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January 16, 2015 1

Ohio Arrest Is First Islamic Extremism Related Plot Since 2013

Christopher Lee Cornell

Christo­pher Lee Cornell

Wednesday’s arrest of Christo­pher Lee Cor­nell, a 20-year-old U.S. cit­i­zen from Ohio, marked the first Islamic extremism-related arrest of 2015 and the first inci­dent of an attempted domes­tic ter­ror attack moti­vated by a rad­i­cal inter­pre­ta­tion of Islam since 2013.

Cor­nell is accused of attempt­ing to attack the U.S. Capi­tol build­ing by plant­ing and det­o­nat­ing pipe bombs at and near the build­ing and then using a semi-automatic rifle to increase casu­alty counts. The plot was the first since Decem­ber 2013, when Kansas res­i­dent Terry Lee Loewen allegedly attempted to bomb the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.

Cornell’s alleged plot comes at a time of increas­ing calls for vio­lence and home­grown extrem­ism by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria(ISIS), as well as the con­tin­ued influ­ence of Al Qaeda pro­pa­gan­dists includ­ing Anwar al-Awlaki and the power of social media in the mod­ern rad­i­cal­iza­tion process.  Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011, was an English-language spokesman for Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP).

Cor­nell was report­edly hop­ing to under­take his attack as a way to sup­port ISIS. This fits with cur­rent trends in extrem­ism: The vast major­ity of the iden­ti­fied Amer­i­cans known to have engaged with extrem­ism in 2014 sought to join or aid ISIS.

Cor­nell, who used the alias Raheel Mahrus Ubay­dah, Tweeted ISIS pro­pa­ganda and Awlaki quotes and appar­ently found jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for his alleged plot in the pro­pa­ganda mate­ri­als he accessed from ISIS and Anwar al-Awlaki.

Although ISIS lead­er­ship is cur­rently at odds with Al Qaeda lead­er­ship, the group still cites Awlaki as an ide­o­log­i­cal leader. It is not uncom­mon for appar­ent ter­ror­ist sup­ports online to share mate­ri­als from both includ­ing ISIS and AQAP despite fight­ing between the groups’ leadership.

Accord­ing to court doc­u­ments, Cor­nell claimed to have con­tacted mem­bers of ISIS in hopes that they would assist him in his efforts to attack the U.S. He also watched extrem­ist videos and used his com­puter to research bomb mak­ing instruc­tions and infor­ma­tion about how to pur­chase firearms, and he com­mu­ni­cated with an under­cover infor­mant he believed to be a co-conspirator using instant mes­sag­ing ser­vices. He told the infor­mant “I believe that we should just wage jihad under our own orders and plan attacks,” accord­ing to court documents.

Some of his appar­ent Tweets indi­cated sup­port for lone wolf attacks, includ­ing one that praised attacks in Canada by Mar­tin Rouleau Cou­ture and Michael Zehaf Bibeau stat­ing, “May Allah reward the broth­ers who fought and received Sha­hada (mar­tyr­dom) in Canada! May these recent attacks send ter­ror into the hearts of the kufr (disbelievers)!

Accord­ing to fam­ily mem­bers, Cor­nell had con­verted to Islam less than a year prior to his arrest.

Accord­ing to FBI Direc­tor James Comey, the FBI is cur­rently track­ing nearly 150 Amer­i­cans who trav­eled to Syria, “a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber” of whom went there to fight. Other reports have indi­cated that close to 90 addi­tional Amer­i­cans are believed to have died fight­ing or attempted to travel abroad to join extrem­ist groups but failed.

17 of the 22 indi­vid­u­als who have been pub­licly iden­ti­fied as engag­ing in ter­ror­ism in 2014 sought to join or aid ISIS.

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January 15, 2015 4

Anti-Immigrant Group Exploits MLK to Rail Against Immigration Reform

Cal­i­for­ni­ans for Pop­u­la­tion Sta­bi­liza­tion (CAPS), a Santa Barbara-based anti-immigrant group, launched a TV ad cam­paign that manip­u­lates Mar­tin Luther King, Jr.’s words in order to rail against Pres­i­dent Obama’s exec­u­tive action on immi­gra­tion. The Santa Barbara-based group began air­ing the ads on Jan­u­ary 13 on national cable net­works and local TV sta­tions in Los Angeles.

Joe Guzzardi

Joe Guz­zardi

In the press release announc­ing the 2015 ads, Joe Guz­zardi, CAPS national media direc­tor, claims that Pres­i­dent Obama’s poli­cies dis­pro­por­tion­ately harm minor­ity Amer­i­cans. Guzzardi’s expressed con­cern for minori­ties is ques­tion­able. Guz­zardi was an edi­tor and writer at the racist, anti-immigrant web­site VDARE until 2010. In addi­tion, in 2012, Guz­zardi pre­sented at The Social Con­tract Press (TSCP) Writ­ers Work­shop, which often fea­tures racist speak­ers. Racist John Tan­ton, the archi­tect of the mod­ern anti-immigrant move­ment founded TSCP and white suprema­cist Wayne Lut­ton edits TSCP’s jour­nal, The Social Con­tract. In addi­tion, CAPS appointed another racist, John Vin­son, as a senior writ­ing fel­low in 2013.

The CAPS ads imply that Pres­i­dent Obama’s efforts to pro­vide some undoc­u­mented immi­grants with work per­mits runs counter to Dr. King’s vision of racial equal­ity in Amer­ica. In real­ity, CAPS is exploit­ing the occa­sion of King’s birth­day to pro­mote intol­er­ance towards immi­grants who work and live in this coun­try. The ads stress that undoc­u­mented immi­grants are tak­ing away jobs from African-Americans and His­pan­ics in the United States. CAPS ran sim­i­lar ads around Mar­tin Luther King Day last year, as well.

