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October 3, 2014 1

Oklahoma Beheading & The Secondary Effect of Terrorist Propaganda

The evo­lu­tion of online ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda has been marked by tar­geted efforts to rad­i­cal­ize and recruit west­ern­ers, often encour­ag­ing them to stage attacks in the U.S. or join ter­ror­ist groups abroad. The influ­ence of this vio­lent pro­pa­ganda, how­ever, goes beyond its intended audience.alton-nolan-via-fb

Alton Nolan, who allegedly beheaded one for­mer coworker and stabbed a sec­ond last week in Okla­homa, did not have any appar­ent ties to ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions or appear to be respond­ing to a spe­cific call for attacks on behalf of any orga­ni­za­tion. But his actions can be viewed as a sec­ondary effect of ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda, which any­one can access with ease.

Nolan’s online activ­ity sug­gests that his inter­est in extrem­ist vio­lence may well have informed his deci­sion to under­take a behead­ing, rather than another form of vio­lence. Some of his Face­book posts, for exam­ple, indi­cate an affin­ity to vio­lent images com­monly prop­a­gated by Islamic extrem­ists. One post from March 2014 fea­tures an image of a behead­ing with text that jus­ti­fies that form of mur­der in Islam, an image of a woman receiv­ing lashes, and an image of a man hold­ing a poster that states “Islam will dom­i­nate the world.” Nolan included a cap­tion that stated “Sharia law will takeover (sic)…Cut the hands off the thieves…Islam is the true religion.”

In June 2014 he posted a screed against Father’s Day together with an image of a mil­i­tant from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He also wrote mul­ti­ple screeds against the U.S. and specif­i­cally the Statue of Lib­erty for allow­ing women to show their hair, sell­ing pork in gro­cery stores, and allow­ing same-sex marriage.

In May 2014, Nolan posted two images of what appear to be fright­ened women along­side quotes from the Qu’ran about pun­ish­ing “unbe­liev­ers” and the sen­tence “These piks aren’t qiute how their gnna be but jst sum piks. (sic)”

Such posts were inter­spersed with posts about UFOs, posts explain­ing why some peo­ple have blond hair, and posts about Black Moores enslav­ing “white Euro­peans” and keep­ing “white harems,” among oth­ers. Those posts are also signed “****InfoFromAMuslim****.”

In late 2013, prior to these posts, Nolan also had a series of posts sug­gest­ing that Blacks are the “true Jews” and dis­cussing Hitler, Neo-Nazis, and the KKK.

An analy­sis of all these posts indi­cates that Nolan was appar­ently fas­ci­nated by the vio­lence por­trayed by Islamic extrem­ism. He attempts to pro­mote him­self by preach­ing it. But he does not appear to have con­nec­tions to rad­i­cal extrem­ism, and the core of his vio­lent ten­den­cies appear per­son­ally motivated.

These sec­ondary effects of ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda were sim­i­larly demon­strated in the case of a mur­der that took place in New Jer­sey in August. The accused per­pe­tra­tor in that case, Ali Muhammed Brown, had a pre­vi­ous crim­i­nal record and is also accused of killing three indi­vid­u­als in Cal­i­for­nia in June. In August, he was allegedly engaged in a rob­bery when he shot a man in a car. When appre­hended, Brown claimed that the mur­der was revenge for U.S. actions in the Mid­dle East.

This was not the first crim­i­nal charge against Alton Nolan, a 30-year-old for­mer employee at a food pro­cess­ing plant in Okla­homa. He had pre­vi­ously been con­victed on drug, resist­ing arrest and escape charges.

Nolan appar­ently con­verted to a rad­i­cal ver­sion of Islam in or around the time he went to prison. In Jan­u­ary 2014, he began sign­ing his Face­book posts and com­ments with the phrase “****InfoFromAMuslim****.”

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May 30, 2013 11

Latest Inspire Magazine Celebrates Boston Bombing

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Com­mem­o­ra­tive graphic of Boston Bomber Tamer­lan Tsar­naev in lat­est issue of Inspire

The eleventh issue of Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula’s Inspire mag­a­zine cel­e­brates the April 15 Boston Bomb­ing, praises the Tsar­naev broth­ers and encour­ages future attacks against the U.S.

The mag­a­zine, recently released online, high­lights how the Boston bombers, Tamer­lan and Dzkhokhar Tsar­naev, were aided by pre­vi­ous issues of Inspire. Accord­ing to fed­eral law enforce­ment offi­cials, the broth­ers got bomb-making instruc­tions from the mag­a­zine.

This issue fea­tures let­ters and sev­eral arti­cles rev­el­ing in the death and destruc­tion of Amer­i­cans. For exam­ple, the let­ter to the edi­tor reads: “Amer­i­cans, you should under­stand this sim­ple equa­tion: as you kill you will be killed… Yes­ter­day it was Bagh­dad, today it is Boston… You should be ask­ing, ‘Where is next?’”

“The peace you enjoyed before Sep­tem­ber 11 is merely just part of his­tory,” the let­ter con­tin­ues. “In other words, you will never enjoy peace until we live it prac­ti­cally in Pales­tine and all the infi­del forces leave the Penin­sula of Muham­mad and all other Mus­lim lands.”

Another let­ter, writ­ten by “Jonas the rebel,” encour­ages Amer­i­can Mus­lims to engage in lone wolf attacks. “…your belong­ing­ness to Islam is enough to clas­sify you as an enemy… The Boston Bomb­ings have uncov­ered the capa­bil­i­ties of the Mus­lim Youth, they have revealed the power of the Lone Jihad operation.”

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Inspire Mag­a­zine pub­lishes col­lec­tion of tweets “from the mujahideen in the Ara­bian Peninsula”

The mag­a­zine includes a col­lec­tion of tweets “from the mujahideen in the Ara­bian Penin­sula” fur­ther cel­e­brat­ing the Boston bomb­ing. It even includes a “News­flash” sec­tion laud­ing the tor­nado in Okla­homa ear­lier this month, claim­ing that “Mus­lims and oth­ers alike cel­e­brated and prayed for more to strike Amer­ica… This is not from nature, this is from the Lord of nature.”

In an arti­cle titled “Mes­sage to the Amer­i­can Nation,” Qas­sim Ar-Reimy writes about Amer­ica “med­dling” in the affairs of Mus­lims. The arti­cle promises that those “stand­ing against your aggres­sion and oppres­sion on human­ity” will “dam­age your econ­omy and ter­rify your hearts.”

Since it was first pub­lished in 2010, numer­ous inter­na­tional and domes­tic extrem­ists moti­vated by rad­i­cal inter­pre­ta­tions of Islam have been influ­enced by the mag­a­zine and, in some cases, report­edly uti­lized the bomb mak­ing instruc­tions in their attempts to carry out attacks.

Samir Khan, a 24-year-old Amer­i­can known for dis­trib­ut­ing ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda mate­r­ial online, was the prin­ci­pal author of Inspire before he was killed by a U.S. drone strike on Sep­tem­ber 30, 2011. This lat­est issue of the mag­a­zine is the fourth to be released since his death.

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