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May 3, 2016 1

Medina Arrest Highlights Threats of Anti-Semitism in Islamic Extremism

James Medina

James Med­ina

James Gon­zalo Med­ina, a 40-year-old res­i­dent of Hol­ly­wood, Florida, was arrested on May 2, 2016, for allegedly plot­ting to use an explo­sive device in a Florida syn­a­gogue on Passover. Court doc­u­ments indi­cate that he wanted to leave a notice with the bomb attribut­ing the attack to ISIS.

Vio­lent expres­sions of anti-Semitism, includ­ing encour­age­ment of attacks against Jews and Jew­ish or Israeli insti­tu­tions, have been at the core of pro­pa­ganda dis­trib­uted by Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other Islamic extrem­ist ter­ror­ist groups for decades. Last year, the ADL released a report, “Anti-Semitism: A Pil­lar of Islamic Extrem­ist Ide­ol­ogy,” which describes the way in which ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions rely on depic­tions of a Jew­ish enemy to recruit fol­low­ers, moti­vate adher­ents and draw atten­tion to their cause.

Medina’s plot was never oper­a­tional because he had been work­ing closely with an under­cover infor­mant. ADL joined with the South Florida Mus­lim com­mu­nity in issu­ing a press state­ment con­demn­ing the plot, which is avail­able on the ADL web­site.

How­ever, Med­ina is not the first U.S. res­i­dent appar­ently moti­vated by Islamic extrem­ist ide­olo­gies to plot attacks against a syn­a­gogue. Oth­ers included New York res­i­dents Ahmed Fer­hani and Moham­mad Mam­douh, arrested in May 2011 for plot­ting to attack a syn­a­gogue in New York City and four New York res­i­dents who plot­ted to attack syn­a­gogues in the Bronx and to shoot down air­planes at a mil­i­tary base in New­burgh, New York in 2009.

More recently, there have been a num­ber of U.S. res­i­dents inspired by Islamic extrem­ist orga­ni­za­tions who con­sid­ered attack­ing Jew­ish or Israeli insti­tu­tions or oth­er­wise indi­cated that anti-Semitism was an impor­tant ele­ment of their ide­ol­ogy. They included:

  • Samy Mohamed Hamzeh, arrested in 2016 for allegedly attempt­ing to bomb a masonic tem­ple in Wis­con­sin, had ini­tially expressed inter­est in trav­el­ing to Israel to kill sol­diers and civil­ians in the West Bank, accord­ing to court doc­u­ments. He allegedly changed his plan for logis­ti­cal reasons.
  • Tairod Pugh, arrested for allegedly attempt­ing to join ISIS in 2015, wrote a Face­book post that stated, “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 Gd is Lucifer.” He also shared an image on Face­book that ref­er­enced blood libel accu­sa­tions, depict­ing Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu slit­ting the throats of sleep­ing children.
  • Nader Elhuza­yel, arrested in 2015 for allegedly attempt­ing to join ISIS, report­edly expressed excite­ment at the pos­si­bil­ity of ISIS attack­ing Israel. Court doc­u­ments claim that he wrote, “Look­ing for­ward to see some yahoodi (Jew­ish) heads rolling, or dead bod­ies car­ry­ing their own yahoodi heads, and jihadi john (iden­ti­fied as the beheader in sev­eral Screen­shot from Al Shabaab video call­ing for attacks on “Jewish-owned West­field shop­ping cen­ters” 9 ISIS videos) doing this stance on them…” as part of an Inter­net exchange in Decem­ber 2014.
  • Nadir Soofi, one of men who allegedly fired shots at a Gar­land, Texas com­mu­nity cen­ter in 2015, advanced con­spir­acy the­o­ries sug­gest­ing Jew­ish involve­ment in the Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001 attacks in online forums.
  • Christo­pher Lee Cor­nell, arrested in 2015 for allegedly plot­ting to bomb the U.S. capi­tol and shoot gov­ern­ment offi­cials, report­edly expressed a desire to attack the Israeli Embassy in an inter­view con­ducted in prison fol­low­ing his arrest.
  • Shan­non Mau­reen Con­ley, arrested in 2014 for allegedly attempt­ing to join ISIS, threat­ened a church in her home town repot­edly in part because of the church’s sup­port for Israel.
  • Basit Javed Sheikh, arrested for attempt­ing to join Jab­hat al Nusra (al Qaeda in Syria) in 2014, advanced a con­spir­acy the­ory on online forums that there was a Jew­ish con­spir­acy to pro­mote mod­er­ate Islam, which he viewed as inau­then­tic, over fun­da­men­tal­ist or extrem­ist views of Islam

The ADL pro­vides secu­rity resources for Jew­ish insti­tu­tions, includ­ing best prac­tices for Jew­ish Insti­tu­tional Secu­rity and a Guide to Detect­ing Sur­veil­lance of Jew­ish Insti­tu­tions. Indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions can con­tact their local ADL offices for more infor­ma­tion and resources, includ­ing requests for secu­rity train­ing or to sign up to receive ADL’s Secu­rity Bul­letins and Alerts.

