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May 11, 2016

Biking—and Walking—to Fight Hate

Ed Blumenthal

Ed Blumenthal

Ed Blumenthal is fighting anti-Semitism and hate with everything he’s got—including his legs.

His late father, Ernie Blumenthal, escaped from Nazi Vienna in 1938, but luckily found a home in Philadelphia. His grandfather barely escaped some time later.

To honor the memory of his father, who died recently from pancreatic cancer, and to raise awareness of that illness and of anti-Semitism and hate, Ed rode his bike from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, a three-day, 374-mile trip. All monies pledged through “The Journey for Ernie,” as Ed calls it, will support the Anti-Defamation League’s 2016 Walk Against Hate in Philadelphia on Sunday, May 15.

Ed and his family are passionate about the Anti-Defamation League. He serves on the Executive Committee and Board of ADL’s Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware Regional Office. His daughter, Carly, has been an ADL Peer Trainer in a No Place for Hate School® for three years, and his son, Kyle, is also an ADL Peer Trainer.

ADL’s Walk Against Hate is an annual event that attracts thousands and brings the city of Philadelphia together. This year it will take place from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m at the Marine Parade Grounds at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, and will feature performances by a variety of entertainment acts, a diversity expo, an expression area for kids and a headline performance by hip-hop artist and television star, Yazz the Greatest.

You can support Ed’s journey and encourage diversity and inclusion by visiting www.walkagainsthate.org. Hope to see you this Sunday!

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January 8, 2016

No Sign of Slowdown for Islamic Extremism Arrests in the U.S. in 2016

Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Janab, arrested January 6

Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Janab, arrested January 6

Two U.S. residents were arrested on Islamic extremism related terror charges in the first week of 2016 and a third allegedly committed a shooting on January 7 on behalf of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Following record-breaking numbers of terror related arrests in 2015, these new arrests portend similarly high levels of Americans engaging in plots and other activity motivated by Islamic extremist ideology in the coming year.

Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Janab, a resident of Sacramento, California, was arrested on January 6, 2015. Al-Janab, an Iraqi-born man who had moved to Syria and then come to the U.S. as a refugee from Syria in 2012, is accused of making false statements in a terror-related investigation. Al-Janab had originally left the U.S. to fight with Ansar al-Islam, a Syrian terrorist group, between 2013 and 2014. Ansar al-Islam had been affiliated with Al Qaeda until August 2014, at which time it merged with ISIS.

Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, a resident of Houston, Texas, was also arrested on January 6, 2015. Al Hardan, who entered the U.S. as a refugee from Iraq in 2009 and is currently a U.S. permanent resident, is charged with providing material support to a terrorist organization by attempting to join the ISIS and with lying in his naturalization application.

A third man, identified as Edward Archer of Pennsylvania, allegedly attempted to kill a law enforcement officer in Philadelphia on behalf of ISIS. There were at least four instances of Islamic extremism inspired violence against law enforcement officers in 2015.

The two individuals arrested were Iraqi born men of Palestinian descent who entered the U.S. as refugees. They reportedly communicated with each other regarding their extremist aspirations.

The vast majority of U.S. residents engaged in terrorism related to Islamic extremism are U.S. citizens.  Between 2009 and 2015, refugees accounted for only three percent of the U.S. residents linked to Islamic extremism.

In 2015, only 3 U.S. residents linked to terror motivated by Islamic extremism had entered the U.S. as refugees. One of the three, Harlem Suarez, entered the U.S. as a refugee when he was a child but appears to have converted to Islam and radicalized while in the U.S.; Suarez was a U.S. permanent resident when he was arrested for attempting to bomb a Florida beach in support of ISIS.

2015 also saw a spike in attempted domestic attacks. There were 18 plots discussed in total in 2015, compared to 1 in all of 2014.

78 U.S. residents in total were linked to terrorist activity motivated by Islamic extremism in 2015. A full list of the individuals, as well as extensive analysis, is available in the ADL report, “2015 Sees Dramatic Spike in Islamic Extremism Arrests.”

In October 2015, FBI Director James Comey indicated that there were 900 open investigations of suspected homegrown extremists, the majority of which are related to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Since that time, there have been 12 U.S. residents linked to terror, at least three of whom (San Bernardino shooters Tafsheen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farooq and Farooq’s friend, Enrique Marquez) had not been monitored by law enforcement prior to the San Bernardino attack in December 2015.

 

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December 18, 2015

ADL Reports at Least 75 Anti-Muslim Incidents In US Since Paris Attacks

Fol­low­ing the shooting in San Bernardino that left 14 people dead and 22 injured, there has been a continued escalation in hos­til­ity and attacks throughout the U.S. against the Mus­lim com­mu­nity and those perceived as Muslim.

Islamic Center of Alameda's boarded up window, after it was shattered by a brick

Islamic Center of Alameda’s boarded up window, after it was shattered by a brick (CBS)

Since the San Bernardino shooting on December 2, at least 27 anti-Muslim incidents have been reported in the U.S., raising the total number of incidents since the November 13 Paris attacks to at least 75.Between the Paris attacks and the San Bernardino shooting, ADL tracked approximately 48 anti-Muslim incidents. These numbers are based on reports ADL has collected from media and other sources.

Incidents such as assaults, vandalism, and threats targeting Muslim individuals and institutions in the U.S. tend to noticeably spike in the aftermath of terrorist attacks linked to Islamic extremists in the U.S or abroad.

Below are selected examples of alleged anti-Muslim incidents in the weeks following the San Bernardino attacks, both criminal and non-criminal:

Assaults

  • Grand Rapids, Michigan: Aman holding up a convenience store reportedly called the Sikh manager a “terrorist” and suggested he was a member of ISIS before shooting him in the face. (December 12)
  • Queens, New York: A man beat a Muslim store owner in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens. The attacker reportedly stated, “I kill Muslims.” (December 5)

Vandalism

  • Hawthorne, California: “Jesus” graffiti and a fake hand grenade were left at two mosques. (December 12)
  • Alameda, California: A brick was thrown through a mosque’s window, shattering the window. (December 10)
  • Palm Beach, Florida: The Islamic Center of Palm Beach was vandalized, its windows smashed and furniture overturned. (December 3)

Threats and Intimidation

  • Cullman, Alabama: KKK fliers try to recruit Alabamans to stop “the spread of Islam.” (December 10)
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A severed pig’s head was thrown at a mosque’s door. (December 7)
  • Vandalia, Ohio: A 7th grader threatened to shoot and kill a 6th grade Muslim schoolmate, reportedly calling him a “terrorist,” a “towel head,” and a “son of ISIS.” (December 7)
  • St. Louis, Missouri: A threatening voicemail was left at the Islamic Center of St. Louis. The message reportedly stated “I was a Marine, I killed a lot of Muslims, watched a lot of you die and burn…You want to kill? Come my way. I will cut your f-cking head off.” (December 5)
  • Fredericksburg, Virginia: In advance of a public hearing about a new mosque, anti-Muslim fliers were posted around town that read “No Jihad in Fredericksburg.” (December 5)

 

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