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August 27, 2014

American Killed In Syria Tweeted ISIS Propaganda

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McCain named himself Duale Khalid on Twitter

The death of American citizen Douglas McAuthur McCain while fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) this weekend may further attest to the impact of ISIS’ sophisticated use of social media and online propaganda.

ISIS, an Al Qaeda inspired terrorist organization operating in Iraq and Syria, encourages its supporters to share its messages on social media. McCain appears to have responded.

Between May and August 2014, McCain regularly shared ISIS tweets and propaganda materials. For example, he retweeted the English translation of a speech by ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani. In June, he shared an image praising martyrdom with the caption “Shuhada [martyrdom] in Jannah [paradise] with there (sic) souls in green birds. flying.”

He also tweeted statements indicating pro-ISIS viewpoints including, “If your (sic) a Muslim and you vote, please let me know so I can unfollow and block you” (indicated anti-democratic sentiment).

His own tweets may also indicate that he had begun thinking about dying. On May 14, he wrote, “Ya Allah when it’s my time to go have mercy on my soul have mercy on my bros.” On June 9, he Tweeted to an  an alleged ISIS fighter: “I will be joining you guys soon.”  Later, he retweeted: “It takes a warrior to understand a warrior. Pray for ISIS.”

 

Before May, McCain had not been active on Twitter for about a year, and before that he did not regularly tweet about extremist issues.  duale-khalid-twitter-isis-mcain

McCain’s Twitter account and Facebook profile (he had recently changed his name to “Duale ThaslaveofAllah” on Facebook) reflected a man with a diverse mix of non-extremist interests. McCain’s “likes” on Facebook included the Chicago Bulls, Pizza Hut and the TV show Chappelle’s Show. He expressed considerable interest in street fighting and ‘liked’ several pages promoting it.

Some “likes” on Facebook also suggested some potential interest in extremism as well. For example, he liked the Facebook page belonging to Musa Cerantonio, an extremist Australian preacher who maintained an active Twitter account that posted and translated ISIS propaganda materials until his arrest in the Philippines in July 2014. He also liked a page called The Black Flag that references Islamist militancy and regularly posted links to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an infamous anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

According to his Twitter account, McCain converted to Islam in 2004, well before he stopped posting about rap, sports and his friends and family on social media.

McCain is the second American identified as having been killed fighting with a terrorist organization in Syria in 2014. In May, Moner Abu Salha of Florida was identified in a Jab­hat al-Nusra (al Qaeda in Syria) video as having participated in a suicide attack. In addition, an apparent American using the pseudonym Abu Dujana al-Amriki was portrayed in a video posted online as having been killed fighting with ISIS in 2013.

Over 100 Americans are believed to have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the fighting, and increasing numbers of those Americans are choosing ISIS as their organization of choice.

McCain was born in 1981 in Illinois. He later moved to the Twin Cities and then to San Diego. He graduated high school and, according to his Facebook profile, studied at San Diego City College.

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July 25, 2014

Anti-Semitism On Display: Two Weeks of U.S. Anti-Israel Protests

In the 15 days of protests against Israel’s response to the latest round of rocket fire from Hamas in Gaza, there have been a total of 134 anti-Israel demonstrations held in cities throughout the U.S. Many of these demonstrations featured anti-Semitism with many comparisons made between the State of Israel and Nazi Germany. In addition, some of the rallies have featured content in support of Hamas and overall Palestinian “resistance.”

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1. California

The state with the most anti-Israel demonstrations was California where there were 19 different protests held in cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chico, and Santa Cruz. Quite a few of these demonstrations featured signs that compared the State of Israel to Nazi Germany. In San Francisco an Israeli flag was burned. In Los Angeles, a demonstrator held a sign that read “That Jew-Jew Lame shit I ain’t with it Israel you better quit it Gaza-za #FreePalestine.”

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2. New York

Ten anti-Israel demonstrations have taken place in New York State in cities such as New York, Syracuse, and Buffalo. At these demonstrations, some participants held up anti-Semitic signs and certain speakers called for the destruction of the State of Israel and defended the terrorist group Hamas.

