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April 24, 2015

Kevin Barrett Promotes New Book Claiming Israel Behind Paris Attacks

Update — 5/27/15: Barrett is continuing his speaking tour with stops in Michigan, Ontario, Alberta, California, Washington, and Georgia in May-August.

Kevin Barrett, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist and frequent Press TV contributor, is on a speaking tour of the Midwest from April 19-30 to promote his new anti-Semitic and conspiratorial book, We Are Not Charlie Hebdo! Free Thinkers Question the French 9/11.

Cover of Barrett's new book

Cover of Barrett’s new book

According to Barrett, his book tour includes stops at public libraries in Iowa, the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City, the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis, as well as stops in Peoria, Illinois and Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin.

A photo posted on Facebook shows approximately 15 people in attendance for his talk in Fairfield, Iowa.

Barrett’s We Are Not Charlie Hebdo! Free Thinkers Question the French 9/11 features essays by Barrett as well as from twenty-one others, most of which claim that the shootings at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters and at a kosher market in Paris were a “false flag operation” perpetrated by any number of culprits including the Israeli government, the United States government, and/or the French government.

The majority of the interviews and essays featured in the anthology allege that Israel, with or without help from the United States, orchestrated the attacks. Barrett claims that these attacks were just one in a long history of events – such as the 9/11 attacks and the 2001 anthrax poisonings – perpetrated by Israel in order to “incite hatred of Muslims and solidarity with Israel.”

Such conspiracy theories are nothing new for Barrett, who recently appeared on Iran’s English-language propaganda network, Press TV, where he claimed that Jews and/or Israel were behind the cre­ation of ISIS, the 2011 attacks in Nor­way that left 77 peo­ple dead, and the 9/11 ter­ror­ist attacks.

In his new book, Barrett invokes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about supposed Jewish manipulation of world events, claiming that the West does not comprehend Israel’s duplicity because of “the extent of clandestine Zionist power; and the fact that the Holocaust story has become the most sacred narrative of the West, despite the questionable factual basis of some of its most important details.”

Photo posted on Facebook of Barrett speaking in Fairfield, Iowa

Photo posted on Facebook of Barrett speaking in Fairfield, Iowa

This theme is echoed by anti-Semitic columnist Paul Craig Roberts, who writes that Israel committed the Paris attacks to nefariously influence the French government’s policies on the Middle East. The attacks, he alleges, “served Israel’s destruction of Palestinians and stifled rising European opposition to Israel’s theft of the West Bank and military assaults on Gaza.”

9/11 conspiracy theorist Barbara Honegger posited other motivations for Israel to have committed the Paris attacks. Honegger writes, “Israel was a secret hand behind the attacks designed to fan the fear of violent anti-Semitism toward the goal of mitigating its growing demographic crisis by increasing Jewish emigration to Israel.”

Ashahed Muhammad, assistant Editor of the Nation of Islam’s Final Call newspaper and author of The Synagogue of Satan, does not state explicitly that Israel is to blame for the Charlie Hebdo shooting, but does maintain that “in media, politics, academia, or social activism, the world is bullied into compulsory obedience by the muscular Israel first lobby,” raising anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about supposed Jewish control of a number of sectors of society.

One notable exception to the “false flag” narrative promoted by Barrett’s book is an essay by Rabbi Michael Lerner. Lerner reportedly was “absolutely misled” by Barrett when Barrett asked the rabbi’s permission to include his writing in the book.

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March 27, 2015

10 People Linked To Islamic Extremism Cases In Illinois Since 2012

Hasan Edmonds and Jonas Edmonds

Court sketch of Hasan and Jonas Edmonds

Hasan and Jonas Edmonds, arrested yesterday for conspiring to travel abroad to join the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) and orchestrate an attack in the U.S., are the 9th and 10th people from Illinois linked to Islamic extremist activity since 2012.

Hasan Edmonds, a 22-year-old convert to Islam and a member of the National Guard, and his cousin, 29-year-old Jonas (Yunus) Edmonds told undercover investigators that they wanted to travel to ISIS-controlled territory with their families and become fighters but that, failing that, they wanted to attack the U.S. When Jonas Edmonds was unable to acquire a passport because of a past felony conviction, Hasan Edmonds continued his own travel plans while assisting Jonas in getting materials for and planning an attack on the military base where Hasan trained.

According to court documents, Hasan posted pro-ISIS statements and YouTube videos on his Facebook profile. He and Jonas were also vocal about their plans and beliefs in conversations with an undercover agent whom they met online. “Honestly we would love to do something like the brother in Paris did,” wrote Hasan Edmonds, in a reference to the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and kosher grocery store in Paris this January. “Hit here and then go to dawlah (ISIS controlled territory) inshaAllah (God willing). We’ll fight wherever need be…. Shahada (martyrdom) is a blessing.” In other conversations, he stated, “If I find myself stuck here [in the U.S.]. I intend to take advantage of being so close to the kuffar (apostates, used here to indicate non-Muslims),” and, “The best of mankind are the mujahideen (fighters). May Allah place me among their ranks.”

