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May 28, 2015

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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April 24, 2015

Adam Gadahn, American Al Qaeda Spokesman, Reported Dead

Adam GadahnOn Thursday, the White House announced that Adam Gadahn, an American spokesman for Al Qaeda, was killed in a January drone strike. Although less visible in recent years, Gadahn was at the forefront of creating English-language terrorist propaganda – an initiative that has evolved into a sophisticated recruitment and radicalization mechanism.

Gadahn’s death comes as English-language propaganda released by terrorist organizations is influencing an ever increasing number of Americans to join extremist organizations. As of this date, thirty-one people living in the U.S. have been implicated in terrorism motivated by Islamic extremism in 2015 alone, a significant increase from the total number of arrests in 2014 and in 2013.

Later American propagandists for Al Qaeda affiliates, such as Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, founders of Inspire magazine who were killed in a drone strike in 2011, have become more influential than Gadahn in extremist circles. And as online technology has advanced, groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have dramatically increased the reach and influence of English-language calls to violence.

Gadahn, however, was not only the first American to incite extremism on behalf of Al Qaeda, but presumably until his death remained the primary English-language spokesman for Al Qaeda’s Central organization.

Gadahn’s first propaganda piece for Al Qaeda was an audio translation of an Osama bin Laden speech. In 2004, he began to appear in videos using the nom de guerre Azzam Al-Amriki and to promote attacks against the U.S.

In the ensuing years, he released multiple videos that reflected his anti-Semitic and anti-Christian views and were marked by threats against America and its allies.

Gadahn also called for lone-wolf attacks. In a 2011 video, he stated, “America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms” and that listeners can “go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle without a background check and most likely without having to show an identification card.”  He concluded, “So what are you waiting for?”

Gadahn’s most recent video was released in May 2014. Like his previous statements, it featured calls for attacks against the U.S. as well as anti-Semitic rhetoric and concluded with clips of the Boston Marathon bomb­ing, fight­ing in Syria, and ter­ror­ism in Israel, includ­ing a brief video clip of Jews pray­ing at the West­ern Wall, Judaism’s holi­est site, fol­lowed by footage of an explosion.

Gadahn was also featured in an interview in the March 2013 issue of Inspire magazine, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)’s English-language propaganda magazine. In it, he called on his fellow propagandists to “make every effort to reach out to Mus­lims both through new media like Face­book and Twit­ter as well as the tra­di­tional broad­cast and print media.” Gadahn also used the interview to call for attacks against “Amer­ica and its NATO part­ners, par­tic­u­larly France and Britain.”

Gadahn was born in Oregon in 1978 and grew up in California. He converted to Islam as a teenager and allegedly grew radicalized shortly thereafter. In the late 1990s, Gadahn traveled to Pakistan and joined Al Qaeda.

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May 2, 2014

Adam Gadahn Issues New Video Threatening the U.S

Adam Gadahn, an American English-language spokesperson for Al Qaeda, has released a new video calling for attacks against the U.S.gadahn-egypt-video

The video, produced by As-Sahab media, the media wing of Al Qaeda’s central organization, is primarily directed at Egyptian youth, denouncing the current regime and calling for the imposition of Islamist governance. Although the video was in Arabic, it was produced with English subtitles.

The central portion of the video shifted focus to the U.S. Against footage of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Gadahn stated that the “coup in Egypt has confirmed the need to confront America…. It is essential to fight America. It is essential for every youth in Egypt to strive to emulate the martyred champion Muhammad Atta (among the 9/11 hijackers) and his magnificent companions, who sold themselves cheaply to Allah for their Ummah’s freedom, honor, and future. It is essential to wage Jihad against America and inflict slaughter on it…”

Gadahn also used the video to place blame for the coup that installed the current military government and “crimes against Islam and Muslims” on “the Jews and the crusaders.”  This follows a common theme of including anti-Semitic tropes in Al Qaeda propaganda.

Some indicative quotes include:

  • “This criminal Pharoanic clique [the current government] is nothing but the protector of the Jews and the agent of the western crusaders which lives on their handouts and bribes.”
  • “Power, force, arms, ammunition and leadership of armies must be in trustworthy Muslim hands not in the hands of the secular officers and hypocritical kigns and emirs who are the friends of the West and protectors of the Jews.”

Concluding footage in the video also included clips of the Boston Marathon bombing, fighting in Syria, and terrorism in Israel, including a brief video clip of Jews praying at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, followed by footage of an explosion.

Adam Gadahn has a long history of using online media to call for attacks on the U.S. In 2011, for example, he was featured in a video saying that, “Muslims in the West have to remember that they are perfectly placed to play an important and decisive part in the jihad against the Zionists and Crusaders and to do major damage to the enemies of Islam.”

This video adds to the proliferation of online media that frames Al Qaeda’s narrative in English for international consumption, encouraging international radicalization.

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