Extremism & Terrorism » ADL Blogs
May 28, 2015 1

ADL’s Terrorism Update Examines U.S. Residents Linked To Terror

isis-fightersThe newest edi­tion of Ter­ror­ism Update, ADL’s newslet­ter pro­vid­ing news and analy­sis on inter­na­tional ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions and their fol­low­ers in the U.S., is now available.

The fea­ture arti­cle details the 40 U.S. cit­i­zens and res­i­dents who have been linked to ter­ror­ism moti­vated by Islamic extrem­ism in 2015 includ­ing recent arrests in Cal­i­for­nia, Texas and Geor­gia and pro­vides infor­ma­tion on their demo­graph­ics and goals.

The newslet­ter includes a pro­file on Mohamed Abdu­lahi Has­san, a Min­nesota man who joined Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda affil­i­ate in Soma­lia, and who may have inspired as many as 11 peo­ple liv­ing in the U.S., includ­ing the Gar­land shoot­ers and sev­eral Amer­i­cans who attempted to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

This edi­tion also includes infor­ma­tion on mul­ti­ple ISIS-related arrests, women engaged in Islamic extrem­ism, hack­ing activ­ity by the ISIS cyber-unit, the declas­si­fied Osama bin Laden memos, pro­pa­ganda videos by ISIS and Al Shabaab, and the death of Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn.

To sub­scribe to ADL’s Ter­ror­ism Update newslet­ter, click on the below image:

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May 26, 2015 3

Pervasive Anti-Semitism in Declassified Bin Laden Letters

Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden

In the newly declas­si­fied let­ters found in Osama bin Laden’s com­pound, ref­er­ences to Jews, Israel and Zion­ists demon­strate the per­va­sive­ness of anti-Semitism in Al Qaeda’s high­est ech­e­lons, as well as Al Qaeda’s inten­tional tar­get­ing of Jews and Jew­ish institutions.

The let­ters also demon­strate the extent to which Al Qaeda viewed anti-Semitism as a valu­able moti­vat­ing fac­tor for ter­ror­ism: Ref­er­ences to Jews were far more fre­quent in pro­pa­ganda pieces and in items dis­cussing plans for pro­pa­ganda than in strate­gic memos or other letters.

Sev­eral of the let­ters directly dis­cuss tar­get­ing Jews. One sec­tion of a memo on exter­nal oper­a­tions reads, “In regards to targeting…the Jews as per the orders,” and details the pri­or­i­ti­za­tion of attacks against Jews.  Another doc­u­ment high­lights “the beau­ti­ful huge bomb­ing… of the west­ern Ger­man bak­ery mainly vis­ited by Jews and west­ern nation­als,” and a third doc­u­ment, addressed to the Syr­ian peo­ple, states, “If you want to resist, as you claim, we chal­lenge you and your party to shoot one bul­let against the Jews! So show us the Jews as your targets…”

Some of the doc­u­ments also direct praise at other ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions for their attacks against Jews. One memo sum­ma­riz­ing the mil­i­tary sit­u­a­tion in Afghanistan and Pak­istan high­lights the Al Qaeda affil­i­ated Abdal­lah Azzam Brigades, call­ing the group, “a small group of broth­ers in Lebanon who fired rock­ets against the Jews once, twice, or more….May God greatly reward them.”

As noted, this tar­get­ing and gen­eral use of anti-Semitism occurs with far greater fre­quency and vit­riol in pro­pa­ganda. One pro­pa­ganda piece released states that the fight­ers were not exhausted in, “bat­tles with the poo­dles of Amer­ica and Israel … or the many other Jews shoe lickers…They refused to be fooled into tack­ling the ser­vants, while the com­man­der in chief and pro­tec­tor of infi­delity, Zion­ism and evil.”

That same arti­cle later harangues, “filth of [the Amer­i­can and Euro­pean] Zion­ist cap­i­tal­ist mas­ters pro­duc­ing the money and man­power which their mas­ters uti­lize to seek to destroy Israel’s ene­mies and to rob the peo­ple of the globe of their minds, honor, land, resources, chastity, min­er­als, oil, and lives!!!” and urges fight­ers in, “this Jihad and holy strug­gle against Amer­ica, Israel and its friends’ Ziocrusade…”

Let­ters and memos dis­cussing pro­pa­ganda pieces clar­ify the inten­tion­al­ity of using anti-Semitism as a moti­va­tional tac­tic. One let­ter asks, “Did you think about issu­ing a state­ment to the nation to show sol­i­dar­ity with the peo­ple?… It should also say that the Jew­ish state is about to end, and so on.”

This use of anti-Semitism is also strate­gi­cally tar­geted. One memo notes that they should “avoid talk­ing about the Jews and Pales­tine when talk­ing to the Ger­mans,” because, “This sub­ject is very sen­si­tive in Germany.”

Image from Al Qaeda magazine

Al Qaeda’s English-language mag­a­zine Resur­gence adopted a long­stand­ing anti-Semitic stereo­type equat­ing Jews with inter­na­tional finance.

Many of the reg­u­lar, non-propaganda memos do not include any ref­er­ences to Jews, Zion­ists or Israel. Where they do, how­ever, they, too, demon­strate a per­va­sive anti-Semitism in Al Qaeda’s high­est ech­e­lons, cen­ter­ing on beliefs that Jews con­trol the West and are unnat­u­rally pow­er­ful. One let­ter, for exam­ple, claimed, “the Jews were able to con­trol world forces with these two sci­ences, soci­ol­ogy and psy­chol­ogy.” Another let­ter sug­gested that the Shi’a ter­ror­ist group Hezbol­lah (which has engaged in fight­ing with Israel) is con­trolled by Jews seek­ing to kill Sunni Mus­lims and another sug­gests that the Saudi royal fam­ily calls for  “blind obe­di­ence to the ruler, who sup­port Jews and Chris­tians.” Yet another crit­i­cizes “peo­ple whose man­ner­isms resem­ble those of the Jews…”

The con­spir­acy the­o­ries against Jews are also related to sev­eral of the books found in Bin Laden’s library, includ­ing the book Secrets of the Fed­eral Reserve by Eustace Mullins, an anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rist and Holo­caust denier.

