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May 13, 2014 0

Al Shabaab English Video Includes Calls For “Lone Wolf” Attacks

al-shabaab-video-lone-wolf

Image from the con­clu­sion of Al-Shabaab’s new video

A new English-language video issued by Al Shabaab, the Somali Al Qaeda affil­i­ate, calls on Mus­lims liv­ing abroad to either under­take “a lone wolf mis­sion” in their home coun­tries or to travel abroad to join for­eign ter­ror­ist organizations.

Al Shabaab has long been active in recruit­ing West­ern­ers, and par­tic­u­larly Amer­i­cans, to its cause. Between 2007 and 2012, over 60 U.S. cit­i­zens and per­ma­nent res­i­dents attempted to aid or join the ter­ror­ist organization.

The video comes in the midst of an upsurge in sophis­ti­cated English-language pro­pa­ganda dis­sem­i­nated by ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions over the inter­net that is aimed at encour­ag­ing Amer­i­cans and other West­ern­ers to under­take vio­lent actions.

Other Al Qaeda groups, such as Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula, have long advised their ide­o­log­i­cal adher­ents to under­take lone wolf attacks and domes­tic rad­i­cal­iza­tion rather than travel abroad.

How­ever, Al Shabaab had pre­vi­ously been more focused on strength­en­ing its orga­ni­za­tion in Soma­lia. By pre­sent­ing Mus­lims abroad with a choice between mate­r­ial sup­port and lone wolf action rather than only call­ing on them to travel to Soma­lia, though, this video may mark a shift in Al Shabaab’s strategy.

The video is the fifth in a series called “Mujahideen Moments” but is the first to be pre­sented exclu­sively in English.

In addi­tion to its call for vio­lent activ­ity, it also ref­er­ences Al Shabaab’s 2013 attack on the West­gate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, as a pos­i­tive exam­ple for those con­tem­plat­ing ter­ror­ism abroad.

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May 6, 2014 0

Moroccan Ghosts Hackers Deface Jewish Websites In U.S.

The Moroc­can Ghosts, a polit­i­cally moti­vated hacker group that tar­get­s the web­sites of Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in the United States, struck again last month when it defaced the web­sites of four Jew­ish insti­tu­tions belong­ing to the Union for Reform Judaism.moroccan-ghosts-hack-jewish-institutions-facebook ghosts

The hack­ers defaced the web­sites of Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in Col­orado, New Jer­sey, Mass­a­chu­setts and Geor­gia with an image of an indi­vid­ual wrapped in what appears to be a Pales­tin­ian flag and a state­ment say­ing, “When injus­tice becomes law … Resis­tance becomes a duty.”

A state­ment boast­ing about this lat­est cyber-attack on the Moroc­can Ghosts Face­book page read:  “Hack­ing 4 for­mal Zion­ist tem­ples in Amer­ica or in more accu­rate words [4] dirty places to con­spire and plot against Palestine.”

In response to the hack, ADL con­tacted Face­book to alert them to the page claim­ing respon­si­bil­ity for the hack and to urge them to inves­ti­gate the sit­u­a­tion. The Face­book page has sub­se­quently been removed.

In 2012, Moroc­can Ghosts defaced Jew­ish con­gre­ga­tional web­sites with their logo and an hour-long video deny­ing the Holocaust.

This lat­est cyber-attack is part of a larger trend of polit­i­cally moti­vated hack­ings tar­get­ing the web­sites of per­ceived sup­port­ers of Israel. ADL offers guid­ance to Jew­ish insti­tu­tions regard­ing online and dig­i­tal security.

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May 2, 2014 0

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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