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April 26, 2016 1

New ADL Resources for Safe and Respectful Schools

high school students and tabletsFears of extrem­ism, rad­i­cal­iza­tion and mass vio­lence in our schools have unfor­tu­nately become all too com­mon for edu­ca­tors and school admin­is­tra­tors across the United States. At the same time, infor­ma­tion that allows edu­ca­tors to under­stand the threat and leaves them equipped to address it with­out per­pet­u­at­ing biases and stereo­types is scarce. In order to fill this gap, the Anti-Defamation League and START (the National Con­sor­tium for the Study of Ter­ror­ism and Responses to Ter­ror­ism), have cre­ated a back­grounder pro­vid­ing accu­rate, empir­i­cally tested infor­ma­tion on under­stand­ing mass vio­lence and extrem­ism for edu­ca­tors and school administrators.

The new back­grounder is designed to enable edu­ca­tors to be bet­ter equipped to under­stand and appro­pri­ately respond to observ­able warn­ing signs and to imple­ment pro­grams that fos­ter safe school communities.

By com­bin­ing top­ics of mass vio­lence and vio­lent extrem­ism into one doc­u­ment, the back­grounder strives to pro­vide com­pre­hen­sive infor­ma­tion that is rel­e­vant as well as appro­pri­ate for all school dis­tricts. It empha­sizes the cre­ation of a three-pronged strat­egy to decrease risk for both rad­i­cal­iza­tion and mass vio­lence in schools, through:

  1. Aware­ness of observ­able warn­ing signs,
  2. Devel­op­ment of school pro­grams encour­ag­ing respect and inclu­sion, and
  3. Imple­men­ta­tion of cur­ricu­lum resources teach­ing stu­dents to be safe and con­sci­en­tious con­sumers of online material.

The doc­u­ment pro­vides fact-based evi­dence, empha­siz­ing a goal of pre­ven­tion rather than pre­dic­tion in order to ensure a wide safety net. At the same time, by high­light­ing the fact that feel­ings of iso­la­tion and mar­gin­al­iza­tion often play a pre­cip­i­tat­ing role in rad­i­cal­iza­tion and vio­lence, the doc­u­ment makes clear that pro­grams encour­ag­ing inclu­sion and dis­cour­ag­ing bias are at the core of any suc­cess­ful strat­egy for cre­at­ing safe schools.

In con­junc­tion with this back­grounder, ADL has also released a new Cur­rent Events Class­room les­son for high school stu­dents enti­tled Out­smart­ing Pro­pa­ganda: Com­bat­ting the Lure of Extrem­ist Recruit­ment Strate­gies. Pro­duced with addi­tional assis­tance from START, this cur­ricu­lum pro­vides the resources for stu­dents to uti­lize crit­i­cal think­ing when faced with pro­pa­ganda and mes­sag­ing they encounter online, increas­ing their abil­ity to rec­og­nize and resist extrem­ist pro­pa­ganda and recruit­ment strate­gies.  A par­al­lel resource for fam­i­lies, Pro­pa­ganda, Extrem­ism and Recruit­ment Tac­tics, guides adult fam­ily mem­bers in hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions with their chil­dren about ter­ror­ist exploita­tion of the Inter­net and online pro­pa­ganda – again, a cru­cial first step in ensur­ing that young peo­ple are less sus­cep­ti­ble to dan­ger­ous pro­pa­ganda and recruit­ment techniques.

As young peo­ple, par­ents and teach­ers are dis­cussing vio­lence, extrem­ism and ter­ror­ism, it is impor­tant that they don’t fall prey to stereo­typ­ing and scape­goat­ing that can some­times accom­pany these con­ver­sa­tions. In ADL’s anti-bias work, we pro­vide stu­dents with skills to under­stand the lan­guage of bias, be crit­i­cal thinkers, counter bias, big­otry and stereo­typ­ing and learn how to be an ally.

ADL has cre­ated a new web­page called Find­ing the Bal­ance: Coun­ter­ing Extrem­ism and Com­bat­ing Stereo­types that is designed to serve as a com­pre­hen­sive resource by pair­ing these new items with its exten­sive array of mate­ri­als for par­ents and teach­ers on teach­ing and dis­cussing ter­ror­ism, hate and vio­lence, big­otry, and scape­goat­ing, as well as resources for cre­at­ing inclu­sive, bias-free class­rooms. The new site also includes back­ground infor­ma­tion on extrem­ism and ter­ror­ism in the U.S. pro­duced by the ADL’s Cen­ter on Extrem­ism.

