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January 13, 2015 0

New ISIS Threat Campaign Capitalizes on Paris Attacks

Image from Twitter campaign

Image from Twit­ter campaign

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has launched a new cam­paign on Twit­ter call­ing for addi­tional home­grown attacks in West­ern coun­tries in the after­math of the attacks in Paris last week that killed 17.

The cam­paign, adver­tised with the hash­tag #Fight­forHim was espe­cially promi­nent on Twit­ter on Sun­day, when both offi­cial ISIS accounts and mul­ti­ple sup­porter accounts Tweeted images fea­tur­ing mes­sages to Mus­lims “liv­ing in the West” and quotes by Anwar al-Awlaki advo­cat­ing “the duty of killing those who insult our Prophet Muhammad.”

Awlaki was an Amer­i­can pro­pa­gan­dist for Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula. He was killed in a drone strike in 2011 but his writ­ings and say­ings con­tinue to be a moti­va­tional force for extrem­ists, includ­ing the Kouachi broth­ers, who are believed to have been two of the three indi­vid­u­als who attacked the Char­lie Hebdo offices last week, and Amedy Coulibaly, believed to be one of the two indi­vid­u­als behind last week’s hostage inci­dent in a kosher gro­cery store in Paris.

At the same time, ISIS sup­port­ers are also con­tin­u­ing a cam­paign of hack­ing Jew­ish insti­tu­tional web­sites and, increas­ingly, sites that are affil­i­ated with gov­ern­ments, mil­i­tary insti­tu­tions, and other orga­ni­za­tions, replac­ing the orig­i­nal text on the site with anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist mes­sages. Mon­day after­noon, ISIS sup­port­ers claimed respon­si­bil­ity for hack­ing the social media accounts affil­i­ated with U.S. Cen­tral Com­mand.

One of the Tweets from the #Fight­forHim cam­paign fea­tures a red ban­ner image with the quote, “You are a Mus­lim? Liv­ing in the West? Being a city wolf is your task! For you are the only ones to do so! You are already ’cit­i­zens’, and no doubt you are the suit­able ones to be cho­sen for such a task. You are shar­ing the same land with them! The same busses and trains, the same neighborhoods!”

Sev­eral Tweets also fea­tured what appeared to be pages ready for inser­tion into an English-language pro­pa­ganda mag­a­zine that quoted Anwar al-Awlaki nar­rat­ing a story about a “Jew­ish leader and…very elo­quent poet” who wrote poems that spoke out against Muham­mad, after which he was killed. In the story, Muham­mad stated, “I am the Prophet of mercy and I am the prophet of war” and “he has harmed us and he has defamed us with his poetry, and none of you (Jews) would do this except we would deal with him with the sword!”

Image from Twitter campaign showing Anwar al-Awlaki

Image from Twit­ter cam­paign show­ing Anwar al-Awlaki

The three pages that make up this story are titled Char­lie, ref­er­enc­ing the mag­a­zine. In its sub­ject mat­ter, the story also can be read as sup­port­ing attacks on Jews more broadly.

These images and oth­ers were Tweeted directly from mul­ti­ple indi­vid­ual Twit­ter accounts. This may indi­cate that they were part of a coor­di­nated cam­paign run through the Dawn of Glad Tid­ings app, a Twit­ter appli­ca­tion that allows ISIS to Tweet directly onto users’ pages, thus rapidly and widely dis­sem­i­nat­ing pro­pa­ganda and enabling effec­tive hash­tag cam­paigns. Some of the images were Tweeted from between 80 and 100 accounts in minutes.

The cam­paign was sup­ple­mented by an essay writ­ten by an ISIS sup­porter that urged attacks in West­ern coun­tries and pro­vided sug­ges­tions for car­ry­ing them out.

The essay cites Inspire mag­a­zine, Anwar al-Awlaki, Osama bin Laden and ISIS as sources for inspi­ra­tion and lists mul­ti­ple cities, states, and coun­tries that can be attacked, includ­ing mul­ti­ple loca­tions in the U.S.

