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August 5, 2015

New AQAP Video Calls for Attacks Against the U.S.

AQAP propaganda video calls for attacks against U.S.

AQAP propaganda video calls for attacks against U.S.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has released a new video praising recent terror attacks in Western countries and calling for additional attacks against the U.S. The video, which demonstrates Al Qaeda’s continued commitment to attacks against the West, comes as policymakers continue to debate whether the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Al Qaeda serves as a greater threat to domestic security.

In the video, AQAP official Abu al-Miqdad al Kindi, who is the speaker throughout the video, calls for attacks against America, stating, “Oh Mujahideen (fighters) in every corner of the world, I urge you on America…direct your spears towards them.” He also urges viewers to read Inspire magazine, AQAP’s English-language propaganda magazine, for instructions, stating:

“And to the warriors of Lone Jihad, may Allah bless and guide your efforts….Set your goals with precision and focus your strikes on the enemy’s joints. And after seeking help from Allah, seek guidance and instruction from Inspire Magazine. For indeed it presents practical and efficient guidance. It places important directions in assuring the success of lone Jihad in achieving planned goals.”

In the video, Al-Kindi specifically praises attacks in response to drawings depicting Muhammad, including the attack against the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris (whose perpetrators had allegedly trained with AQAP) and the attack against a Garland, TX ‘Draw Mohammad contest,’ (whose perpetrators had allegedly been inspired by ISIS).

He also describes the recent shooting at military institutions in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as “a blessed jihadi operation,” which he says demonstrates that, “lone jihad has proven to be and will always prove to be a strategic weapon successfully hitting and penetrating the enemy’s fort.”

Al-Kindi also argues that legislation aimed at preventing Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism in European countries legitimates violent attacks against Western targets perceived as defaming Islam and Muhammad; in so doing, it also appears to validate Holocaust revisionism:

America, France, and other Kufr nations are the ones who assist and make legislations (sic) to protect those who abuse Islam and the Prophets, the same nations which legislate and punish whomever questions the Holocaust but rather anyone who questions the authenticity of the statistics. It does not matter if the criticism came from a researcher or a historian. These are the same nations led by America, implementing laws that will empower them to place the world under watch in order to identify who is ‘anti-Semitic’ (anti-Semitism laws) which are not bounded by their freedom of expression. And as you put limits to freedom of expression and punish whomever goes against them, it is upon us to punish whoever transgresses our boundaries and sanctities.”

The video was released this morning on the Twitter feed associated with Al Malehem Media, the media wing of AQAP. The Twitter account has been active since April and has over 6,000 followers.

Only three of the 58 U.S. residents linked to terrorism in 2015 appear to have been inspired to act by or on behalf of Al Qaeda; the remaining 55 allegedly acted in support of ISIS, although a number of them had allegedly read or watched both Al Qaeda and ISIS propaganda.

This video was released less than a week after a letter attributed to AQAP bomb-maker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri that also called for attacks on the U.S. was posted to Twitter.

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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:

terrorism-update-icon

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May 26, 2015

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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