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August 26, 2014

Claims That ISIS Has Jewish Roots Grow In Muslim World

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Cartoon published on Al-Iraq Agency News website

Several prominent public figures in parts of the Muslim World, including religious figures, elected officials and scholars, are promoting a conspiracy suggesting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)was created by the Jews and Zionists to tear Islam apart.

ISIS has engaged in a murderous terrorist campaign and has conquered significant territory stretching between Iraq and Syria over the past several months. In June it declared its advances to be the latest Caliphate and renamed itself the Islamic State.

The following are some examples that demonstrate the growing popularity of the absurd accusation that Jews and Israel are responsible for the creation and rise of ISIS.

  • August 7: The World Association for Al-Azhar Graduates, an umbrella group based in Egypt for scholars connected to Al-Azhar University, Egypt’s top religious authority, published a statement on its website describing how ISIS and other extremist groups are “[a] Jewish product under various names that change every now and then.” The statement cites the head of the association’s chapter in Pakistan, Sheik Sahib Zadeh Aziz, as saying, “The terrorist organization ISIS is a Zionist plot which aims to murder Muslims, shed their blood, and rape [their] women and girls.”
  • August 6: During an interview with Dijlah, an Iraqi-based satellite television station, popular scholar Ahmed al-Kubbaisi said, “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi [ISIS leader]…..is no more than a Jewish agent… and even Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of Wahhabism is a hundred percent Jewish product.” He added, “I am responsible for this statement before the lord. [I swear] by God, this is an organized Jewish movement to tear apart the Ummah [Islamic Nation] and it did tear it apart.” In response to his attack on the founder of Wahhabism, the official version of Islam implemented in Saudi Arabia and a number of other Arab-Gulf states, the Mufti of Saudi Arabia and other prominent scholars in the region attacked al-Kubbaisi for affiliating ibn Abd al-Wahhab with the Jews – an ultimate insult in the Arab world. Consequently, a Saudi lawyer submitted charges to the Dubai police, which submitted the complaint to the attorney general in Dubai.
  • August 4: Iran’s Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council, Mohsen Rezae, said during a TV interview with the Tehran-based Alalam TV that the “Zionist Entity” is behind ISIS. He said that because there is a small number of “Zionists” worldwide, they usually try to get rid of others by making them fight each other. “There is information that al-Baghdadi himself [ISIS leader] received training and instructions at the Israeli Entity,” Rezae said.
  • July 29: A prominent Shia’a cleric in Iraq, where ISIS has conquered significant territory over the past few months and killed many Shia’a Muslims, Ayatollah Sayed Mortada Al-Qazwini, reportedly described ISIS during an Eid sermon in Kerbala as “a Jewish Israeli organization, established to tear apart the land of Muslims.”

Several Arab newspapers and TV stations have also circulated a story claiming that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a Jewish Mossad agent by the name of Simon Elliot. This claim originally appeared in the anti-Semitic and conspiratorial American publication Veterans Today. In addition, an ad campaign against ISIS appearing on Afaq, an Iraqi satellite television station, showed a snake with the mark of ISIS coming out of the Jewish Star of David.

Even the notorious anti-Semitism of a group such as ISIS is not enough to prevent some in the Muslim world from claiming Jews are responsible for the ISIS reign of terror in Iraq and Syria.

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May 2, 2014

Adam Gadahn Issues New Video Threatening the U.S

Adam Gadahn, an American English-language spokesperson for Al Qaeda, has released a new video calling for attacks against the U.S.gadahn-egypt-video

The video, produced by As-Sahab media, the media wing of Al Qaeda’s central organization, is primarily directed at Egyptian youth, denouncing the current regime and calling for the imposition of Islamist governance. Although the video was in Arabic, it was produced with English subtitles.

The central portion of the video shifted focus to the U.S. Against footage of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Gadahn stated that the “coup in Egypt has confirmed the need to confront America…. It is essential to fight America. It is essential for every youth in Egypt to strive to emulate the martyred champion Muhammad Atta (among the 9/11 hijackers) and his magnificent companions, who sold themselves cheaply to Allah for their Ummah’s freedom, honor, and future. It is essential to wage Jihad against America and inflict slaughter on it…”

Gadahn also used the video to place blame for the coup that installed the current military government and “crimes against Islam and Muslims” on “the Jews and the crusaders.”  This follows a common theme of including anti-Semitic tropes in Al Qaeda propaganda.

Some indicative quotes include:

  • “This criminal Pharoanic clique [the current government] is nothing but the protector of the Jews and the agent of the western crusaders which lives on their handouts and bribes.”
  • “Power, force, arms, ammunition and leadership of armies must be in trustworthy Muslim hands not in the hands of the secular officers and hypocritical kigns and emirs who are the friends of the West and protectors of the Jews.”

Concluding footage in the video also included clips of the Boston Marathon bombing, fighting in Syria, and terrorism in Israel, including a brief video clip of Jews praying at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, followed by footage of an explosion.

Adam Gadahn has a long history of using online media to call for attacks on the U.S. In 2011, for example, he was featured in a video saying that, “Muslims in the West have to remember that they are perfectly placed to play an important and decisive part in the jihad against the Zionists and Crusaders and to do major damage to the enemies of Islam.”

This video adds to the proliferation of online media that frames Al Qaeda’s narrative in English for international consumption, encouraging international radicalization.

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April 10, 2014

Egyptian Government Website Includes Arabic Copy Of The Protocols

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Introduction page to the Protocols on the SIS website

An Arabic copy of the noto­ri­ous anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is available on the Egyptian government’s State Information Service (SIS) website.

The website is described as “Your gateway to Egypt” and is affiliated with the office of the President. “Egypt State Information Service is the nation’s ‎main informational, awareness and public relations agency. The SIS website was launched in 2009 and on 6/9/2012 a decree was issued to transfer the affiliation of (SIS) from the Ministry of Information to the Presidency of the Republic,” a statement on the website reads in part.  It is unclear when this PDF copy of the Protocols was posted to the SIS website

The book is an Arabic translation of the original Protocols by an Egyptian writer, Abbas el-Akkad. The book first appeared in the early 1960s and includes a warning to the reader that the Jews will fight this book anywhere it appears.

The website offers other publications and articles on Egypt’s culture, history and politics organized by sections. The Protocols, however, is available on the website without any classification or editorial language and can be accessed via a direct link or through a traditional search engine.

While anti-Semitism themes are not new in Egypt or to its elected officials, a government website providing access to the Protocols is a troubling reminder of just how steeped these narratives are in Egyptian society.

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