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January 7, 2015 0

Paris Shooting Amid Increased Calls For Homegrown Attacks

Screenshot of an ISIS video encouraging attacks in France

Screen­shot of an ISIS video encour­ag­ing attacks in France

The attack on the French satir­i­cal mag­a­zine Char­lie Hebdo that left twelve peo­ple dead comes at a time when ter­ror­ist groups are increas­ingly encour­ag­ing their sup­port­ers in the West to carry out attacks in their home countries.

While no one has taken respon­si­bil­ity for the attack thus far and the per­pe­tra­tors are still at large, online ter­ror sup­port­ers have already claimed the attack as a vic­tory for their cause.  Char­lie Hebdo has been the focus of ter­ror threats since 2006 for their satir­i­cal depic­tions of Muham­mad and of Mus­lim countries.

While it is still not clear whether this attack was inspired by out­side forces, it is notable that some ter­ror­ist groups have con­sis­tently encour­aged fol­low­ers to orches­trate attacks in their home coun­tries rather than trav­el­ing abroad since at least 2010, per­haps most notably with the release of the first issue of Inspire, an Eng­lish lan­guage mag­a­zine pro­duced by Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP).

Sim­i­larly, a 2011 video released by Al Qaeda’s Cen­tral orga­ni­za­tion fea­tured Amer­i­can Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn urg­ing sup­port­ers in the U.S. to pur­chase guns and under­take shoot­ing sprees.

In 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al Shabaab (the Al Qaeda affil­i­ate in Soma­lia), which had pre­vi­ously encour­aged their adher­ents in the West to join them abroad, began advo­cat­ing indi­vid­ual attacks in the West as equally valuable.

In addi­tion, ter­ror­ist groups have been claim­ing credit for such “free­lance ter­ror­ism,”  includ­ing lone wolf-style attacks. Both ISIS and AQAP, for exam­ple, wrote about and to some extent claimed credit for attacks in New York, New Jer­sey, Okla­homa, Canada and Aus­tralia.

The fol­low­ing is sam­pling of calls for home­grown attacks in 2014, includ­ing those in the U.S. and France:

Decem­ber 2014: An ISIS video call­ing for French Mus­lims to either travel to Iraq and Syria or under­take attacks at home stated, “Oper­ate within France. Ter­ror­ize them and do not allow them to sleep due to fear and hor­ror. There are weapons and cars avail­able and tar­gets ready to be hit. Even poi­son is avail­able, so poi­son the water and food of at least one of the ene­mies of Allah. Kill them and spit in their faces and run over them with your cars.” This video has been recir­cu­lated by ter­ror sup­port­ers on social media in the after­math of the Jan­u­ary 7 attack.

Image from Inspire 13

Image from Inspire 13

Decem­ber 2014: The 6th issue of ISIS’s English-language mag­a­zine Dabiq praised indi­vid­ual attacks on var­i­ous West­ern coun­tries includ­ing the U.S., Canada, Aus­tralia and France, stat­ing, “There will be oth­ers who fol­low the exam­ples set by Man Haron Monis and Numan Haider in Aus­tralia, Mar­tin Couture-Rouleau and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau in Canada, Zale Thomp­son in Amer­ica, and Bertrand Nzo­hab­onayo in France, and all that the West will be able to do is to anx­iously await the next round of slaughter.”

Decem­ber 2014: The 13th issue of AQAP’s Inspire mag­a­zine called for attacks on Amer­i­can, French and British air­lines and assas­si­na­tions of promi­nent West­ern finan­cial lead­ers.  Quotes included, “The Lions of Allah who are all over the globe – some call them lone wolves – should know that they are the West’s worst night­mare,” and, “It’s not nec­es­sary to do what Mohammed Atta (of the 9/11 attack) did, it’s enough to do what Nidal Hasan (the Ft. Hood shooter) did.”

Decem­ber 2014: An ISIS video fea­tured a Cana­dian recruit address­ing peo­ple in Canada who threat­ened the Cana­dian peo­ple and called upon Cana­dian Mus­lims to carry out attacks, stat­ing, “You either pack your bags or you pre­pare your explo­sive devices. You either pur­chase your air­line ticket or you sharpen your knife.”