In speaking of planning an attack, he wrote, “We can surely do something. Even the kaffirs (apostates) here are fighting the police and government so we can really strick (sic) harder in tue (sic) cause of Allah,” and, “It would be hard to pull off a lager (sic) scale attack on the government but police stations and courts are pretty easy and its been done before by kufar (apostates) sometimes just one person.”

The cousins’ statements also attest to the effectiveness of ISIS’s recent strategy of developing worldwide franchises. “When the women are under the protection of the dawlah (ISIS) under any province under the dawlahs rule (any country) we are ready for whatever our orders may be,” Hasan Edmonds told an undercover agent according to court documents. In another context he allegedly stated, “I am fine being in Egypt, Sham, or Libya to be honest akhi (brother, meaning companion). I just want to answer the call.”

Groups including Ansar Beyt al Maqdis in Egypt and Boko Haram in Nigeria have pledged allegiance to ISIS in recent months, and ISIS strives to create the impression that it has a global presence in its propaganda.

ISIS has also been encouraging its adherents to either undertake domestic attacks or travel abroad in recent months.

This message has been reflected in the actions of its supporters. In 2015, the Edmonds plot is the third instance of ISIS supporters in the U.S. planning a domestic attack after unsuccessfully attempting to join ISIS. In January, Ohio resident Christopher Lee Cornell was arrested for his plot to attack the U.S. capitol after failing to connect with ISIS members abroad and in February, New York City residents Abdura­sul Juraboev and Akhror Saidakhme­tov were arrested for attempting to join ISIS and discussing the possibility of a domestic attack if they were unable to do so. In addition, 2015 has seen 13 U.S. residents (including the Edmonds cousins) charged with material support for ISIS.

33 U.S. residents have been publicly linked to ISIS since 2014.

Other Illinois residents accused of attempting to aid foreign terrorist organizations or carry out terror attacks in the U.S.  include Jamishid Muhtorov, arrested in 2012 for providing material support to the Chechen terror group Islamic Jihad Union; Abdel Daoud, arrested in 2012 for planning a domestic attack; Abdellah Tounisi, arrested in 2013 for attempting to join Jabhat al Nusra; Mohammed Hamza Khan and his brother and sister, detained in 2014 for attempted to join ISIS (Khan’s brother and sister are minors and have not been charged); and Mediha Medy Salkicevic and Jasminka Ramic, arrested in 2015 for attempting to send money to ISIS.

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March 18, 2015

Anti-Semitism On College Campuses in 2015

Anti-Semitic flyer posted at UC Santa Barbara in Sep. 2014

Update — 5/26/15: An updated list of 2015 anti-Semitic incidents on campus is available here.

After the alarming anti-Semitic incident at UCLA earlier this month, the problem of anti-Semitism on college campuses has become a national discussion.

While such incidents are certainly disturbing, it must be noted that these incidents are relatively rare, and the vast majority of Jewish students feels safe on their campuses. When such incidents do occur, they are generally condemned by administrators and the wider campus communities at their respective colleges.

That being said, the incident at UCLA was not the only anti-Semitic incident to take place so far in 2015. Other anti-Semitic incidents include:

  • A dorm at Purchase College, SUNY was vandalized on March 18 with swastikas and other hateful graffiti.
  • Swastikas were spray-painted inside the house of a Jewish fraternity (Alpha Epsilon Pi) at Vanderbilt University on March 15.
  • At University of California, Berkeley, the phrase “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” was found in a campus restroom in March and a swastika was found on a university owned building in February.
  • On February 22, University of Chicago students and staff reported anti-Semitic posts on a Facebook page called UChicago Secrets, such as “People are hypocrites. This is a fact. One example? The Jews at UChicago…” and “As a Person of Palestinian descent, I don’t think it is unreasonable or horrific for me to hate Jews…”
  • Also at the end of February, threatening anti-Semitic comments were posted on Yik Yak (an anonymous social media app that allows people to send and receive posts in a localized area) for the University of Chicago area. Some posts named specific students, while other expressed more general anti-Semitic sentiments such as, “Gas them, burn them and dismantle their power structure. Humanity cannot progress with the parasitic Jew.”
  • At the end of February, three swastikas were drawn inside a George Washington University dorm.
  • On January 31, two large swastikas were spray-painted on the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house at the University of California, Davis.

If you have experienced an anti-Semitic incident on campus or elsewhere, please report it to ADL through our website.

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