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July 30, 2014 1

ISIS Augments Its Threats Against Israel

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A graphic posted by Al-Minhaj Media states: “The Islamic State pounds the Zion­ist entity with rock­ets and will con­tinue hit­ting their fortresses with a bloody clap that will worry them. We will raise the dis­grace with our hands and with all our strength we will push them back.”

Since the start of the cur­rent hos­til­i­ties between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an Al Qaeda inspired ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion based in Syria and Iraq, has used its media prowess to release a stream of threats against Israel while explain­ing to sup­port­ers that ISIS is cur­rently unable to actively fight against Israel.

In the sec­ond issue of ISIS’s Eng­lish lan­guage mag­a­zine Dabiq, released July 27, 2014, it clearly explained this posi­tion, while wast­ing no words in espous­ing its inten­tions against Israel:

“As for the mas­sacres tak­ing place in Gaza against the Mus­lim men, women, and chil­dren…” read the magazine’s for­ward, “the Islamic State will do every­thing within its means to con­tinue strik­ing down every apos­tate who stands as an obsta­cle on its path towards Pales­tine. It is not the man­ner of the Islamic State to throw empty, dry, and hyp­o­crit­i­cal words of con­dem­na­tion and con­do­lences like the Arab tawāghīt do in the UN and Arab League. Rather, its actions speak louder than its words and it is only a mat­ter of time and patience before it reaches Pales­tine to fight the bar­baric jews (sic) and kill those of them hid­ing behind the ghar­qad trees – the trees of the jews (sic).”

The men­tion of ghar­qad trees refers to a hadith, a state­ment attrib­uted to Mohammed, some­times cited by extrem­ists as an order to kill Jews.

Although threats against Israel make up a small por­tion of ISIS’s over­all rhetoric, they are an ongo­ing ele­ment of the group’s over­all mes­sag­ing. Offi­cial ISIS media accounts included a num­ber of graph­ics last month threat­en­ing Israel. Sev­eral sim­i­lar graph­ics have been posted since, includ­ing an image of mis­siles point­ing upward with the cap­tion “The Islamic State pounds the Zion­ist entity with rock­ets and will con­tinue hit­ting their fortresses with a bloody clap that will worry them. We will raise the dis­grace with our hands and with all our strength we will push them back.”

Pro-ISIS Twit­ter accounts have also reg­u­larly reposted state­ments from Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Ansar Jerusalem), a ter­ror­ist group based in Gaza and the Sinai that has pro­claimed alle­giance to ISIS. These have included state­ments of sup­port as well as videos of attacks against Israel claimed by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis.

Semi-official pro-ISIS Twit­ter accounts have added to the threats as well. For exam­ple, “The Light Series,” a group that dis­trib­utes pro-ISIS videos to YouTube that has received high lev­els of acclaim from ISIS mem­bers and sup­port­ers online, has shared images of allegedly Pales­tin­ian chil­dren dressed as Hamas mil­i­tants and a poster depict­ing a quote from Osama bin Laden say­ing, “Their rejec­tion of Hamas after it had won the elec­tion con­firms that there is a Crusader-Zionist war against Muslims.”

Sim­i­larly, the Twit­ter account “Prophet’s Khi­lafa,” an unof­fi­cial ISIS account that claims to be “ded­i­cated to spread­ing the news of the Islamic State to the Eng­lish speak­ing audi­ence,” has posted images of destruc­tion in Gaza and a series of posters depict­ing anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries such as “Jews after eman­ci­pa­tion involved in slave trade, women traf­fick­ing and prostitution.”

Indi­vid­ual sup­port­ers are also adding to the cho­rus. One image in par­tic­u­lar depicts ISIS’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (now call­ing him­self Caliph Ibrahim) stand­ing in front of an ISIS flag and a pile of ruins, while the Dome of the Rock mosque (and in some ver­sions also the Al Aqsa mosque) shine in the back­ground. Posted on July 9th and in mod­i­fied form on July 11th, the images have been shared on a num­ber of pro-ISIS accounts.