There is also crit­i­cism of Israel and of Amer­i­can sup­port for Israel, which is reg­u­larly listed as one of sev­eral rea­sons for attack­ing the U.S. Sup­port for Jews is also listed as a ratio­nale for depos­ing of Arab gov­ern­ments. Ref­er­ences to “Zion­ists and Cru­saders” as the enemy are fre­quent and, although the name ‘Israel’ is some­times used in memos to name the state, ‘Jew’ is always used instead of ‘Israeli.’

In all 103 declas­si­fied doc­u­ments, the word ‘Jew’ comes up 36 times; Israel 16, and Zion­ist 6 ( This does not include com­pound words like Ziocru­sade or Qu’ranic quotes on unre­lated top­ics). The words ‘Quds’ and ‘Jerusalem’ are not referenced.

Anti-Semitism has been a cen­tral ele­ment of Al Qaeda’s ide­ol­ogy since the organization’s found­ing, and it is a reg­u­lar fea­ture in Al Qaeda pro­pa­ganda, includ­ing Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP’s) infa­mous English-language mag­a­zine, Inspire. Anti-Semitism is also reg­u­larly used to moti­vate adher­ents and encour­age recruits by many other ter­ror­ist groups, includ­ing the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

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May 21, 2015 5

Texas County Considers Adopting Militia Group

Update — 6/2/15: Orange County Judge Brint Carl­ton later told the Anti-Defamation League that he has no inten­tion of cre­at­ing a county militia.

A south­east Texas county has drawn atten­tion recently after it became known that county offi­cials were con­sid­er­ing adopt­ing a local anti-government mili­tia group as an offi­cial “county mili­tia.” Orange County Judge Brint Carl­ton endorsed the idea, call­ing it a “good thing.”

David W. Smith

David W. Smith

County com­mis­sion­ers decided at the last minute to post­pone the vote after a com­mis­sioner voiced reser­va­tions, say­ing he needed more information.

The mili­tia move­ment is an anti-government cause whose adher­ents believe that the U.S. gov­ern­ment is col­lab­o­rat­ing with a shad­owy “New World Order” con­spir­acy to strip Amer­i­cans of their free­doms, start­ing with their right to bear arms, in order to even­tu­ally enslave Amer­i­cans to the New World Order. The mili­tia move­ment has a long his­tory of vio­lence and crim­i­nal acts; the Anti-Defamation League has tracked at least eight vio­lent acts, con­spir­a­cies or major crimes linked to the mili­tia move­ment just since 2011.

How­ever, David W. Smith, the “com­man­der” of the Golden Tri­an­gle Mili­tia, a small south­east­ern Texas mili­tia group formed in 2014, has lob­bied county offi­cials to adopt his mili­tia group, even­tu­ally get­ting some support.

Though Smith has claimed to reporters that his Golden Tri­an­gle Mili­tia is not anti-government but rather a “civil defense force which works with law enforce­ment,” to his own group he has showed a more con­spir­a­to­r­ial side, argu­ing that “we must never let ourselves…be com­pla­cent to the schemes of the world elit­ists” and demand­ing that Amer­i­cans “rid our­selves of tyran­ni­cal government.”

Smith, a for­mer phle­botomist who now sells “mono­lithic domes,” has expressed sup­port for views that are far from the main­stream. Through his Face­book pro­file, he is linked to a wide vari­ety of extrem­ist groups and fig­ures, from anti-government con­spir­acy the­o­rist Alex Jones (who pop­u­lar­ized the recent notion that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment was plan­ning to invade Texas) to var­i­ous Three Per­center groups (anti-government extrem­ists who view them­selves fight­ing against the fed­eral gov­ern­ment as Amer­i­can colonists fought against the British). Smith ran for U.S. sen­ate in 2014 on a plat­form of oppos­ing “this uncon­sti­tu­tional de facto government.”

Iron­i­cally, Texas law has no pro­vi­sion to allow its coun­ties to cre­ate county mili­tias. Smith has argued that Texas law allows Orange County to “rec­og­nize” his unit as the “Orange County Ready Reserve Mili­tia.” How­ever, the Texas Reserve Mili­tia is only a statu­tory man­power pool that exists to con­form to an obso­lete fed­eral mili­tia law dat­ing back orig­i­nally to 1792. The­o­ret­i­cally, the gov­er­nor of Texas can call por­tions of the reserve mili­tia into ser­vice in times of emer­gency by hav­ing county emer­gency boards insti­tute a draft. Such boards have no power to call up the reserve mili­tia on their own, how­ever, much less “adopt” para­mil­i­tary groups. The self-styled “mili­tias” of today have no legal rela­tion­ship to the his­tor­i­cal and statu­tory militia.

Despite this, Smith has claimed that coun­ties have the author­ity to orga­nize the Texas Reserve Mili­tia. He has also asserted that the mili­tia could come into ser­vice “by gen­eral con­sen­sus of the pop­u­la­tion should the state fail in the exe­cu­tion of its con­sti­tu­tional duties.” Smith has even claimed that county com­mis­sion­ers could be jailed if they refused to autho­rize a militia—a seri­ous mis­read­ing of Texas law.

Smith will have to wait to see if Orange County offi­cials sched­ule another vote or aban­don his plan altogether.

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