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November 1, 2013 1

Revolution Muslim Leader Who Threatened Jews Pleads Guilty

Yousef al-Khattab, the co-founder and for­mer leader of Rev­o­lu­tion Mus­lim (RM) pleaded guilty on Thurs­day to using the inter­net to threaten Jew­ish organizations.yousef-al-khattab-guilty

Al-Khattab is the third mem­ber of RM to plead guilty for mak­ing online threats in the past few years, bring­ing the fringe anti-Semitic Mus­lim orga­ni­za­tion that jus­ti­fied ter­ror­ist attacks and other forms of vio­lence for many years one step closer to its demise.

RM was mostly active in New York until the end of 2010, after which it was shut down and began oper­at­ing as Islam Pol­icy.

Al-Khattab, a.k.a. Joseph Leonard Cohen, cofounded RM in 2007 with Younes Abdul­lah Muham­mad, and served as the group’s amir (leader) and “chief exec­u­tive offi­cer” until Decem­ber 2009, when he announced that he was mov­ing to Tetouan, Morocco.

The extent of Al-Khattab’s threats against the Jew­ish com­mu­nity on the RM site was jar­ring. They included a video encour­ag­ing view­ers to seek out the lead­ers of Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tion chap­ters in the U.S. and “deal with them directly at their homes;” direc­tions to spe­cific Jew­ish facil­i­ties along­side a link to a man­ual for con­struct­ing and using explo­sive devices and a mes­sage encour­ag­ing read­ers to “make EVERY attempt to reach these peo­ple and teach them the mes­sage of Islam;” and a poem list­ing ways that Jews can be hurt includ­ing throw­ing “liq­uid drain cleaner in their faces” and burn­ing “their flam­ma­ble sukkos while they sleep.”

Through its web­site, YouTube chan­nel and asso­ci­ated online forums, RM was asso­ci­ated with a num­ber of promi­nent and lesser known home­grown ter­ror­ists includ­ing Zachary Chesser, Samir Khan, Jose Pimentel, Car­los Eduardo Almonte, Mohamed Mah­mood Alessa, and Colleen LaRose (“Jihad Jane”).

Al-Khattab was born in New York where he was raised as an obser­vant Jew. He later lived in Israel.  He claims that he con­verted to Islam fol­low­ing a series of online con­ver­sa­tions focus­ing on rejec­tion of Judaism and hatred of Jews.

Hours after his plea deal, Al-Khattab posted a mes­sage on his Face­book page stat­ing that “My for­mer views do NOT rep­re­sent Islam,” call­ing those views “dis­gust­ing,” ask­ing for for­give­ness, and advis­ing Mus­lim youth to “avoid the books of Ibn Taymiah, Muham­mad Abdul Wha­hab, [Islamist ide­o­logues] and any­one that sup­ports them.”

Last year, al-Khattab released a 20-minute video on YouTube express­ing his belief that he will be arrested and defend­ing the state­ments he has issued online over the years.

The other lead­ers of RM, You­nis Abdul­lah Muham­mad and Zachary Chesser, were sen­tenced to prison in 2012 and 2011 respectively.

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April 9, 2013 2

Electronic Jihad Targets Israel On Holocaust Remembrance Day

As Israelis and Jews pre­pared to com­mem­o­rate Holo­caust Remem­brance Day, var­i­ous hacker groups launched a cam­paign on Sun­day to “wipe Israel off the Internet.”

While described by some hack­ers as an attack against Israel for its treat­ment of the Pales­tini­ans, the cam­paign was specif­i­cally timed with Holo­caust Remem­brance Day and has fea­tured strong anti-Semitic rhetoric, includ­ing Holo­caust denial.

For exam­ple, a group call­ing itself Anony­mous Arab posted an Arabic-language YouTube video on April 6 call­ing for the removal the ‘Zion­ist Entity’ from the inter­net.” The video says there is “no proof” that the Holo­caust took place – “you have fab­ri­cated with your part­ners” — and that Israel is “unwor­thy to exist in your cur­rent form.”

“So long as your regime exists,” the video says, “peace shall be hindered.”

In addi­tion, the Lebanon-based satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tion Al Mayadeen aired an inter­view with a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Al Falaga, a Tunisian hacker group that par­tic­i­pated in the cyber-attack. In the inter­view, the rep­re­sen­ta­tive said, “We chose this day because it’s the mem­ory of the Holo­caust when the Jews were burned by the hands of Hitler and today they burn by our hands.” The inter­view was posted later on the Face­book page of Al Falaga.

Accord­ing to ini­tial reports, the cyber-attack, which was announced sev­eral months ago as “OpIsrael2,” affected some Israeli gov­ern­ment and defense sites, but failed to bring them down.

Sev­eral hacker groups par­tic­i­pated in this cam­paign. A pro-Hamas hacker group, Al-Qassam Elec­tronic Brigades, posted a YouTube video on April 7 that included what appears to be a record­ing of a hack­ing oper­a­tion against the web­site of one of Israel’s polit­i­cal par­ties, Kadima.

