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September 22, 2014 0

ISIS-Related Arrest In Rochester Underscores Online Radicalization

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Mufid Elfgeeh

The online activ­ity of Mufid Elfgeeh, whose arrest for attempt­ing to pro­vide mate­r­ial sup­port for ter­ror, attempt­ing to kill U.S. sol­diers, and pos­ses­sion of firearms and silencers was made pub­lic this week by the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice, under­scores the cen­tral­ity of the Inter­net in the rad­i­cal­iza­tion and recruit­ment process.

Elfgeeh uti­lized mul­ti­ple online plat­forms includ­ing Twit­ter, Face­book, YouTube and the android appli­ca­tion What­sApp to try to raise money for for­eign ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions and to recruit three other indi­vid­u­als to join for­eign ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions. His online activ­ity also inspired him to devise a plot to kill Shi’a Mus­lims and for­mer Amer­i­can ser­vice­men at home.

Social media enabled Elfgeeh to not only learn about the activ­i­ties of for­eign ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions through videos, tweets and other online pro­pa­ganda, but to also con­nect with appar­ent sup­port­ers of those orga­ni­za­tions, in par­tic­u­lar the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Accord­ing to court doc­u­ments, Elfgeeh sought dona­tions for ter­ror­ists in Syria through Twit­ter. Among his alleged tweets were requests that peo­ple donate a third of their salary or at least “#Five_thousand_dollars_from_every_household” to sup­port mil­i­tants in Syria. He also tweeted and retweeted state­ments of sup­port for var­i­ous ter­ror groups includ­ing, “al-Qa’ida said it loud and clear: we are fight­ing the Amer­i­can inva­sion and their hege­mony over the earth and the people.”

On Face­book, Elfgeeh was a mem­ber of at least two Arabic-language Face­book groups in which group mem­bers reg­u­larly post and share al Qaeda and ISIS pro­pa­ganda. His own Face­book pho­tos included sev­eral images from Al Bat­tar media, an offi­cial ISIS pro­pa­ganda wing.

Elfgeeh also allegedly used Face­book to com­mu­ni­cate with indi­vid­u­als he believed were mem­bers of ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions and with the indi­vid­u­als he was recruit­ing about plans to travel abroad to join ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions.

In his recruit­ing, he ini­tially sug­gested Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP) and Al Shabaab as pos­si­ble des­ti­na­tions, and later focused on ISIS. Notably, AQAP, Al Shabaab and ISIS are all ter­ror­ist groups that have become highly adept at dis­trib­ut­ing exten­sive English-language pro­pa­ganda.

On April 22 2014, he allegedly posted a mes­sage on Face­book attempt­ing to gain con­nec­tions in ISIS, stat­ing, “Who­ever knows a brother from ISIS who is able to com­mu­ni­cate well in Eng­lish, can com­mu­ni­cate with me through the pri­vate, due to the impor­tance.” He also com­mu­ni­cated directly on Face­book with an indi­vid­ual he was recruit­ing to join ISIS (the indi­vid­ual was in fact an informant).

Elfgeeh was allegedly devel­op­ing a plot to com­mit mul­ti­ple mur­ders in the U.S. as well, appar­ently inspired by acts of ter­ror­ism around the world includ­ing Al Shabaab’s attack of the West­gate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya and, in par­tic­u­lar, by Mohammed Merah’s shoot­ings in France.

His inspi­ra­tion for this plot appar­ently came from watch­ing videos on YouTube. He allegedly explained that he had learned about Merah’s actions because, “[i]t’s in YouTube.” He also allegedly had watched a video that pro­vided jus­ti­fi­ca­tion and instruc­tions for his plot: The video, he stated, “tell[s] you what to do …it’s YouTube…they call them here…’individual wolf’ (an appar­ent ref­er­ence to lone wolf attacks).”