“Until life in Nor­way, Florida, Mon­treal, Fin­land, Lis­bon, Lux­em­bourg and Can­berra becomes…a land that burns, a sky that rains rock­ets, and cities through which wolves walk, the lions of jihad, and where breaths are con­ceal (sic) until they taste our sever­ity” it states. The essay later threat­ens addi­tional attacks includ­ing San Fran­cisco, Bel­gium, Lon­don, Madrid, Syd­ney, Rus­sia, Boston, Dal­las, Vir­ginia and Ams­ter­dam with explo­sive devices, booby traps and poison.

This essay was picked up and cir­cu­lated by offi­cial ISIS media out­lets fol­low­ing its post­ing on, an online pub­lish­ing site reg­u­larly used by ter­ror­ist sup­port­ers to quickly and anony­mously post text and images online.

Although the #fight­forHim hash­tag is new, calls by ter­ror­ist groups for home­grown attacks have a lengthy his­tory. In the past year, ISIS, Al Qaeda, AQAP and Al Shabaab have all called for such attacks. In the wake of the attacks in France, addi­tional groups includ­ing the Pak­istani Tal­iban, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Al Moura­bitoun have also called for copy­cat attacks.

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January 9, 2015 57

Anti-Semitic Conspiracies Predictably Surface After Paris Attacks

Update –Jan­u­ary, 15, 2015: For more exam­ples, see also: Anti-Semitic Con­spir­a­cies Con­tinue In After­math Of Paris Attacks

In the after­math of the ter­ror attack in Paris at the Char­lie Hebdo office, con­spir­acy the­o­ries blam­ing Jews and Israel for the attack imme­di­ately sur­faced in the U.S and abroad.

Image accompanying Kevin Barrett's Veterans Today article

Image accom­pa­ny­ing Kevin Barrett’s Vet­er­ans Today article

The sub­se­quent hostage sit­u­a­tion at a Kosher super­mar­ket in Paris, where at least four hostages were killed, will undoubt­edly feed into the con­spir­acy the­o­ries as they con­tinue to spread, as they often do after a ter­ri­ble tragedy.

In the U.S., anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rists, who never miss an oppor­tu­nity to exploit tragedies to pro­mote their anti-Jewish hatred, and two anti-Israel activists blamed Jews or Israel for the attacks:

  • Mark Glenn, a vir­u­lently anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rist, wrote on his blog The Ugly Truth that “The mas­sacre in Paris as [sic] yet another False Flag event aimed at re-igniting and re-invigorating Judea’s declared war against Islam.” The state­ment is accom­pa­nied by an image of Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu with the cap­tion “…It will gen­er­ate imme­di­ate sym­pa­thy for Israel.”
  • On Vet­er­ans Today, a U.S.-based web­site that presents anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries as news, Gilad Atz­mon, an Israeli-born anti-Semite based in Lon­don, claimed that France some­how deserved these attacks due to actions he claims were pushed for by “the Jew­ish lobby group CRIF.” He also chas­tises France for “fol­low­ing the whims of The Lobby.” He posited, “It is quite prob­a­bly that this was another false flag oper­a­tion. Who could be behind it? Use your imagination…”
  • Kevin Bar­rett, an anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rist and fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to Iran’s Eng­lish lan­guage pro­pa­ganda news net­work, Press TV, wrote an arti­cle in Vet­er­ans Today titled “Paris ‘Char­lie Hebdo Attack’: Another Zion­ist False Flag?” In the arti­cle Bar­rett describes the attack as Zion­ist “orches­trated” ret­ri­bu­tion for French for­eign pol­icy on Israel and the Pales­tini­ans. Bar­rett also implies that Israel is behind “Malaysian planes…falling out of the sky” as pun­ish­ment for Malaysian for­eign pol­icy on Israel, and that the 2011 attacks in Nor­way that killed 77 peo­ple were per­pe­trated by Israel against Norway’s Labor Party for its poli­cies on Israel.
  • Greta Berlin and Mary Hughes-Thompson, anti-Israel activists who co-founded the Free Gaza Move­ment (FGM), have also alleged Israel is behind the attack. Greta Berlin wrote on Face­book that “MOSSAD just hit the Paris offices of Char­lie Hebdo in a clumsy false flag designed to dam­age the accord between Pales­tine and France…Here’s hop­ing the French police will be able to tell a well exe­cuted hit by a well trained Israeli intel­li­gence ser­vice and not assume the Mus­lims would be likely to attack France when France is their freind [sic.] Israel did tell France there would be grave con­se­quences if they voted with Pales­tine. A four year old could see who is respon­si­ble for this ter­ri­ble attack.” Mary Hughes-Thompson posted on Twit­ter that “#Hebdo killings inde­fen­si­ble. Can’t help think­ing #JSIL Mossad false flag though….” JSIL is the acronym for “Jew­ish State in the Lev­ant,” a term being used by anti-Israel activists to equate Israel with ISIS.

