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January 13, 2015

Arab Cartoonists Reflect on the Charlie Hebdo Attack

In a show of solidarity with their colleagues, Arab cartoonists in newspapers across the Middle East condemned the terrorist attack on the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, which left 12 journalists and cartoonists dead.

Almost all editorial cartoonists addressed the attack through their caricatures.  Among the themes was the outcry over the crossing of limits; the condemnation of extreme Islam and the feeling that moderate Islam has also been unjustly attacked.

And just as the attack was referred to in some western media outlets as “France’s 9/11”, so did some Arab cartoonists use two pencils in place of the World Trade Center.

Some cartoonists also politicized the tragedy and used the meme from last week’s attack as another opportunity to criticize Israel.  For example, a cartoon in the Palestinian Al-Ayyam, depicted an Israeli soldier aiming a rifle at two Palestinians in front of an olive tree holding a sign on which is written “Je Suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”) – implying that Palestinians are targeted in the same way the Charlie Hebdo staff were.



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September 25, 2013

Westgate Attack Underscores Al Shabaab’s Battle With Jews And Israel

In an interview with Al Jazeera on Monday, Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abulaziz Abu Muscab, said that in addition to Kenya’s military involvement in Somalia, the terrorist group attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi because it is a place “where there are Jewish and American shops. So we have to attack them.”al-shabaab-symbol-al-qaeda

Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda-linked ter­ror­ist group that claimed respon­si­bil­ity for attack­ing the West­gate mall on Sat­ur­day, has previously declared an “open bat­tle” against Israel, which it deems the “oppress­ing Zion­ist entity,” and Jew­ish inter­ests in Africa.

In 2012, Kenyan sup­port­ers of Al Shabaab published a pre­dom­i­nantly Swahili-language online ter­ror­ist mag­a­zine fea­turing English-language arti­cles that describe Jews as “the worst enemy of Islam.” The mag­a­zine, titled Gaidi Mtaani, roughly trans­lated as “Ter­ror­ism Street,” cast “the Zion­ist with their Amer­i­can part­ners” as the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the “cru­sade” in Soma­lia and crit­i­cized the Kenyan pres­i­dent for trav­el­ing to Israel to secure Israeli coop­er­a­tion for coun­tert­er­ror­ism efforts. 

gaidi-mtaani-magazine kenya-shabaab-adl

Screenshot from Gaidi Mtaani

The authors warned that they will not “dif­fer­en­ti­ate between civil­ians and com­bat­ants” and called on Kenya’s cit­i­zens to “reflect on the mag­ni­tude of what is yet to come,” cit­ing the 1998 bomb­ing of the U.S. embassy in Kenya that killed over 200 people.

Israeli inter­ests had previously been tar­geted by Al Qaeda in Kenya, includ­ing an attempt to shoot down an Israeli air­liner and an attack on an Israeli-owned resort in 2002.

In November 2009, Al Shabaab announced the establishment of Al Quds Brigade, a military unit specifically tasked with attacking Israel and freeing “Islamic holy places” from the Israelis.

See ADL’s Report: Al Shabaab’s Amer­i­can Recruits

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June 27, 2013

ADL’s Terrorism Update Highlights New Inspire Magazine Resource

The June edi­tion of Ter­ror­ism Update, ADL’s newslet­ter pro­vid­ing news and analy­sis on inter­na­tional ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions and their fol­low­ers in the U.S., is now available to our subscribers.

The feature article focuses on the increasing numbers of foreigners, including Americans, whTU for blogo have traveled to Syria to join with terrorist-linked groups fighting against the Assad regime. To date, there have been three publicly disclosed cases of Americans involved in fighting alongside rebel forces, each of whom have been linked to Jabhat al-Nusrah, a State Department-designated alias for Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Inspire, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s English-language terrorist magazine, is also featured in our June newsletter, which can be subscribed to on our website. ADL has created a new microsite focusing on Inspire, which has influenced numerous international and domestic terrorists since its inaugural issue in 2010.  The issue also contains articles on an AQAP propagandist facing extradition to the United States for providing “expert advice and assis­tance in pho­tog­ra­phy and graphic design of media” and disseminating AQAP materials, as well as an analysis of how the latest issue of Inspire celebrated the Boston Marathon bombings.

The newsletter includes an analysis of how the thwarted 1993 plot targeting New York City landmarks foreshadowed the escalating domestic terrorism threat, articles on terrorism-related arrests in Idaho and New York, and an update on an Iran-linked assassination plot.  The issue also has analyses of Anwar al-Awlaki’s influence on domestic terror plots, including the Tsarnaev Brothers, and on Hamas’s Al Aqsa TV, which was the focus of intense media scrutiny recently after two its journalists were supposed to be honored by the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

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