Together, these mate­ri­als will help to fill a cru­cial gap for both par­ents and edu­ca­tors by pro­vid­ing fact-based resources, cur­ric­ula, and back­grounders that can equip them to develop inclu­sive and safe schools, resis­tant to vio­lence and extrem­ism and respect­ful of all students.

 

 

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April 26, 2016 3

White Supremacists Feud Over the Racist Gender Gap

There is fight­ing and acri­mony between sup­port­ers of the two most vis­i­ble web­sites in the white suprema­cist movement—Stormfront and The Daily Stormer—over the role of white women. Andrew Anglin, the neo-Nazi who runs The Daily Stormer, has infu­ri­ated many white suprema­cist women by post­ing arti­cles on his site that attack white women. When a fan of Anglin’s recently asked on Storm­front why that web­site seemed to be delet­ing posts ref­er­enc­ing Daily Stormer arti­cles, his ques­tion elicited a flood of responses and high­lighted the love/hate rela­tion­ship that some male white suprema­cists have with their female counterparts.Anglin column on feminsim and third worldization

While most of the women who post on Storm­front advo­cate for tra­di­tional roles for women, which is the dom­i­nant white suprema­cist posi­tion, they are nev­er­the­less angry that Anglin actively attacks and belit­tles white women—whereas many other male white suprema­cists put white women on a pedestal as future sav­iors of the white race.

Anglin angers such women because he  not only attacks what he sees as “deviant” white women, but also posts arti­cles depict­ing them in provoca­tive sex­ual poses and hav­ing rela­tions with non-white men.  In an April 2015 arti­cle, Anglin posted a video that showed white women on spring break mak­ing out with non-white men and wrote that the video proved “that your worst enemy is not Jews, White Man, but your own females.”  He added that women “should be thank­ful they don’t lit­er­ally get locked in cages.” In addi­tion, Anglin often refers to women as bitches and sluts and blames them for a vari­ety of issues affect­ing white soci­ety.  From his many posts on the sub­ject, it is clear that Anglin is every bit as misog­y­nis­tic as he is racist and anti-Semitic, express­ing a deep con­tempt for women, even the movement’s pre­cious white women, at every turn.

The response to Anglin from women on Storm­front has been very vocal. In one thread, a woman using the screen name “Mir­ror Eyes” wrote that “all those anti-women types are the same. They share the white nation­al­ist views in the fact that they claim to be tra­di­tion­al­ists (yet have noth­ing but deroga­tory things to say about females…).” Storm­fron­ter “Pinkys­mom” added, “If peo­ple want to post Anglin’s emotional/butthurt/impotent rage against white women, fine. But I will con­tinue to post my views of his posts and I will make SF pol­icy vis­i­ble to all who care to read it.” In fact, Storm­front has rules that bar peo­ple from post­ing deroga­tory com­ments about women.

Some male Storm­front mem­bers have come out in sup­port of Anglin’s misog­yny, even whole­heart­edly prais­ing him.  Male Storm­fron­ter “Pil­tene” wrote, “I love Andrew Anglin. His opin­ions are pretty much right on the women… Fem­i­nism is a a can­cer on the White race.”

Oth­ers, such as “Laid­back­guy,” expressed sup­port of women. He com­mented, “I don’t judge a per­son on gen­der. You are either pro white or anti– white to me.” Another male Storm­fron­ter, “TSFH14,” wrote that “as long as [Anglin] con­tin­ues to write ven­omous attacks against our sis­ters, he is my enemy.” Many peo­ple were also furi­ous that Anglin him­self has self-admittedly had sex with non-white women in the past and accused him of being a trai­tor and a hypocrite.

Anglin has gone beyond merely speak­ing out against women.  Say­ing that the pur­pose of The Daily Stormer is to edu­cate men about the white nation­al­ist move­ment, Anglin has actu­ally banned women from pro­duc­ing con­tent for his site. He also posted a man­i­festo of sorts pre­sent­ing his views about lim­it­ing women’s involve­ment and input into the move­ment. Accord­ing to Anglin, his rea­son for doing so is that women are nat­u­rally amoral and emo­tional and are inca­pable of feel­ing empa­thy because they can switch it on and off, depend­ing on their needs. Anglin argues that women should not be allowed to vote and should be barred from male occu­pa­tions and that women’s role should only be to sup­port men. He also alleges that allow­ing equal­ity between the sexes leads to the fem­i­niza­tion of men.

It is appar­ent that Anglin’s views are influ­enced by the “manop­shere,” a loose asso­ci­a­tion of misog­y­nis­tic men’s rights groups that rail against women and fem­i­nism. Not sur­pris­ingly, Anglin adds an anti-Semitic twist, blam­ing Jews for pro­mot­ing fem­i­nism, declar­ing that it is “a mech­a­nism of Judaism.”

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