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July 11, 2014 0

ISIS Weighs In On Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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Al-Battar Media tweet threat­ens: “Patience, Jews, our appoint­ment is at al-Quds [Jerusalem] tomor­row, for the one who waits is close.”

As the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, an Al Qaeda inspired ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion seek­ing to cre­ate an Islamic empire) gains con­fi­dence, ter­ri­tory and expands its exten­sive online pres­ence, the ter­ror­ist group (and its sup­port­ers) are increas­ingly mak­ing threats against Israel in response to the ongo­ing conflict.

One of ISIS’ sev­eral media wings, Al-Battar Media, tweeted a series of graph­ics threat­en­ing Israel. One graphic posted July 9 shows storm clouds over Jerusalem with a warn­ing: “Patience, Jews, our appoint­ment is at al-Quds [Jerusalem] tomor­row, for the one who waits is close.” Another image posted the same day shows the Dome of the Rock mosque super­im­posed in front of mil­i­tants and fea­tures the same language. 

ISIS’ Dawla Media Twit­ter feed, which reg­u­larly posts ISIS pro­pa­ganda mate­ri­als, tweeted a quoteon July 8 pur­port­edly from a Hamas spokesman say­ing, “All our mil­i­tary oper­a­tions till now are just [a] mes­sage for Israel.”

Dawla Media has also tweeted a state­menton July 9 indi­cat­ing that ISIS must fight the sur­round­ing Arab states before it can attack Israel “because they are the pro­tec­tive fence sup­port­ing the Jews.”

Other state­ments have been tweeted from a feed asso­ci­ated with the pro-ISIS extrem­ist forum “Al-Platform Media,” which has been tweet­ing state­ments by forum users. For exam­ple, one tweet from July linked to a con­ver­sa­tion on the forum pro­claim­ing, “Allah’s curse upon those of you who have made filth on the holy places. Zion­ist dogs…I would cru­cify you.”

ISIS’s online sup­port­ers are also tweet­ing their own threats. One sup­porter wrote that the kid­nap­pings and deaths of the three Israeli teenagers Naf­tali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach would be the first of many such attacks. And at least one sup­porter posted the anti-Semitic “Khay­bar” slo­gan evok­ing the story of slay­ing thou­sands of Jews from the tribe of Khaiber in Ara­bia 1400 years ago. The slo­gan has been retweeted and favor­ited by many ISIS supporters.

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ISIS map that reads, “We fight in Lev­an­tine and our eyes are ded­i­cated towards beit al Maqdis [Jerusalem]”

ISIS pro­pa­ganda tar­get­ing Israel is not with­out prece­dent. Even before the cur­rent con­flict, maps dis­trib­uted online by ISIS demon­strat­ing its ter­ri­to­r­ial ambi­tions reg­u­larly included Israel as part of the Islamic State. A map released by ISIS in March claimed that the orga­ni­za­tion held ter­ri­tory 220km away from Israel and threat­ened rocket attacks, say­ing, “We fight in the Lev­an­tine and our eyes are toward Jerusalem.”

A video released by ISIS last month before the cur­rent con­flict included threats against Jews and Chris­tians to rally its mil­i­tants. The video includes explicit anti-Jewish state­ments, includ­ing “Wher­ever our war goes, Jew­ish rab­bis are humiliated.”

ISIS has a long his­tory of threat­en­ing Israel. As early as 2005, the organization’s pre­de­ces­sor, Al Qaeda in Iraq, claimed at least 2 rocket attacks against Israel. In 2008, the organization’s leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi issued an audio state­ment call­ing for attacks on Israel and propos­ing to use Iraq as a “launch­ing pad” for mis­sile attacks against Israel.

ISIS has become well known for its sophis­ti­cated use of social media, where it dis­sem­i­nates pro­pa­ganda, threat­ens west­ern nations and enables sup­port­ers to take part in that process.

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June 27, 2014 0

ISIS Propaganda Campaign Threatens U.S.