Novem­ber 2014: An ISIS video titled “What are you wait­ing for,” released in French with Eng­lish and Ara­bic sub­ti­tles, called for attacks on France and fea­tured var­i­ous French mem­bers of ISIS call­ing on their com­pa­tri­ots to attack France or travel to Syria. One specif­i­cally stated, “I send a mes­sage to my broth­ers and sis­ters that live in the land of Kufr (apos­tasy) – France. If you are unable to come to Sham (Syria) or Iraq… oper­ate within France. Ter­ror­ize them and do not allow them to sleep due to fear and hor­ror. There are weapons and cars avail­able and tar­gets ready to be hit. Even poi­son is available….”

Octo­ber 2014: The 4th issue of ISIS’s Dabiq mag­a­zine included the text of a speech released in Sep­tem­ber (see below) that called for attacks on the West. It also included an image of indi­vid­u­als in busi­ness suits walk­ing on a side­walk with the cap­tion “Cru­sader ‘Civilians.’”

Image from Dabiq 4

Image from Dabiq 4

Sep­tem­ber 2014: ISIS released a text ver­sion of a speech by Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, the group’s pri­mary spokesman call­ing for attacks in theWest. Ini­tially released in Eng­lish, French and Hebrew, this was the first sig­nif­i­cant instance where ISIS incited home-grown attacks rather than encour­ag­ing travel to Iraq and Syria. Excerpts from the speech include: “If you can kill a dis­be­liev­ing Amer­i­can or Euro­pean – espe­cially the…French – or an Aus­tralian, or a Canadian…kill him in any man­ner or way how­ever it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s ver­dict. Kill the dis­be­liever whether he is civil­ian or military….”

August 2014: A spe­cial edi­tion AQAP English-language mag­a­zine titled “Pales­tine: Betrayal of the Guilty Con­science” attempted to har­ness anti-Israel sen­ti­ment to call for attacks against the U.S. and the U.K. The mag­a­zine reprinted instruc­tions for build­ing pressure-cooker bombs and car bombs from pre­vi­ous issues of Inspire. Quotes included, “We tell the Mus­lims in Amer­ica and Europe: There is a bet­ter choice and eas­ier one to give sup­port to your ummah (the Mus­lim com­mu­nity). That is indi­vid­ual work inside the West such as the oper­a­tions of Nidal Has­san (the Ft. Hood shooter) and Faisal Shazad (attempted Times Square bomber).”

May 2014: Al Shabaab released a video that called on Mus­lims liv­ing abroad to either join the group in Soma­lia or under­take “a lone wolf mis­sion” in their home country.

March 2014: The 12th issue of AQAP’s Inspire mag­a­zine pro­vided instruc­tions for mak­ing car bombs along with a list of poten­tial tar­gets in the U.S., U.K. and France. State­ments encour­ag­ing attacks on the West include, “Whether the brother has a chan­nel to join the broth­ers [abroad] or not it is bet­ter for him to per­form his duty of Jihad in the West. On the bat­tle­field, you are just another sol­dier, but in the West you are an army on your own.”

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October 27, 2014 1

New Spate of Lone Wolf Attacks Highlights Terrorist Propaganda

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau

A recent series of attacks in the U.S. and Canada have renewed national con­ver­sa­tion about the dan­ger of lone wolf ter­ror­ism: Attacks under­taken by indi­vid­u­als act­ing entirely on their own, with­out belong­ing to an orga­nized extrem­ist group, ter­ror­ist group or cell.

When extrem­ists plan and exe­cute attacks alone, as indi­vid­u­als, there are far fewer oppor­tu­ni­ties for law enforce­ment to detect the attacks in advance and they are much more dif­fi­cult to pre­vent. Con­se­quently, “lone wolf” actions tend to be more deadly.

There is increas­ing spec­u­la­tion that the rise of online ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other for­eign ter­ror­ist groups – and its increas­ing sophis­ti­ca­tion – may con­tribute to such attacks.