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3. Ohio and Washington

In Ohio and Washington State, there were nine separate anti-Israel demonstrations held in cities including Cleveland, Toledo, Seattle and Olympia. In both states, protesters held anti-Semitic signs that made comparisons between the State of Israel and Nazi Germany and alleged Israeli control over the American government. “Die-ins” were also held in both states.

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4. Texas

Eight anti-Israel demonstrations took place in cities such as San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and Dallas. Protesters held signs that read “They’re both the same” (written next to pictures of Adolf Hitler, an equals sign, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu), “We’re seeing Israel’s incremental genocide in the Gaza ghetto,” and “End the Palestine Holocaust.”

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5. Florida and Washington, D.C.

Seven separate anti-Israel demonstrations took place across Florida and in Washington, D.C. Protesters attended these demonstrations holding signs that read “Adolf Netanyahu Hitler,” “One Holocaust doesn’t justify another!,” and “Gaza is the real Holocaust.” A sign that read, “Blaming Hamas 4 firing rockets @ Israel is like blaming a woman 4 hitting her rapist” appeared in Miami.

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6. Pennsylvania and Massachusetts

There were six anti-Israel protests held in both Pennsylvania and Massachusetts in cities such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Boston. At these demonstrations, participants were seen with signs that read “Not even the Holocaust gives you the right to do this!” and “Do you think that Israel is a victim? Zionism = Nazism.” The sign “Blaming Hamas for firing rockets is like Blaming a woman who punches her RAPIST” also appeared at a rally in Philadelphia.

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January 8, 2014

U.S. Based Islamist TV Station Disseminates Anti-Semitism

Ahl-e-Bait TV, a San Diego-based Islamist satellite station fixated on attacking mainstream Sunni Islam, has been promoting conspiracies that include anti-Semitic allegations of a Sunni-Jewish alliance.hassan-allahyari

Ahl-e-Bait TV, the only satellite station of its kind based in the U.S., is available through multiple satellite providers around the world. The station, reportedly founded in 2009, has seen its popularity grow in the Arab and Muslim world as a result of its provocative messages, which can be accessed through multiple online platforms as well.

The bulk of the station’s broadcast features live discussions between callers from the Muslim and Arab world and the California-based Sheik Hassan Allahyari, a Shi’a cleric originally from Afghanistan whose religious views and public criticism of prominent Muslim figures has increased his profile in the Muslim world in recent years.

In an episode that was posted online on December 13, 2013, Allahyari accused one of the most revered Sunni figures, the second Muslim Caliph, Umar ibn Al-Khattab, of supporting Jews. Allahyari said, “This man [Umar ibn Al-Khattab] deeply loves the Jewish narratives and the satirical religious stories and heretical lies which Jews claim about several of God’s prophets, such as Joseph, Lot and Abraham.” Allahyari also suggested that ibn Al-Khattab loves “the falsified Torah” and that he was married to a Jewish genie.  

In a live discussion in November with a caller from Algeria about ibn Al-Khattab’s decision to allow Jews to remain in their homes following the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem, Allahyari accused ibn Al-Khattab of “serving the Jews by letting them live in Palestine.” Allahyari added that Umar ibn Al-Khattab preceded contemporary Israeli leaders in the effort to establish a Jewish presence in Palestine.

Although the station’s primary target is generally Sunni Muslims, Ahl-e-Bait TV has also attacked Christians, Jews and other Shi’a Muslims in the past who disagree with their views. In a March 9, 2012 broadcast, for example Allahyari ridiculed an Iranian Christian caller for believing in the trinity. Allahyari concluded his conversation with the caller by telling him, “If you had any intelligence, you wouldn’t be a Christian.”Allahyari has also attacked contemporary Sunni states for seeking support from Christians and Jews in their conflicts, claiming that Saudi Arabia forged alliances with Jews and America against Saddam Hussein during the 1991 Gulf War. 

In recent years, the Sunni-Shi’a schism in the Muslim world has sparked anti-Semitic allegations, with each side accusing the other of affiliating with Jews.

Ahl-e-Bait TV describes its goal as to “expose the enemies of the Prophet and his family (p) without pandering to anyone…” and “to show the true Islam which has been hidden from the common people.”

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