Elfgeeh is a 30-year-old nat­u­ral­ized Amer­i­can cit­i­zen. Orig­i­nally from Yemen, he resided in Rochester, NY prior to his arrest where he owned and oper­ated a store called Halal Mojo and Food­mart. He was arrested on May 31, 2014 and pleaded not guilty on Sep­tem­ber 18.

Elfgeeh is the sec­ond Amer­i­can arrested in 2014 for recruit­ing oth­ers to join for­eign ter­ror orga­ni­za­tions, fol­low­ing Rahatul Ashikim Khan of Round Rock, Texas, who was arrested in June.

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September 18, 2014 16

Neo-Nazi Candidate To Air Anti-Semitic Radio Ads

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Robert Rans­dell

In late Sep­tem­ber, neo-Nazi Robert Rans­dell, a write-in can­di­date* for the U.S. Sen­ate in Ken­tucky, plans to pur­chase air time on a main­stream radio sta­tion in Cincin­nati for seven hour-long radio programs/political ads. The pro­grams, fea­tur­ing Ransdell’s anti-Semitic and racist views, are the cen­ter­piece of his cam­paign whose slo­gan is “With Jews We Lose.”

Rans­dell declared his can­di­dacy in May 2014 on two white suprema­cist Inter­net forums, Storm­front and Van­guard News Net­work. There, he also laid out his cam­paign strat­egy, which focused on the plans for the radio pro­grams. He wrote, “I will be tak­ing advan­tage of the rea­son­able access law which requires that reg­is­tered can­di­dates for fed­eral office are to be per­mit­ted time on the radio.” Other white suprema­cists have tried this tac­tic before but the most recent attempt by white suprema­cist Fra­zier Glenn Miller was thwarted in 2010 when the FCC said he was not a viable can­di­date and sta­tions did not have to air his ads.

In his cam­paign announce­ment, Rans­dell asserted that “these pro­grams will from start to fin­ish be open and frank dis­cus­sion about Jew­ish power and con­trol over our coun­try, the truth about the neg­a­tive effects of diver­sity and mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism, as well as the need for White peo­ple to start oppos­ing their ene­mies in a fash­ion where we can lib­er­ate our­selves from alien con­trol and not just com­plain about and observe con­di­tions get­ting worse.”

Rans­dell has been an activist in the white suprema­cist world since he became a mem­ber of the neo-Nazi National Alliance (NA) in 2006. He led the now-defunct Cincin­nati unit of the NA, once the largest neo-Nazi group in the coun­try. Under the lead­er­ship of Erich Gliebe, who took over the NA in 2002, the group lost most of its sup­port­ers and ceased func­tion­ing as a mem­ber­ship organization.

In Octo­ber 2012, Rans­dell broke from the NA and went on to become a key player in the National Alliance Reform & Restora­tion Group (NARRG) a group opposed to Gliebe. NAARG cur­rently has a law­suit pend­ing against Gliebe due to his alleged mis­man­age­ment of the group and its assets.

While with the NA, Rans­dell orches­trated a num­ber of racist and anti-Semitic inci­dents. In April 2012, he posted fly­ers at the Uni­ver­sity of Cincin­nati offer­ing a $1000 reward to any per­son who could get Elie Wiesel to show the tat­too that he received at Auschwitz and prove that he was a Holo­caust sur­vivor.  Rans­dell has shown up at other events to pro­mote Holo­caust denial.

In 2011, Rans­dell dis­trib­uted racist fly­ers in Maineville, Ohio, in response to a black youth killing his white girl­friend. The fliers read “White par­ents, don’t let your daugh­ters date blacks, it might be a mat­ter of life and death.”  A few years ear­lier, he posted anti-Martin Luther King, Jr. fly­ers when a street was renamed after the civil rights leader in Cov­ing­ton, Kentucky.