ISIS, Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP), and other groups have called on Amer­i­cans, Cana­di­ans and other west­ern­ers to self-radicalize and com­mit lone wolf attacks against their home countries.

In Sep­tem­ber, a speech released by ISIS told sup­port­ers, “If you can kill a dis­be­liev­ing Amer­i­can or Euro­pean – espe­cially the…French – or an Aus­tralian, or a Canadian…kill him in any man­ner or way how­ever it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s ver­dict. Kill the dis­be­liever whether he is civil­ian or mil­i­tary…” One of the sug­gested meth­ods of attack was to “run him [the West­erner] over with your car.”

In August, AQAP issued an English-language mag­a­zine, which stated that the U.S. “needs sev­eral more attacks inside and out­side its ter­ri­to­ries. This could be done by a Mujahid group or a lone Mujahid,” and pro­vided updated instruc­tions for build­ing pres­sure cooker bombs and car bombs. Such sen­ti­ments have been a fea­ture of AQAP’s English-language pro­pa­ganda for years.

More­over, expo­sure to vio­lent images com­bined with the incite­ment of ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda may pro­vide the nec­es­sary ratio­nale to lead indi­vid­u­als with vio­lent ten­den­cies – and some­times unsta­ble behav­ior – over the tip­ping point towards vio­lence. And in pro­vid­ing that ratio­nale, ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda may also direct the vio­lence, lead­ing to a higher like­li­hood of attacks against law enforce­ment, author­ity fig­ures, or other sym­bolic targets.

Zale Thompson’s alleged attack against NY police offi­cers and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s alleged attack on the Cana­dian Par­lia­ment pro­vide exam­ples of this new type of lone wolf: Indi­vid­u­als with some degree of upset and insta­bil­ity who buy into the frame­work of ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda to the extent that they under­take acts of violence.

Thomp­son, for exam­ple, was rumored to be depressed and suf­fer­ing from drug abuse. He was angry about what he per­ceived as oppres­sion of blacks in the U.S. In his embrace of rad­i­cal Islam, he read and wrote about “holy war” and behead­ings, and googled the phrase “jihad against police,” accord­ing to law enforce­ment sources. He also looked up infor­ma­tion on the two Cana­dian attacks before allegedly attempt­ing to kill the police officers.

Less is known about Mar­tin Rouleau-Couture, the man who allegedly ran over two sol­diers in Canada last week, but he, too, appar­ently engaged with extrem­ist pro­pa­ganda online and praised ISIS on his Face­book page.

Lone wolves aren’t the only ones who respond to online incite­ment. A major­ity of the Amer­i­can cit­i­zens who attempt to join for­eign ter­ror­ist groups abroad or to work on their behalf at home have been influ­enced by it to some extent – appar­ently includ­ing the three teenage girls from Den­ver who allegedly attempted to join ISIS last week.

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April 16, 2014 0

Overland Park Shooting Suspect Admired “Lone Wolf” Killers

image

Glenn Miller on Joseph Paul Franklin

Fol­low­ing deadly shoot­ings at Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in Over­land Park, Kansas, on April 13, 2014, Over­land Park police soon arrested a sus­pect, Fra­zier Glenn Cross (more com­monly known as Fra­zier Glenn Miller or sim­ply Glenn Miller). A new ADL report reveals dis­turb­ing new details about his recent activities.

Miller is a long-time white suprema­cist whose extrem­ist career spans decades.   In recent years, Miller was active on the white suprema­cist dis­cus­sion forum Van­guard News Net­work (VNN), mak­ing over 12,000 posts to that site.  He expounded racist and anti-Semitic views on a vari­ety of sub­jects, but dur­ing 2009–2013 Miller repeat­edly made posts related to one rather dis­turb­ing theme:  sup­port for lone wolf white suprema­cists who had com­mit­ted vio­lent acts.