Inter­na­tion­ally, such con­spir­acy the­o­ries have entered into more main­stream media and been pro­moted by var­i­ous individuals:

  • India: Mother Jones reported that Inter­na­tional Busi­ness Times India pub­lished an arti­cle that posited that the Mossad, Israel’s national intel­li­gence ser­vice, was to blame. “Although there is no way to ver­ify the claims that Mossad was involved, the back­drop in which the attack took place seems to indi­cate that they might be involved, many con­spir­acy the­o­rists have noted. Mossad is respon­si­ble for intel­li­gence col­lec­tion and has under­taken many covert oper­a­tions for Israel in Europe that aim to fur­ther their Jew­ish cause.” The arti­cle has since been replaced with an editor’s note stat­ing that the arti­cle alleg­ing this link “should never have been published.”
  • Tunisia: Tunisia Times posted an arti­cle on Jan­u­ary 9 on its web­site titled “Amer­i­can Resources: The Mossad is behind Char­lie Hebdo oper­a­tion in France” Accord­ing to the report, “Even­tu­ally, the Mossad hired Mus­lims from Ara­bic ori­gins to carry the attack to increase hos­til­ity towards Mus­lims worldwide.”


    Image from arti­cle in Egypt’s Al Dos­tor news­pa­per describ­ing the Mossad as car­ry­ing out the attack.

  • Egypt: Cairo-based daily news­pa­per, Al Dos­tor, pub­lished a report on its web­site yes­ter­day titled “Sur­prise… Accus­ing the Mossad of car­ry­ing out the oper­a­tion against the French news­pa­per Char­lie Hebdo.” Accord­ing to the news­pa­per, the Berlin-based Free Gaza move­ment accused the Mossad of exe­cut­ing the attack which tar­geted the head­quar­ters of the French satir­i­cal news­pa­per Char­lie Hebdo, and not any other ter­ror­ist group as it was reported.
  • Jor­dan: Rawafed News web­site pub­lished an arti­cle by Assad Al Azony on Jan­u­ary 8 titled” The tragedy of satir­i­cal Char­lie Hebdo… Search for Jews and the extreme French right wing [to be behind it]. Accord­ing to the arti­cle, “One must be cer­tain that Jews and the French extreme right wing exe­cuted this ter­ror­ist attack.”
  • Lebanon: Mid­dle East Panorama Media and News Agency pub­lished an arti­cle today on its web­site by Ahmed Al Shar­qawy titled “Char­lie Hebdo… Oh Arabs, be aware of the Zion­ist trap.” Al Shar­qawy claimed in his arti­cle that a pro-Palestinian Jew­ish friend who lives in France con­tacted him in the past warn­ing that the same news­pa­per is suf­fer­ing from a finan­cial cri­sis and that “Zion­ist Jews advised the news­pa­per to fab­ri­cate a bar­baric attack against the free­dom of expres­sion to increase its sales.”
  • Turkey: Coor­di­na­tor  of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood affil­i­ated orga­ni­za­tion Inter­na­tional Rabia Plat­form, Turk­ish jour­nal­ist Cihangir İşbilir, posted a com­ment on his Twit­ter account on Jan­u­ary 7, stat­ing “Alter­na­tive sce­nario: France angered Israel, because it would sup­port Pales­tine in the UN secu­rity Coun­cil. Mossad com­mit­ted the ter­ror­ist attack.
  • West Bank: Mazin Qum­siyeh, a con­spir­a­to­r­ial anti-Israel activist who has a his­tory of mak­ing anti-Semitic state­ments, sent an e-mail on Jan­u­ary 9 to his list­serv sug­gest­ing that the attacks in France may have been per­pe­trated by a state intel­li­gence ser­vice. He stated, “Whether this was yet another false flag oper­a­tion or by rogue ter­ror­ists not left alive to be ques­tioned, Zion­ists are milk­ing it to the best of their (very large) media abilities.”

