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December 28, 2012

Anti-Semitism Right on Your iPod

Interested in listening to an anti-Semitic lecture while commuting to work or going for a run? A variety of anti-Semitic podcasts by scholars and religious leaders in the Arab world are available for download through iTunes.

A downloadable lecture by Abu Bakr al-Jaza’iri, a prominent scholar and Islamic studies professor who lives in Saudi Arabia, accuses Jews of spreading atheism and corruption in the world. The lecture, titled “The Role of Jews in Defaming the Hijab,” blames Jews for setting off a women’s liberation movement in Islam and claims that Jews aim to spread the same corruption and immorality among Muslims that they previously spread to Europeans. Al-Jaza’iri says, “They [the Jews] targeted Europe. How did they attack it? They founded the Bolsevik secular atheist sect also known as Marxist Communism…humanity never knew atheism before the Jewish gang plot.” He also accuses Jews of causing world wars: “The Second World War was sparked by the Jews… no world war was started without the Jews.”

Another available lecture refers to the Talmud to advance anti-Semitic theories about Jews. The lecture, by prominent Egyptian Sheik Muhammad Hassan, is called “Black Pages From the History of Jews” and describes the Talmud as a “filthy sexually perverted vulgar book.” Sheik Hassan also claims that Jews are guilty of “cheating and spreading corruption on Earth.” The lecture originally aired on Al Rahma, an Egyptian Islamist television station.

There are also several downloadable podcasts that feature support for terrorism and calls for violence against Jews. One such lecture by Saudi cleric Sheik Khalid al-Rashid, who is currently serving a 15-year prison term because of criticism of the Saudi government, glorifies Palestinian terrorism and tells the story of a Palestinian suicide bomber who attacked “the enemies… the Jews, who are the sons of apes and pigs.” The sheik weeps emotionally as he describes how the suicide bomber then ascended to paradise. The lecture is titled “Khaiber Khaiber Ya Yahood,” which refers to an Islamic story of an allegedly violent battle between the prophet Muhammad and the Jews of the town of Khaibar, which resulted in the subjugation of the Jews of Arabia.

A similarly themed lecture by prominent Saudi cleric Sheik Salih al-Munajjid calls on Muslims to attack Jews. The lecture, titled “Oh Jews, the Muslims are Coming,” advocates for jihad and explains that “to assassinate Jewish leaders is a great Sunnah [Islamic way].”

Hezbollah and a Palestinian media organization that claims to be the mouthpiece for Hamas have previously launched smartphone applications via iTunes. The Hezbollah app was removed last July.

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December 12, 2012

Shabaab Spokesman’s “Close Friend” Arrested

Two American citizens residing in Alabama were arrested yesterday in Georgia on suspicion of terrorism-related activity.

Randy “Rasheed” Wilson was arrested in Atlanta attempting to board a flight to Morocco. Wilson allegedly claimed to be a close friend of Omar Hammami, the Alabama native who became the public face of Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda-affiliated Somali terrorist organization. His co-conspirator, Mohammad Abukhdair, was arrested at a bus station en route to Canada from where he reportedly planned to join Wilson.  Both were charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists in an Alabama federal court on Monday.

According to court documents, Wilson and Abukhdair expressed their admiration for radical American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and Osama bin Laden, as well as repeating their commitment to carry out violent jihad, to an undercover FBI employee.  They even turned over a cache of jihadist propaganda, including Awlaki lectures, to the undercover employee for destruction. Wilson, who is 25, apparently believed that “one way or another everyone’s gonna have to fight… there’s no deed better than jihad,” according to the transcripts of recorded conversations submitted to the court.

Wilson had previously reportedly conspired with another mutual friend of Hammami’s (who later became a confidential informant) to travel to Somalia to join Al Shabaab. Abukhdair had been detained by Egyptian authorities on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activity and was deported back to the United States.  He apparently admitted to the undercover FBI employee that he had jihadist material on his laptop at the time and believed that “Allah protected him” because Egyptian intelligence had not found it.

The two men, who met online in 2010, supposedly discussed several possible destinations, including traveling to Somalia via Sudan, where they reportedly expected special treatment because of Wilson’s relationship with Hammami. Abukhdair alternatively proposed that they carry out attacks in the United States because he feared he would not be allowed to travel internationally after being turned away from a flight to Jordan earlier this year.  According to the charges, Abukhdair allegedly suggested engaging in hostage-taking operations in the U.S. and demanding the release of Muslim terrorists being held in American prisons in exchange.

The court documents assert that Wilson and Abukhdair made definite travel arrangements to go to Mauritania via Morocco in October. The two also reportedly discussed traveling to Mali from Mauritania where Islamic militants are active in the north of the country.

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