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June 2, 2014 0

Alleged Brussels Jewish Museum Shooter May Have Fought in Syria

Nemmouche 2

Mehdi Nem­mouche

The sus­pected gun­man in the May 24 attack on the Jew­ish Museum in Brus­sels, Mehdi Nem­mouche, report­edly spent about a year in Syria, where French and Bel­gian offi­cials say he may have fought with the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS), a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion for­merly asso­ci­ated with Al Qaeda.

The con­nec­tion may sub­stan­ti­ate fears that west­ern­ers fight­ing in Syria could return to attempt attacks in their home coun­tries. Nemmouche’s choice to attack a Jew­ish museum may also fur­ther demon­strate the con­nec­tion between ter­ror­ist ide­ol­ogy and anti-Semitism.

Nem­mouche was arrested in France on Fri­day. At the time of his arrest, he was in pos­ses­sion of con­sid­er­able ammu­ni­tion, includ­ing a Kalash­nikov rifle wrapped in a sheet with the ISIS sym­bol and the words “God is great.” He also had a video recorder on which he had appar­ently claimed credit for the attack and said he wanted to “kill Jews” and to “set fire to Brus­sels and fill it with blood.”

A native of France, Nen­mouche is believed to have been rad­i­cal­ized in prison and to have left for Syria only three weeks after his release in 2012. French and Bel­gian offi­cials claim there is evi­dence that he fought with ISIS while he was there.

The shoot­ing in the museum resulted in 3 deaths and 1 per­son injured. It bears resem­blance to a shoot­ing at a Jew­ish school in Toulouse, France in 2012 by Mohamed Merah. Merah, a French cit­i­zen, had spent time with extrem­ists in Afghanistan and Pak­istan before return­ing to France and per­pe­trat­ing the attack.

As many as 3,000 Euro­peans and 100 Amer­i­cans are believed tohave trav­elled to join the con­flict in Syria. This travel is only increas­ing as  groups uti­lize social media and online pro­pa­ganda to recruit followers.

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December 23, 2013 4

Newly Designated African Terror Group Targets Israel And Jews

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, also known as 'the one-eyed',  who broke away from Aqim to form al-Mulathamin

Mokhtar Belmokhter

The West African al-Mulathamun Bat­tal­ion, clas­si­fied last week by the State Depart­ment as a for­eign ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion (FTO), has a record of tar­get­ing Israel, threat­en­ing Jews and uti­liz­ing anti-Zionist rhetoric to inspire its followers.

In 2011, the group’s leader Mokhtar Belmokhter said that his fol­low­ers tried “to kill the ambas­sador of the Zion­ist entity” in a drive-by shoot­ing of the Israeli embassy in Mau­ri­ta­nia. In addi­tion to the embassy, they also shot at a night­club that Belmokhtar claimed the ambas­sador had been in moments before.

In Decem­ber 2012, within a month of for­mally break­ing away from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, with which they had been affil­i­ated, the al-Mulathamun Bat­tal­ion spokesman said, “I hope that France real­izes that it is going to have dozens of Mohammed Mer­has and Khaled Kel­kals.” Read­ers may recall, Mohammed Merah attacked stu­dents at the Otzar HaTorah Jew­ish school in France in March, 2012, and Khaled Kel­kal took part in a series of bomb­ings in France in 1995 that included the bomb­ing of a Jew­ish school in Lyon.

In August 2013, the al-Mulathamun Bat­tal­ion cre­ated an alliance with an orga­ni­za­tion called the Move­ment for One­ness and Jihad in West Africa, which has also been des­ig­nated by the State Depart­ment as an FTO. The alliance’s stated rai­son d’etre was “to con­front the Zion­ist cam­paign against Islam and Muslims.”

Such anti-Jewish and anti-Israel rhetoric and threats are com­mon for Islamist ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions.

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