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May 2, 2014 0

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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April 9, 2014 0

Terrorist Groups Continue To Flock To Twitter

The recent launch of Twit­ter accounts by the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), a media orga­ni­za­tion affil­i­ated with Al Qaeda, and Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP) under­scores the con­tin­ued abil­ity of ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions to influ­ence and poten­tially recruit fol­low­ers worldwide.aqap-twitter

GIMF’s Twit­ter feed, which was re-launched in Feb­ru­ary 2014, is pri­mar­ily in Ara­bic and includes a mix of offi­cial state­ments and links to pro­pa­ganda mate­ri­als. It has gained 1,533 fol­low­ers. One of the recent tweets included a link to an English-language video series called “Mujahideen Moments” that pro­motes mil­i­tant activity.

The AQAP Twit­ter feed was re-launched in late March 2014. The feed, which now has 3,406 fol­low­ers, is in Ara­bic and includes pic­tures of mil­i­tants and offi­cial state­ments from AQAP.

AQAP has been par­tic­u­larly adept at spread­ing its mes­sage online. Inspire mag­a­zine, its online English-language pub­li­ca­tion, has influ­enced many extrem­ists and would-be extrem­ists. Inspire came out with its twelfth issue in March 2014, which called for car bomb attacks on major U.S. cities.

The use of Twit­ter by For­eign Ter­ror­ist Orga­ni­za­tions first made head­lines in Decem­ber 2011 when Al Shabaab, a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion in Soma­lia that for­mally merged with Al Qaeda in Feb­ru­ary 2012, began tweeting.

ADL recently released a new report, Home­grown Islamic Extrem­ism in 2013: The Per­ils of Online Recruit­ment &Self-Radicalization, ana­lyzing the rise of ter­ror­ist use of online plat­forms and the effects and impact that use has on domes­tic security.

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April 4, 2014 0

Online Terrorist Propaganda & The Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary

boston-marathon-bombing-anniversary-inspire-online-terrorism

Com­mem­o­ra­tive graphic of Boston bomber Tamer­lan Tsar­naev in Inspire magazine

In the year since the Boston Marathon bomb­ing, which resulted in three deaths and over 260 injuries, ter­ror­ists groups that jus­tify and sanc­tion vio­lence have inten­si­fied their efforts to reach, recruit and moti­vate home­grown extrem­ists by adapt­ing their mes­sages to new technology.

Ter­ror­ist groups and their sup­port­ers are not only using social media and other Inter­net plat­forms to spread their mes­sages more quickly and effec­tively than ever before, but also to recruit adher­ents who live in the com­mu­ni­ties they seek to target.

A new ADL report, Home­grown Islamic Extrem­ism in 2013: The Per­ils of Online Recruit­ment & Self-Radicalization, explores the impact sophis­ti­cated ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda has had on a new gen­er­a­tion of home­grown extrem­ists. Face-to-face inter­ac­tion with ter­ror­ist oper­a­tives, the report con­cludes, is no longer a require­ment for radicalization.

Inspire mag­a­zine, for exam­ple, which is designed to engage and recruit sym­pa­thiz­ers in the U.S., has become a sta­ple of domes­tic ter­ror­ism, pro­vid­ing ide­o­log­i­cal jus­ti­fi­ca­tions encour­ag­ing attacks on U.S. soil as well as var­i­ous sug­gested meth­ods of attack. Inspire con­tained the very bomb-making instruc­tions that were used by the alleged Boston Bombers to con­struct their bombs in an arti­cle called “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.”

The newest issue of Inspire, released last month, pro­vides detailed instruc­tions on how to build car bombs and includes sug­ges­ted loca­tions for where to plant them in var­i­ous U.S. cities. The author notes, “The Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment was unable to pro­tect its cit­i­zens from pres­sure cooker bombs in back­packs, I won­der if they are ready to stop car bombs!”

The ADL report also explores the other Amer­i­can cit­i­zens and per­ma­nent res­i­dents impli­cated in the U.S. on terror-related charges in 2013 and over the past five years, not­ing how many were directly influ­enced by ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda eas­ily acces­si­ble online.

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