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March 18, 2015 2

NJ Man Arrested For Trying to Join ISIS Espoused Anti-Semitism Online

Tairod Pugh

Tairod Pugh

A New Jer­sey man, indicted yes­ter­day for attempt­ing to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), marks the 12th U.S. res­i­dent charged with sup­port­ing or join­ing Islamic extrem­ism this year and demon­strates the pres­ence of anti-Semitism and role of online pro­pa­ganda in the rad­i­cal­iza­tion process.

Tairod Nathan Web­ster Pugh is a U.S. cit­i­zen and for­mer air force mechanic from Nep­tune, NJ. He allegedly attempted to travel to join ISIS in Jan­u­ary but was detained and sent back to the U.S. by Egypt­ian offi­cials. Pugh was arrested on Jan­u­ary 16, 2015, upon his return to the U.S., but the charges were made pub­lic fol­low­ing yesterday’s indictment.

Pugh’s Face­book pro­file included mul­ti­ple anti-Semitic and anti-Israel posts as well as posts sup­port­ing Hamas.

In July 2014, Pugh wrote a post that stated, in part, “All the evil done by the Jews came from within them­selves. On the day of Judg­ment full respon­si­bil­ity of the starv­ing, tor­ture, jail­ing and killing of inno­cent Mus­lims will rest upon there (sic) shoul­ders. Allah must really hate them to give the rope to hang them­selves,” and posted an image with text stat­ing, “Most Jews do not like to admit it, but our G-d is Lucifer.” In August 2014, he shared an image that ref­er­enced blood libel accu­sa­tions, depict­ing Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu slit­ting the throats of sleep­ing children.

Pugh also posted sev­eral car­toons equat­ing Jews, Israel or Zion­ists to Nazis, as well as mul­ti­ple images claim­ing to depict Israeli war crimes.

An anti-Semitic post on Tairod Pugh's Facebook page.

An anti-Semitic post on Tairod Pugh’s Face­book page.

Although Pugh did not pub­licly post his sup­port for ISIS, he did share a quote by ter­ror pro­pa­gan­dist Anwar al-Awlaki in August 2014. Awlaki is fre­quently cited as an inspi­ra­tion for extrem­ism by Amer­i­cans who have been linked to terrorism.

Pugh allegedly also used his com­puter to research join­ing ISIS and watch ISIS pro­pa­ganda videos. An inves­ti­ga­tion report­edly found that he had used the inter­net to search for the terms, “bor­ders con­trolled by Islamic state,” “who con­trols kobani (a city that has been con­tested by ISIS),” “kobani bor­der cross­ing,” and “jarablus bor­der cross­ing,” and the feature-film length ter­ror pro­pa­ganda video “Flames of War,” which depicts and apoc­a­lyp­tic strug­gle between ISIS and the West. He had also allegedly viewed a chart of cross­ing points between Turkey and Syria and had down­loaded at least one ISIS exe­cu­tion video, along with other ISIS videos.

Addi­tional Face­book posts by Pugh demon­strated anti-U.S. sen­ti­ment. One post from August 2014, taken from Iran­ian con­trolled media out­let Press TV, depicted pro­test­ers burn­ing an effigy of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama. A post ear­lier that month included an arti­cle that Pugh wrote describ­ing “the rape of a Mus­lim woman by the Amer­i­can forces.” Accord­ing to media reports, some Face­book posts not pub­licly avail­able also expressed Pugh’s desire to never return to the U.S.

Pugh also shared images prais­ing the ter­ror group Hamas. In August 2014, he shared an appar­ent image of Hamas mil­i­tants “returned safely after 21 days of siege.” In July 2014, he shared a photo of Hamas mil­i­tants with the cap­tion, “Thank you! You make us proud …”

The 12 U.S. res­i­dents charged with Islamic extrem­ism related ter­ror offenses this year have been arrested in 7 dif­fer­ent states includ­ing New Jer­sey, New York, Illi­nois, Ohio, Vir­ginia, Indi­ana and Mis­souri. Pugh is also the 31st Amer­i­can res­i­dent pub­licly linked to ISIS since 2014.

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March 6, 2015 1

VA Arrest Raises Total Of Americans Linked To ISIS Since 2014 To 30

isis-fighters

ISIS mil­i­tants

The arrest of a 17-year-old Vir­ginia teenager on charges that he had sup­ported the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) brings the num­ber of Amer­i­can cit­i­zens and res­i­dents pub­licly iden­ti­fied as linked with ISIS since Jan­u­ary 2014 to 30.

The teenager, who has not been named, allegedly helped another man travel to Syria to join ISIS, at least in part, by using online resources and the help of online contacts.

He is one of eight Amer­i­can teenagers alleged to have attempted to pro­vide sup­port for ISISin the past two years. The oth­ers included 19-year-old Mohamed Hamzah Khan and his two unnamed sib­lings, aged 16 and 17, from Chicago who attempted to join ISIS, three unnamed girls aged 15, 16 and 17, from Den­ver, who attempted to join ISIS and Shan­non Mau­reen Con­ley, a 19-year-old Den­ver woman who, in a sep­a­rate inci­dent, also attempted to join ISIS.