One lone wolf ter­ror­ist Miller admired was James Von Brunn, the 88-year-old white suprema­cist who opened fire at the U.S. Holo­caust Memo­r­ial Museum in June 2009, killing a secu­rity guard.  Miller also approved of Wade Michael Page, the white suprema­cist who embarked upon a deadly shoot­ing spree at a Sikh tem­ple in Wis­con­sin in 2012.  “Many thou­sands of would-be mud [i.e., non-white] immigrants…will decide not to come [after Page’s attack],” Miller wrote shortly there­after.  “Is that good or bad for white folks?  See?”

Another white suprema­cist mur­derer Miller admired was Keith Luke.  In early 2009, Luke embarked upon a mur­der­ous ram­page in Brock­ton, Mass­a­chu­setts, killing two West African immi­grants and shoot­ing and rap­ing a third.  Luke allegedly planned to attack a syn­a­gogue that evening, but police caught up to him before he could carry out the final act of his spree.  In early 2010, Miller described Luke as “a super coura­geous young white man with the guts to act, as opposed to yel­low cyber-space [white nation­al­ists] who only type, anonymously.”

When Nor­we­gian extrem­ist Anders Behring Breivik com­mit­ted bomb­ings and shoot­ings in July 2011 that killed 77 peo­ple, mostly chil­dren, Miller imag­ined an Amer­i­can equiv­a­lent.  “If some enter­pris­ing Amer­i­can fel­low went to a youth camp in the Catskills, Camp David, or Martha’s Vine­yard,” he wrote on the VNN forum that same month, “and ‘sprayed’ some young’uns belong to our immigrant-loving JOG [Jewish-Occupied Gov­ern­ment], I dare say I might not lose a whole lot of sleep…I just might sleep even bet­ter than my norm, pos­si­bly with a wide grin on my face.”

How­ever, if there was one mur­derer whom Miller par­tic­u­larly looked up to, it was Joseph Paul Franklin, the white suprema­cist ser­ial killer and death row inmate who in the 1970s had­com­mit­ted a num­ber of mur­ders and bomb­ings against African-Americans, Jews, and interracialcouples.

In August 2009, Miller pro­claimed that Franklin was “one hell of a [white nation­al­ist].”  Miller­soon actively urged other white suprema­cists to sup­port Franklin—whom he dubbed a “martyr”—by writ­ing him, send­ing him money, and other mea­sures (includ­ing brib­ing guards).  In early 2010, Miller announced on the VNN forum that he had received a let­ter from Franklin, “this liv­ing [white nation­al­ist] legend.”

By Sep­tem­ber 2013, just months before Franklin’s sched­uled exe­cu­tion date, Miller and Franklin had estab­lished a rela­tion­ship, with Franklin mak­ing reg­u­lar phone calls to Miller.   Miller ener­get­i­cally tried to raise money for Franklin and to pro­mote his rep­u­ta­tion.  Franklin, he claimed in a Sep­tem­ber 29 post­ing to VNN, was “the most coura­geous Amer­i­can war­rior for our race in our life­time.”  Two days later, Miller called Franklin, “a lone wolf hero.”

Miller even tried to put him­self into Franklin’s head when describ­ing some of Franklin’s vio­lent actions:  “This one in one-hundred-million white man, in total self con­trol, cool and con­fi­dent in him­self and his Aryan abil­i­ties, does not run away to safety.  No, no, no.  He calmly pulls over, con­fronts the n—–, and blows his black ass away, and the white assed, n—–loving bitch, too, AFTER rel­ish­ing, up close and per­sonal, the ter­ror in their eyes.  And then, and only then, he calmly dri­ves away while plan­ning his next hit.”  For a select few, Miller said in a dif­fer­ent post­ing, “it’s what makes life worth living.”

On Novem­ber 20, fol­low­ing Franklin’s exe­cu­tion, Miller announced his death, then pro­claimed that “Joseph Paul Franklin, mar­tyr, is born and will live for­ever in the hearts and minds of strong, loyal white men, women, and youth.  Hail Joseph Paul Franklin!!!”

Five months later, Fra­zier Glenn Miller allegedly embarked upon his own killing spree in Over­land Park, Kansas.

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