Friday image one graphicThe Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) announced a new social media cam­paign this week designed to threaten the U.S. and warn it against send­ing mil­i­tary assis­tance to Iraq.

The cam­paign, “Warn­ing to the Amer­i­can Peo­ple,” is being orga­nized on social media around the hash­tag #Calami­ty­Will­Be­fal­lUS and is being directed through one of the many Twit­ter han­dles pur­port­edly belong­ing to ISIS. Par­tic­i­pants are encour­aged to tweet using that hash­tag in Eng­lish or Ara­bic, although “tweet­ing in Eng­lish is pre­ferred.” Par­tic­i­pants are also encour­aged to repost offi­cially sanc­tioned tweets that appear on the ISIS “union page” and use “pho­tos of signs or designs with warn­ing to Amer­i­cans” when possible.

A num­ber of images and slo­gans were pre-released begin­ning on June 24. These include images of the falling World Trade Cen­ter, quotes by the Amer­i­can Al-Qaeda pro­pa­gan­dist Anwar al-Awlaki, and pic­tures of advanc­ing ISIS fighters.

The offi­cial slo­gans fea­ture threats against Amer­i­can inva­sion and a range of par­tic­u­larly inflam­ma­tory mes­sages, including:

  • “If the United States bombs Iraq, every cit­i­zen is a legit­i­mate tar­get for us.”
  • “This is a mes­sage for every Amer­i­can cit­i­zen. You are the tar­get of every Mus­lim in the world wher­ever you are.”
  • “For every drop of blood shed of the Iraqis, Amer­i­cans will shed a river of blood.”
  • “Every Amer­i­can doc­tor work­ing in any coun­try will be slaugh­tered if Amer­ica attacks Iraq.”
  • “Don’t come to Iraq unless you want another 11th Sep­tem­ber to happen.”

ISIS is par­tic­u­larly adept at har­ness­ing the power of social media. The orga­ni­za­tion main­tains a vari­ety of Twit­ter accounts in mul­ti­ple lan­guages and sev­eral ISIS regional groups main­tain Twit­ter feeds as well. ISIS also runs an app that auto­mat­i­cally directs its pro­pa­ganda onto sup­port­ers’ accounts, sig­nif­i­cantly aug­ment­ing its mes­sage and reach.Terrorist exploita­tion of online forums has become an increas­ingly impor­tant ele­ment of the rad­i­cal­iza­tion process in recent years.

In addi­tion, ISIS reg­u­larly takes advan­tage of hash­tags that enable ISIS’s mes­sage to trend on Twit­ter. It also main­tains a Twit­ter feed ded­i­cated to inform­ing sup­port­ers of trend­ing hash­tags. Sup­port­ers can then tweet ISIS mes­sages that will be viewed by any­one look­ing at a trend­ing topic (for exam­ple: an ISIS user might post a pro-ISIS ISIS hashtag usemes­sage along with the hash­tag “#world­cup” as demon­strated by the image at right).

The cur­rent cam­paign marks a depar­ture from stan­dard ISIS pro­pa­ganda. The major­ity of ISIS’s past atten­tion has been geared to bol­ster­ing its image and recruit­ing fight­ers; sur­pris­ingly lit­tle has been directed against the U.S. But ISIS has nonethe­less always expressed anger and sus­pi­cion about U.S. pol­icy. An April 2014 speech by the group’s main spokesman, for exam­ple, con­flated the U.S. with Satan, say­ing, “Yes, ver­ily the plot of Shay­tan [Satan] is weak. Amer­ica came to Iraq lead­ing a fren­zied crusade….The Cru­saders thought that no one would be able to over­come them; how­ever Allah the Mighty and Majes­tic dis­graced them and showed us the weak­ness of their plot.” In the same speech, he claimed that ISIS “is America’s tough­est enemy.”

In addi­tion to Twit­ter, the “Warn­ing to the Amer­i­can Peo­ple” cam­paign is being posted on Face­book, in YouTube videos, and on var­i­ous extrem­ist forums.

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