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October 3, 2014

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

Latest Inspire Magazine Celebrates Boston Bombing


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.”


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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