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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January 7, 2015 0

Paris Shooting Amid Increased Calls For Homegrown Attacks

Screenshot of an ISIS video encouraging attacks in France

Screen­shot of an ISIS video encour­ag­ing attacks in France

The attack on the French satir­i­cal mag­a­zine Char­lie Hebdo that left twelve peo­ple dead comes at a time when ter­ror­ist groups are increas­ingly encour­ag­ing their sup­port­ers in the West to carry out attacks in their home countries.

While no one has taken respon­si­bil­ity for the attack thus far and the per­pe­tra­tors are still at large, online ter­ror sup­port­ers have already claimed the attack as a vic­tory for their cause.  Char­lie Hebdo has been the focus of ter­ror threats since 2006 for their satir­i­cal depic­tions of Muham­mad and of Mus­lim countries.

While it is still not clear whether this attack was inspired by out­side forces, it is notable that some ter­ror­ist groups have con­sis­tently encour­aged fol­low­ers to orches­trate attacks in their home coun­tries rather than trav­el­ing abroad since at least 2010, per­haps most notably with the release of the first issue of Inspire, an Eng­lish lan­guage mag­a­zine pro­duced by Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP).

Sim­i­larly, a 2011 video released by Al Qaeda’s Cen­tral orga­ni­za­tion fea­tured Amer­i­can Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn urg­ing sup­port­ers in the U.S. to pur­chase guns and under­take shoot­ing sprees.

In 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al Shabaab (the Al Qaeda affil­i­ate in Soma­lia), which had pre­vi­ously encour­aged their adher­ents in the West to join them abroad, began advo­cat­ing indi­vid­ual attacks in the West as equally valuable.

In addi­tion, ter­ror­ist groups have been claim­ing credit for such “free­lance ter­ror­ism,”  includ­ing lone wolf-style attacks. Both ISIS and AQAP, for exam­ple, wrote about and to some extent claimed credit for attacks in New York, New Jer­sey, Okla­homa, Canada and Aus­tralia.

The fol­low­ing is sam­pling of calls for home­grown attacks in 2014, includ­ing those in the U.S. and France:

Decem­ber 2014: An ISIS video call­ing for French Mus­lims to either travel to Iraq and Syria or under­take attacks at home stated, “Oper­ate within France. Ter­ror­ize them and do not allow them to sleep due to fear and hor­ror. There are weapons and cars avail­able and tar­gets ready to be hit. Even poi­son is avail­able, so poi­son the water and food of at least one of the ene­mies of Allah. Kill them and spit in their faces and run over them with your cars.” This video has been recir­cu­lated by ter­ror sup­port­ers on social media in the after­math of the Jan­u­ary 7 attack.

Image from Inspire 13

Image from Inspire 13

Decem­ber 2014: The 6th issue of ISIS’s English-language mag­a­zine Dabiq praised indi­vid­ual attacks on var­i­ous West­ern coun­tries includ­ing the U.S., Canada, Aus­tralia and France, stat­ing, “There will be oth­ers who fol­low the exam­ples set by Man Haron Monis and Numan Haider in Aus­tralia, Mar­tin Couture-Rouleau and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau in Canada, Zale Thomp­son in Amer­ica, and Bertrand Nzo­hab­onayo in France, and all that the West will be able to do is to anx­iously await the next round of slaughter.”

