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February 17, 2015 1

New ADL Report: Homegrown Islamic Extremism In 2014

homegrown-terrorism-isis-imageThe rise of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its increas­ingly sophis­ti­cated social media com­mu­ni­ca­tion and recruit­ment strate­gies influ­enced a diverse group of peo­ple from around the world, includ­ing from the United States, through­out 2014.

The ADL’s new report, Home­grown Islamic Extrem­ism in 2014: The Rise of ISIS and Sus­tained Online Rad­i­cal­iza­tion, presents key find­ings and trends that result from ISIS’s increas­ing reach, and its ram­i­fi­ca­tions on domes­tic security.

The report describes how at least 17 Amer­i­can cit­i­zens and per­ma­nent res­i­dents moti­vated by the ide­ol­ogy prop­a­gated by ISIS and other Islamic ter­ror­ist groups over­seas were charged in 2014 with terror-related offenses.

Three oth­ers were iden­ti­fied as hav­ing died while fight­ing with ter­ror­ist groups abroad and an addi­tional five minors are believed to have attempted to join such groups but were not charged. Of these 25, nearly all engaged to some degree with online ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda and 19 are believed to have attempted to join or aid ISIS.

These indi­vid­u­als range in age from 15 to 44, with 11 in their twen­ties and 7 in their teens. At least one quar­ter were con­verts to Islam. 32% were women.

The report also draws on find­ings from pre­vi­ous years, not­ing for exam­ple that res­i­dents from 20 states have been charged in con­nec­tion with Islamic extrem­ism since 2012.

In addi­tion, the report describes the new phe­nom­e­non of crim­i­nal acts that have not been defined by author­i­ties as ter­ror­ism but that have been influ­enced by ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda – includ­ing mur­ders in New Jer­sey and Okla­homa and an attempted mur­der in New York in 2014.

Finally, it ana­lyzes cur­rent ter­ror­ist nar­ra­tives and recruit­ing tech­niques, includ­ing their use of social media to attract increas­ing num­bers of fol­low­ers and the way anti-Semitism is used to moti­vate recruits.

The full report is avail­able on the ADL web­site.

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December 17, 2014 1

Apparent Extremist Threatens Police Officers and a City Employee

brandon-gibbs

Bran­don D. Gibbs

Ear­lier this month, an appar­ent anti-government extrem­ist in Louisiana allegedly threat­ened to pep­per spray police offi­cers after they attempted to serve him with an arrest war­rant for pur­port­edly threat­en­ing a city employee.

On Decem­ber 2, Bran­don D. Gibbs, 29, of Gon­za­les, Louisiana, allegedly attempted to walk towards a police offi­cer with a pep­per spray can before offi­cers arrested Gibbs on aggra­vated assault, resist­ing an offi­cer, pos­ses­sion of mar­i­juana, unlaw­ful use of or in pos­ses­sion of body armor, in pos­ses­sion of nar­cotics and improper tele­phone com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Wear­ing a face mask, a hel­met with pep­per spray attached and a knife strapped to his full body amour suit, Gibbs barely opened his door and asked police offi­cers to show their hands before he walked out of his house at the time of his arrest. This inci­dent pre­sum­ably stemmed from a dis­agree­ment regard­ing his city water service.

Prior to his arrest, Gibbs report­edly called the city’s util­ity depart­ment and threat­ened a clerk for the department’s deci­sion to turn off his water after he didn’t pay his bill. Dur­ing the call, Gibbs pur­port­edly claimed that “if you come back on my prop­erty, I’m going to put a bul­let in a tire or in somebody’s head.”

Accord­ing to state­ments Gibbs made to police offi­cers and to activ­ity on his Face­book account, his actions towards law enforce­ment and pub­lic offi­cials appear to be influ­enced by anti-government extrem­ist beliefs. After police offi­cers charged Gibbs with resist­ing arrest in May 2013, he allegedly told offi­cers that he trained every week­end in Mau­repas, Louisiana, with a 500-person mili­tia on shoot­ing and mil­i­tary tech­niques. In one of his Face­book posts, Gibbs claimed that he stud­ied abroad “in @ home” to learn “empro­vised [sic] weapons spe­cial­izm [sic] and “hand to hand com­bat” in order “to defend myself and my land against any treat [sic]” and to “make your entinc­tions [sic] abso­lutly [sic] clear shoot to kill.” The likes on his Face­book page include eight dif­fer­ent mili­tias and he is part of the “Three Per­centers for Con­sti­tu­tional Troops and Law Enforce­ment” Face­book group, which har­bors anti-government extrem­ist beliefs.

