nolan posted two images of what appear to be fright­ened women along­side quotes from the Qu’ran about pun­ish­ing “unbe­liev­ers” and the sen­tence “These piks aren’t qiute how their gnna be but jst sum piks. (sic)”

Such posts were inter­spersed with posts about UFOs, posts explain­ing why some peo­ple have blond hair, and posts about Black Moores enslav­ing “white Euro­peans” and keep­ing “white harems,” among oth­ers. Those posts are also signed “****InfoFromAMuslim****.”

In late 2013, prior to these posts, Nolan also had a series of posts sug­gest­ing that Blacks are the “true Jews” and dis­cussing Hitler, Neo-Nazis, and the KKK.

An analy­sis of all these posts indi­cates that Nolan was appar­ently fas­ci­nated by the vio­lence por­trayed by Islamic extrem­ism. He attempts to pro­mote him­self by preach­ing it. But he does not appear to have con­nec­tions to rad­i­cal extrem­ism, and the core of his vio­lent ten­den­cies appear per­son­ally motivated.

These sec­ondary effects of ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda were sim­i­larly demon­strated in the case of a mur­der that took place in New Jer­sey in August. The accused per­pe­tra­tor in that case, Ali Muhammed Brown, had a pre­vi­ous crim­i­nal record and is also accused of killing three indi­vid­u­als in Cal­i­for­nia in June. In August, he was allegedly engaged in a rob­bery when he shot a man in a car. When appre­hended, Brown claimed that the mur­der was revenge for U.S. actions in the Mid­dle East.

This was not the first crim­i­nal charge against Alton Nolan, a 30-year-old for­mer employee at a food pro­cess­ing plant in Okla­homa. He had pre­vi­ously been con­victed on drug, resist­ing arrest and escape charges.

Nolan appar­ently con­verted to a rad­i­cal ver­sion of Islam in or around the time he went to prison. In Jan­u­ary 2014, he began sign­ing his Face­book posts and com­ments with the phrase “****InfoFromAMuslim****.”

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October 2, 2014 2

American Racist Group Will Hold Meeting in Hungary Despite Ban

richard-spencer-at-npi-podium

Richard Spencer at National Pol­icy Institute

Update — 10/06/14: On Octo­ber 3, Hun­gar­ian police arrested National Pol­icy Insti­tute (NPI) head Richard Spencer for not hav­ing iden­ti­fi­ca­tion papers with him at an infor­mal gath­er­ing of peo­ple who had planned to attend NPI’s con­fer­ence in Budapest. Jared Tay­lor, work­ing with oth­ers, held an NPI meet­ing at a restau­rant in Budapest where he and Tom Sunic spoke to about 75 peo­ple. Spencer is expected to be deported from Hun­gary today.


Richard Spencer
, the head of the National Pol­icy Insti­tute (NPI), a white suprema­cist think tank based in White­fish, Mon­tana, asserts that his group will still hold a meet­ing in Budapest on Octo­ber 3–5, despite the Hun­gar­ian government’s ban on the con­fer­ence. In addi­tion, the venue in Hun­gary where the con­fer­ence was to be held has report­edly can­celled its con­tract with NPI organizers.

Per­versely invok­ing the civil rights anthem, “We shall over­come,” Spencer declared to sup­port­ers in an email that NPI would per­se­vere and that peo­ple plan­ning to attend would still be able to meet and exchange ideas. Spencer usu­ally holds NPI con­fer­ences in Wash­ing­ton, DC where he reg­u­larly invites Euro­pean and Amer­i­can racists to share their ideas about white nation­al­ism in Europe and the U.S.

Spencer, 36, is the new face of white supremacy who over­sees a num­ber of projects in addi­tion to NPI. He cre­ated an online jour­nal Radix, which fea­tures the work of intel­lec­tual racists and runs Wash­ing­ton Sum­mit Pub­lish­ers, which pub­lishes racist tracts. Prior to openly embrac­ing white nation­al­ism in 2009, he worked at the Amer­i­can Spec­ta­tor, a main­stream con­ser­v­a­tive mag­a­zine. In 2010, he founded Alter­na­tive Right, a white suprema­cist online jour­nal, which cur­tailed oper­a­tions in Decem­ber 2013.

In a 2011 inter­view, Spencer said, “By 2009, I was much more will­ing to express hereti­cal views on race and egal­i­tar­i­an­ism, as well as write more forth­rightly on cul­ture.” Spencer has advo­cated for a white ethno-state in the U.S. In 2011, he became the head of NPI and his annual con­fer­ences have attracted dozens of attend­ing, includ­ing a num­ber of young people.

The con­fer­ence in Hun­gary was sched­uled to fea­ture a num­ber of other Amer­i­cans includ­ing Jared Tay­lor, head of the white suprema­cist jour­nal Amer­i­can Renais­sance and John Mor­gan, an Amer­i­can who heads Ark­tos Media, based in Budapest. Ark­tos, a co-sponsor of the NPI con­fer­ence, pub­lishes books that pro­mote the Iden­ti­tar­ian move­ment in Europe. Iden­ti­tar­ian groups are pro-white, anti-immigrant and stress racial/ethnic iden­tity. Tom Sunic, who is Croa­t­ian and a leader in Amer­i­can Free­dom Party (for­merly known as Amer­i­can Third Posi­tion), was also sched­uled to address the NPI gath­er­ing. The Amer­i­can Free­dom Party is a white suprema­cist polit­i­cal party that runs extrem­ist can­di­dates in the U.S. Other speak­ers included Mar­ton Gyongyosi, a leader in the ultra­na­tion­al­ist Hun­gar­ian party Job­bik, who has since report­edly bowed out of the NPI event and Alexan­der Dugin, a Russ­ian ultra­na­tion­al­ist ideologue.

The con­fer­ence would build fur­ther ties between Amer­i­can and Euro­pean racists and nation­al­ists and exploit ris­ing ultra­na­tion­al­ist sen­ti­ment in Hun­gary as evi­denced by Jobbik’s elec­toral gains in the April 2014 elections.

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