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

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September 16, 2014 3

New Black Panther Party Advisor Calls For Killing In Ferguson Aftermath

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Screen­shot of AADL’s Face­book page

Mauricelm-Lei Millere, an advi­sor to the New Black Pan­ther Party (NBPP), is using social media to call for the death of the police offi­cer who shot Michael Brown and for vio­lence against white peo­ple in gen­eral, inflam­ing the already tense sit­u­a­tion in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri.

On Sep­tem­ber 15, Millere, who is cur­rently in Fer­gu­son, posted an image of Offi­cer Dar­ren Wil­son on Face­book and wrote, “When you find Dar­ren Wil­son you know what to do! Who­ever finds him knows what must be done! Take every­thing that he took from Mike Brown.”

The day before, Millere posted on Face­book that Wil­son is “wanted Dead or Alive!” echo­ing calls made by the NBPP, the largest orga­nized anti-Semitic and racist Black mil­i­tant group in the coun­try, for the “dead or alive” cap­ture of George Zim­mer­man, the man who, in Feb­ru­ary 2012, shot and killed Trayvon Martin.

Millere also called for vio­lence against Mar­tin Baker, an African-American con­gres­sional can­di­date who pub­licly sup­ported due process for Dar­ren Wil­son. On Sep­tem­ber 11, Millere wrote that Baker “must be caught, beat, drug, and whipped to the point of see­ing the light for sup­port­ing white racist mur­derer Dar­ren Wilson…We must phys­i­cally beat this jig­ga­boo…” Later that day, Millere com­mented on his post, which included a photo of Baker: “Get a good look at this a**h**e. Find him, detain him, beat him, and await fur­ther instructions.”

In these Face­book posts, Millere lists his affil­i­a­tion as being with the African Amer­i­can Defense League (AADL), an orga­ni­za­tion Millere started on Sep­tem­ber 10, which unabashedly pro­motes vio­lence against white people.

On Sep­tem­ber 11, Millere wrote via the AADL’s Face­book pro­file, “The white­man wants your blood! How many of us has he killed and enslaved? Trillions!…We need the action that makes them pay atten­tion. An eye for an eye phi­los­o­phy! Arm your­self in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri and across Amer­ica! A life for a life!” He con­tin­ued, “Also, we must go to their com­fort­able neigh­bor­hoods and raid those stores. It is time to LOOT & BURN those stores…” The post’s image depicts a man hold­ing a rifle.

Millere changed the AADL’s Face­book pro­file pic­ture to a photo of a hand­gun on Sep­tem­ber 10 and wrote “Shoot 1st.” Millere sub­se­quently updated the AADL’s cover photo to a gun, and com­mented on the photo that, “There comes a time when one must do what is nec­es­sary beyond cost. Dr. Mauricelm-Lei Millere.”

Addi­tion­ally,Malik Zulu Shabazz, the for­mer NBPP leader and cur­rent leader of the Black Lawyers for Jus­tice who has a long his­tory of anti-Semitism and racism, appears to be involved with the AADL. On Sep­tem­ber 13, Millere posted that Shabazz is a board mem­ber of AADL and Shabazz responded pos­i­tively, say­ing that the he came up with the name and con­cept behind AADL but that he gave it to Millere. On Sep­tem­ber 14, Shabazz posted the fol­low­ing on AADL’s Face­book page: “Much suc­cess to the African Amer­i­can Defense League—The AADL. We need a broad based orga­ni­za­tion that will orga­nize to defend our hunan [sic] rights.”

While media reports some­times call Millere an NBPP “leader” and Millere describes him­self as a “Lead Advi­sor at Black Rid­ers Lib­er­a­tion Party, Lead Advi­sor and Lia­son [sic] at Black Pan­ther Party and Lead Advi­sor and Lia­son [sic] at New Black Pan­ther Party,” it is not clear exactly what role he plays with the NBPP. In Sep­tem­ber 2011, Millere and Shabazz appeared together at an event in Colum­bus, Ohio, and in Octo­ber 2010, Millere appears to have orga­nized an event for the “Arkansas New Black Pan­ther Party” in Lit­tle Rock.

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