For­mer mili­tia move­ment adher­ent Mike Van­der­boegh of Pin­son, Alabama, cre­ated the Three Per­cent con­cept in 2008, based on the belief that only three per­cent of Amer­i­cans will not dis­arm dur­ing a future rev­o­lu­tion against the alleged tyranny of the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment. The con­cept itself is based on a his­tor­i­cally incor­rect myth that only three per­cent of the Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tion fought against the British dur­ing the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion. In 2012, Geor­gia mili­tia man Fred­er­ick Thomas claimed that Vanderboegh’s on-line novel Absolved, a “tech­ni­cal man­ual” to over­throw the so-called total­i­tar­ian gov­ern­ment, inspired him to plot to kill gov­ern­ment employ­ees and blow up gov­ern­ment buildings.

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November 26, 2014 1

Arrested Black Panther Also Involved in Sovereign Citizen Movement

Fed­eral agents arrested two New Black Pan­ther Party mem­bers (NBPP) in St. Louis on Novem­ber 21, accus­ing Ola­ju­won Ali and Bran­don Bald­win of ille­gal straw pur­chases of hand­guns.  Some media have cited anony­mous sources alleg­ing that the pair also attempted to pur­chase pipe bombs.olajuwon-ali-document

One of the accused, Ola­ju­won Ali, 22, is the head of the NBPP’s St. Louis Chap­ter, but he also has been active in a very dif­fer­ent extrem­ist move­ment:  the anti-government “sov­er­eign cit­i­zen” movement.

The sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment has expe­ri­enced rapid recent growth, par­tic­u­larly in its Afro-centric “Moor­ish” off­shoot.  “Moor­ish” sov­er­eigns emerged in the mid-1990s when mem­bers of the Moor­ish Sci­ence Tem­ple (MST), a reli­gious sect, attempted to meld their beliefs with that of the sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment.  Sov­er­eign beliefs have since spread widely among MST adher­ents, and later to other African-Americans, bring­ing new adher­ents to what his­tor­i­cally has been con­sid­ered a right-wing extrem­ist movement.

Ali is typ­i­cal of many new recruits to the “Moor­ish” move­ment.  Although there is evi­dence that Ali may have encoun­tered sov­er­eign cit­i­zen ide­ol­ogy as early as 2010, when still a teenager, it was in April 2013 that he for­mally joined the move­ment, fil­ing an “Abju­ra­tion of Cit­i­zen­ship” doc­u­ment declar­ing him­self  an “aboriginal/indigenous, free Sov­er­eign Moor – Nat­ural Per­son of the Land.”

The doc­u­ment, as well as a Moor­ish iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card that Ali has used, appear to come from an influ­en­tial New Jersey-based Moor­ish group led by R. V. Bey.  One of the sig­na­tures on the doc­u­ment seems to be that of one of R. V. Bey’s promi­nent disciples.

Another sig­na­ture on Ali’s doc­u­ment belongs to Kusu ra Kush Bey, aka Chester Wil­son, a St. Louis-based Moor­ish sov­er­eign.  In the same month that Ali filed his “abju­ra­tion,” the FBI arrested Wil­son for his alleged involve­ment in a major multi-state car theft ring.

Ali him­self had a brush with the law only months after declar­ing his sov­er­eignty.  In June 2013, St. Louis police arrested Ali for tres­pass­ing, resist­ing arrest and dis­turb­ing the peace fol­low­ing an inci­dent in which Ali allegedly attempted to use a Moor­ish iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card at a con­ve­nience store to demand “tax-free” pur­chases.  Ali, tased dur­ing the inci­dent, later described his arrest as “unlaw­ful” and him­self as a “vic­tim of police brutality.”

Ali’s legal trou­bles took up much of his time, but he found a new source for activism fol­low­ing the fatal shoot­ing of Michael Brown in Fer­gu­son in August 2014.  That month, Ali, call­ing him­self a “Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and Law,” offered a “Lessons of Law Class (Post-Mike Brown)” to inform African-Americans of their “Con­sti­tu­tional, Uni­ver­sal Human, and Indige­nous Rights.”

The shoot­ing also gave Ali an oppor­tu­nity to join NBPP activism with Moor­ish activism.  On August 13, Ali com­posed a lengthy, sovereign-style “Affi­davit of Fact” directed to the mayor of Fer­gu­son  in which he asserted that claims the NBPP had encour­aged vio­lence were “false pro­pa­ganda [sic]” released by “Euro­pean owned” media sta­tions.  He also accused the city of Fer­gu­son with the “GENOCIDE AND MURDER OF Abo­rig­i­nal Indige­nous Amer­i­can Michael Brown Jr.”

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