Since 2013, CAPS has gone beyond pro­mot­ing its anti-immigrant agenda in Cal­i­for­nia and has moved on to the national stage. It has been one of the most active orga­ni­za­tions attempt­ing to derail immi­gra­tion reform. In addi­tion to ads men­tioned ear­lier, the group has run ads tar­get­ing politi­cians for their sup­port of immi­gra­tion reform.

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January 15, 2015 0

Anti-Semitic Conspiracies Continue In Aftermath Of Paris Attacks

Con­spir­acy the­o­ries blam­ing Jews and Israel for the ter­ror attack at the Char­lie Hebdo office in Paris con­tinue to sur­face in the U.S. and abroad.

In addi­tion to pre­vi­ously reported exam­ples, recent instances of Amer­i­can anti-Semites exploit­ing the tragedy to pro­mote hatred for Jews include:

Brandon Martinez's on Press TV

Press TV’s report­ing on the attacks

  • Paul Craig Roberts, an anti-Semitic syn­di­cated colum­nist, wrote an arti­cle on his per­sonal web­site claim­ing that there are sus­pi­cions “that the French shoot­ings are a false flag oper­a­tion.” Roberts iden­ti­fied sev­eral rea­sons for this, includ­ing “to sti­fle the grow­ing Euro­pean sym­pa­thy for the Pales­tini­ans and to realign Europe with Israel.”
  • On Jan­u­ary 14, in an arti­cle in the Nation of Islam’s The Final Call, Assis­tant Edi­tor Asha­hed Muham­mad cited a piece by Kevin Bar­rett titled “Paris Char­lie Hebdo Attack: Another Zion­ist False Flag?” and Paul Craig Roberts to claim that events in France could have been a false flag operation.
  • On Press TV, Iran’s English-language satel­lite news net­work, in a Jan­u­ary 13 arti­cle titled “Ana­lyst won­ders whether Cahrlie [sic] Hebdo mas­sacre was staged,” Bran­don Mar­tinez blamed “Zion­ists” for a num­ber of the world’s evils. For exam­ple, Mar­tinez wrote that Al-Qaeda and ISIS are “all out­growths of the same poi­so­nous American-Zionist impe­r­ial tree.”
  • On Jan­u­ary 12, on Vet­er­ans Today, a U.S.-based web­site that presents anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries as news, Senior Edi­tor Gor­don Duff pub­lished an arti­cle titled “Did Netanyahu Give France Their 9/11?” In the arti­cle, he describes the attacks as a “comic opera of care­lessly staged false flag ter­ror­ism” car­ried out by “the Mossad and the crim­i­nal banks, part of the pro-Israeli ISIS organization.”

Inter­na­tion­ally, sim­i­lar con­spir­acy the­o­ries have been pub­lished in some media out­lets and been pro­moted by var­i­ous individuals:

Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek

Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek blam­ing Mossad for the attacks

  • Turkey: Accord­ing to a report from Anadolu News Agency cir­cu­lat­ing in the Turk­ish media, Ankara’s Mayor, Melih Gokcek accused Israel of being behind the Paris attacks. He made his state­ment dur­ing a con­fer­ence by the Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Party (AK Party) on Jan­u­ary 13. He claimed Israel was annoyed with the lower house of the French Par­lia­ment for vot­ing for the recog­ni­tion of a Pales­tin­ian state and with France’s vote in favor of a United Nations Secu­rity Coun­cil (UNSC) res­o­lu­tion call­ing for the same recog­ni­tion. “Israel cer­tainly doesn’t want this sen­ti­ment to expand in Europe. That is why it is cer­tain that Mossad is behind these kinds of inci­dents. Mossad inflames Islam­o­pho­bia by caus­ing such inci­dents,” Gokcek said.
  • Egypt: A for­eign affairs ana­lyst at Al Wafd daily news­pa­per was cited in a report by the paper on Jan­u­ary 12 as stat­ing: “The Israeli Mossad is behind the ter­ror­ist attack against Char­lie Hebdo French news­pa­per.” He added, “The Mossad planned the oper­a­tion, and pro­vided the attack­ers with weapons, and most likely the plan­ning of the oper­a­tion was done in the same Jew­ish [gro­cery] store which the attack­ers went to later.”
  • Egypt: Mohammed Tew­fik, a jour­nal­ist and for­mer mem­ber of the mil­i­tant al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, accused the Mossad of being involved in the Char­lie Hebdo attacks. His accu­sa­tions were included in a state­ment pub­lished by the Egypt-based Albawabh news web­site, on Jan­u­ary 12. Tew­fik stated, “The fast reac­tion by Israel to the attack, and Netanyahu’s trip to France, his request for France’s Jews to immi­grate to Israel, and his call to  estab­lish a new inter­na­tional coali­tion against Islamic ter­ror­ism, are likely [indi­ca­tions] of a Mossad involve­ment in this crime and an attempt to stick it to the Muslims.”

Anti-Semites have pro­moted such absurd the­o­ries to explain events in Syria, the Boston Marathon bomb­ing, the Sandy Hook Mas­sacre, and the 9/11 ter­ror­ist attacks. In the Mid­dle East, there are those that claim that ISIS and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood have secret alliances with the Jews or that the Jews cre­ated such ter­ror­ist groups for nefar­i­ous purposes.

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