In total, 11 U.S. cit­i­zens and res­i­dents have been linked with ISIS in 2015, with arrests made in Vir­ginia, New York, Mis­souri, Indi­ana, Illi­nois and Ohio.

Nine­teen were believed to have attempted to join or aid ISIS – or died while fight­ing with the group – in 2014.

Ear­lier this month, ISIS claimed via social media accounts and radio broad­casts that another Amer­i­can, who went by the nom de guerre Abu Daud al Amriki, died as part of a sui­cide attack.  His death and iden­tity are still unconfirmed.

These indi­vid­u­als com­prise only a frac­tion of the total num­ber of Amer­i­cans believed to have joined or attempted to join or aid ISIS. National Intel­li­gence Direc­tor James Clap­per said cur­rent esti­mates indi­cate that about 180 Amer­i­cans have attempted to join the fight in Syria. It is unclear how many of those Amer­i­cans attempted to join ISIS, as opposed to other mil­i­tant groups.

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February 25, 2015 0

ISIS Related Arrests In Brooklyn Raise 2015 Total To 10

Saidakhmetov promoted pro-ISIS sentiment on his apparent Google Plus profile

Saidakhme­tov, one of the men arrested, pro­moted pro-ISIS sen­ti­ment on his appar­ent Google Plus profile

Update — 4/7/2015: A fourth Brook­lyn res­i­dent, Dilkhayot Kasi­mov, was also charged in this case on April 6, 2015.

Yesterday’s arrest of three New York City men under­scores the per­sis­tent influ­ence of ISIS pro­pa­ganda on indi­vid­u­als resid­ing in the U.S. and the related threat to domes­tic security.

Abdura­sul Juraboev, a 24-year-old per­ma­nent U.S. res­i­dent with Uzbek cit­i­zen­ship, and Akhror Saidakhme­tov, a 19-year-old U.S. per­ma­nent res­i­dent with Kazakh cit­i­zen­ship, both cur­rently resid­ing in Brook­lyn, allegedly attempted to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and dis­cussed the pos­si­bil­ity of domes­tic attacks if they were unable to do so. Abror Habi­bov, a 30-year-old Brook­lyn res­i­dent with Uzbek cit­i­zen­ship, allegedly pro­vided the two with funds and encouragement.

All three were arrested last night; one at JFK Air­port while attempt­ing to board a flight to Turkey.

Accord­ing to the FBI, the men spent time online either express­ing sup­port for ISIS or watch­ing the ter­ror­ist group’s propaganda.

A Google Plus page that appears to have been cre­ated by Saidakhme­tov includes a video called “Hon­ored Sheikh inside Syria invite[s] Mus­lims to work for Khi­lafah and imple­ment HT’s con­sti­tu­tion.” Khi­lafah is Ara­bic for Caliphate, a ref­er­ence to ISIS. HT stands for Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamist orga­ni­za­tion that pro­motes theo­cratic gov­er­nance. Hizb ut-Tahrir is not allied with ISIS, but the sen­ti­ment con­veyed in the video was sup­port­ive of ISIS’s goals.

Accord­ing to court doc­u­ments, Juraboev was also allegedly recruited online by an ISIS sup­porter resid­ing in Iraq, to whom he said “I need to sneak out of here with extreme cau­tion with­out being noticed.”

In August, accord­ing to the com­plaint, Juraboev wrote a post on an Uzbek-language pro-ISIS web­site ask­ing “is it pos­si­ble to com­mit our­selves [to ISIS] as ded­i­cated mar­tyrs any­way while here [in the U.S.]? What I’m say­ing is, to shoot Obama and then get shot our­selves, will it do? That will strike fear in the hearts of infidels.”

Saidakhme­tov expressed his intent to attack law enforce­ment.  Accord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint, he stated “it is legal in Amer­ica to carry a gun. We will go and pur­chase one handgun…then go and shoot one police offi­cer…. Then we will go to the FBI head­quar­ters, kill the FBI peo­ple…” The men also allegedly dis­cussed plant­ing a bomb on Coney Island.

The arrests in Brook­lyn fol­low the arrest, also yes­ter­day, of Abdi­rah­man Sheik Mohamud a 23-year-old U.S. cit­i­zen from Ohio. Mohamud is sub­ject to an ongo­ing inves­ti­ga­tion and was not linked to any par­tic­u­lar ter­ror­ist group; court doc­u­ments allege he sent funds and trav­elled to a “Mid­dle East­ern ter­ror­ist group.”

To date, 10 U.S. res­i­dents have been arrested on Islamic extremist-related ter­ror charges in 2015. The oth­ers include Christo­pher Lee Cor­nell, a 25-year-old U.S. cit­i­zen from Ohio, and six indi­vid­u­als of Bosn­ian descent –U.S. cit­i­zens and refugees resid­ing in Mis­souri, Illi­nois and New York – accused of aid­ing ISIS.

Last year, 19 U.S. cit­i­zens and per­ma­nent res­i­dents were iden­ti­fied as hav­ing joined or attempt­ing to join or aid ISIS.

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