Decem­ber 2014: The 13th issue of AQAP’s Inspire mag­a­zine called for attacks on Amer­i­can, French and British air­lines and assas­si­na­tions of promi­nent West­ern finan­cial lead­ers.  Quotes included, “The Lions of Allah who are all over the globe – some call them lone wolves – should know that they are the West’s worst night­mare,” and, “It’s not nec­es­sary to do what Mohammed Atta (of the 9/11 attack) did, it’s enough to do what Nidal Hasan (the Ft. Hood shooter) did.”

Decem­ber 2014: An ISIS video fea­tured a Cana­dian recruit address­ing peo­ple in Canada who threat­ened the Cana­dian peo­ple and called upon Cana­dian Mus­lims to carry out attacks, stat­ing, “You either pack your bags or you pre­pare your explo­sive devices. You either pur­chase your air­line ticket or you sharpen your knife.”

Novem­ber 2014: An ISIS video titled “What are you wait­ing for,” released in French with Eng­lish and Ara­bic sub­ti­tles, called for attacks on France and fea­tured var­i­ous French mem­bers of ISIS call­ing on their com­pa­tri­ots to attack France or travel to Syria. One specif­i­cally stated, “I send a mes­sage to my broth­ers and sis­ters that live in the land of Kufr (apos­tasy) – France. If you are unable to come to Sham (Syria) or Iraq… oper­ate within France. Ter­ror­ize them and do not allow them to sleep due to fear and hor­ror. There are weapons and cars avail­able and tar­gets ready to be hit. Even poi­son is available….”

Octo­ber 2014: The 4th issue of ISIS’s Dabiq mag­a­zine included the text of a speech released in Sep­tem­ber (see below) that called for attacks on the West. It also included an image of indi­vid­u­als in busi­ness suits walk­ing on a side­walk with the cap­tion “Cru­sader ‘Civilians.’”

Image from Dabiq 4

Image from Dabiq 4

Sep­tem­ber 2014: ISIS released a text ver­sion of a speech by Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, the group’s pri­mary spokesman call­ing for attacks in theWest. Ini­tially released in Eng­lish, French and Hebrew, this was the first sig­nif­i­cant instance where ISIS incited home-grown attacks rather than encour­ag­ing travel to Iraq and Syria. Excerpts from the speech include: “If you can kill a dis­be­liev­ing Amer­i­can or Euro­pean – espe­cially the…French – or an Aus­tralian, or a Canadian…kill him in any man­ner or way how­ever it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s ver­dict. Kill the dis­be­liever whether he is civil­ian or military….”

August 2014: A spe­cial edi­tion AQAP English-language mag­a­zine titled “Pales­tine: Betrayal of the Guilty Con­science” attempted to har­ness anti-Israel sen­ti­ment to call for attacks against the U.S. and the U.K. The mag­a­zine reprinted instruc­tions for build­ing pressure-cooker bombs and car bombs from pre­vi­ous issues of Inspire. Quotes included, “We tell the Mus­lims in Amer­ica and Europe: There is a bet­ter choice and eas­ier one to give sup­port to your ummah (the Mus­lim com­mu­nity). That is indi­vid­ual work inside the West such as the oper­a­tions of Nidal Has­san (the Ft. Hood shooter) and Faisal Shazad (attempted Times Square bomber).”

May 2014: Al Shabaab released a video that called on Mus­lims liv­ing abroad to either join the group in Soma­lia or under­take “a lone wolf mis­sion” in their home country.

March 2014: The 12th issue of AQAP’s Inspire mag­a­zine pro­vided instruc­tions for mak­ing car bombs along with a list of poten­tial tar­gets in the U.S., U.K. and France. State­ments encour­ag­ing attacks on the West include, “Whether the brother has a chan­nel to join the broth­ers [abroad] or not it is bet­ter for him to per­form his duty of Jihad in the West. On the bat­tle­field, you are just another sol­dier, but in the West you are an army on your own.”

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