The Moroc­can Ghosts, a polit­i­cally moti­vated hack­ers group that has pre­vi­ously tar­geted the web­sites of Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in the U.S., pub­lished on their Face­book page a long list of hacked web­sites that they claim are either Israeli are Jewish-operated.

Some of the web­sites hacked by the Moroc­can Ghosts were defaced with anti-Israel slurs and loaded with a media player that recited verses from the Quran. Despite the claims that they tar­geted Israeli and Jewish-operated web­sites, some of the listed sites have no appar­ent affil­i­a­tion with Israel or Jews, and may have been included because they were an easy-to-hack and serve to inflate the impact of the cyber-attack.

In addi­tion, sev­eral pro-Hamas web­sites, Face­book pages and other hacker forums posted threads claim­ing hack­ing oper­a­tions against Jews and Israelis worldwide.

The first OpIs­rael took place dur­ing Israel’s Oper­a­tion Pil­lar of Defense in Gaza last Novem­ber, when hack­ers tar­geted, and in some cases defaced, var­i­ous Israeli websites.

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March 4, 2013 3

New Inspire Magazine Hits Digital Newsstands

The tenth issue of Inspire mag­a­zine, released by Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula last Thurs­day, offers its read­ers an array of ideas and advice for sup­port­ing the global jihadist movement.

In the issue, lone wolf attacks are specif­i­cally encour­aged: “Praises [to] the Knights of Lone Jihad…You are Lethal! You are Dev­as­tat­ing!” Would-be lone wolves are advised to engage in attacks on the road by caus­ing traf­fic acci­dents and torch­ing parked vehi­cles, as well as assas­si­nat­ing polit­i­cal lead­ers and for­mer polit­i­cal lead­ers who may be less pro­tected (Amer­i­can, British and French for­mer polit­i­cal oper­a­tives and diplo­mats are men­tioned by name).

Fol­low­ing Thursday’s release of Inspire, AQAP also released a com­pi­la­tion of the advice it has pub­lished for car­ry­ing out attacks as the “Lone Mujahid Pocketbook.”

Inspire also con­tains an inter­view with the Amer­i­can spokesman for Al Qaeda, Adam Gadahn. If the inter­view proves to be authen­tic, it is the first English-language mes­sage from Gadahn since a June 2011 video in which he called on Amer­i­can Mus­lims to launch lone wolf attacks on U.S. soil.  He has, how­ever, more recently appeared in Arabic-language videos dis­cussing the Arab Spring and Al Qaeda’s role in it.

Gadahn, who was a pio­neer in the field of so-called “jihadi media,” reit­er­ates its pur­ported impor­tance in the inter­view, call­ing on his fel­low pro­pa­gan­dists to “make every effort to reach out to Mus­lims both through new media like Face­book and Twit­ter as well as the tra­di­tional broad­cast and print media.” 

In an appar­ent call for vio­lence, Gadahn instructs “mujahideen around the world” to focus their efforts on “direct engage­ment at home and abroad with Amer­ica and its NATO part­ners, par­tic­u­larly France and Britain.” 

Another arti­cle from the mag­a­zine, called “We Are All Usama,” which focuses on the need for Mus­lim unity in the face of insults by the West, was used by jihadist hack­ers to replace sev­eral uni­ver­sity web­sites on Fri­day and over the weekend. 

The mag­a­zine con­tin­ues to focus on the Sep­tem­ber 2011 deaths of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born rad­i­cal cleric who became a lead­ing ide­o­logue and com­man­der of AQAP; and Samir Khan, who was believed to be respon­si­ble for pro­duc­ing the first issues of Inspire. Al-Awlaki and Khan, as well as a third indi­vid­ual named Abu Yazeed al-Qatari, are fea­tured in a “let­ter to the edi­tor” that praises the men for their com­mit­ment to jihad.

This issue is the first major media effort by AQAP in Eng­lish since May 2012, when it released the last two issues of Inspire, a recruit­ing pam­phlet, and a col­lec­tion of Osama bin Laden state­ments

Although Inspire con­tin­ues to solicit con­tri­bu­tions from its read­ers, dig­i­tal copies of the mag­a­zine appear to be secured which doesn’t allow for the mag­a­zine to be printed. This may be an effort to pre­vent its use as evi­dence in ter­ror­ism cases; the mag­a­zine has often been found in the pos­ses­sion of ter­ror­ism sus­pects as both a source of rad­i­cal­iz­ing mate­r­ial and for its easy-to-follow instruc­tions for car­ry­ing out attacks. 

In a fur­ther move to raise the level of secu­rity, AQAP also issued a state­ment on jihadist forums over the week­end indi­cat­ing that it would no longer com­mu­ni­cate with indi­vid­ual sup­port­ers plan­ning attacks via email and urged those already in con­tact to stop immediately.

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