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December 12, 2014

Anti-Semite Gordon Duff Discusses Israeli Control of U.S. In Syria

The Syr­ian government’s Coun­tert­er­ror­ism and Reli­gious Extrem­ism Con­fer­ence featured remarks by American anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist Gordon Duff during which he described the U.S. as being controlled by Israel.

Gordon Duff speaking at conference

Gordon Duff speaking at the conference

Senior editor at Vet­er­ans Today, a web­site that presents anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries as news, Duff described himself as the “U.S. Keynote Speaker” at the conference. During his remarks, Duff told his audience that “I do believe there are areas of misunderstanding [about] how the United States works politically…It’s very difficult to understand what has happened as far as Israeli control of American politics, and I will, as succinctly as possible, I will explain this to you.”

Duff also elaborated on the Veterans Today delegation’s objective while in Syria, stating, “It’s our goal here while we are here to try to establish a method of communication that will allow Syria and other nations in the area to understand Israel’s control of the U.S., the control of the U.S. by organized crime, and how the U.S. government is subservient to a worldwide criminal organization.”

Duff also invoked conspiracy theories about Jewish control of the U.S. government, claiming that the Supreme Court case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission “turned control of the Congress of the United States over to human traffickers, narcotics traffickers, and particular the most powerful individual in the United States today, a gambling boss named Sheldon Adelson, an Israeli citizen who fled the U.S. living in Macau.” Duff alleges that Adelson “spent over one billion dollars in the last election and bought control of both houses of Congress, now Senator John McCain, the father of al-Nusra, the father of ISIS, will be running U.S.  legislative and military foreign policy.”

Without specifying about whom he is speaking, Duff also states in his remarks that “their motivation is largely economic, they’re a criminal organization but they’re part of a worldwide criminal organization and they’re here in your territory taking your things, your factories, your lives, your people, for the enrichment of a very specific group of people who need to be held to account…”

Gordon Duff’s audience at the conference

Duff, who describes himself as “one of the top global intelligence specialists” and one who “regularly consults with governments” also claimed that Syrians have him to thank for preventing the U.S. from bombing Syria after “false-flag gas attacks near Aleppo.” He continued, “It was our organization here that supplied the intelligence that stopped those attacks.”

The con­fer­ence in Syria, held on Novem­ber 30 and Decem­ber 1, brought together rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 25 coun­tries with Syr­ian gov­ern­ment offi­cials who report­edly harshly crit­i­cized the U.S. led anti-ISIS coali­tion and sug­gested an “Inter­na­tional Coun­tert­er­ror­ism Forum” be estab­lished in Dam­as­cus instead to deal with this issue. Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi and Justice Minister Najm al-Ahmad also spoke at the conference. Duff describes al-Ahmad as being “extremely helpful” in bringing the Veterans Today group to Syria.

Additionally, according to Syrian official media, Head of Hezbollah’s Arab Affairs Division, Sheik Hassan Ezzil Deen attended the conference.

Four of the eight Americans  who participated in the conference were from Veterans Today, including Jim Dean, a man­ag­ing edi­tor for Vet­er­ans Today who has made claims of Israeli con­trol of Amer­ica, Colonel Jim Hanke who claims to be a former military attaché to Israel, and Mike Har­ris, who has ties to mem­bers of the neo-Nazi National Social­ist Move­ment (NSM) and has claimed that Zion­ists are respon­si­ble for a num­ber of mass shoot­ings in Amer­ica.

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December 4, 2014

Syrian Counterterrorism Conference Attracts U.S. Anti-Semites

The Syrian government’s Counterterrorism and Religious Extremism Conference is the latest conference organized by a foreign government that has attracted American anti-Semites.

Gordon Duff

Gordon Duff

The conference in Syria, held on November 30 and December 1, brought together representatives from 25 countries with Syrian government officials who reportedly harshly criticized the U.S. led anti-ISIS coalition and suggested an “International Counterterrorism Forum” be established in Damascus instead to deal with this issue. Syria’s Justice Minister Najm al-Ahmad reportedly stated at the conference that the U.S. is “interfering in other states’ affairs and breaching their sovereignty under the pretexts of humanitarianism and counterterrorism.”

Attendees from Europe at the conference included far-right politicians such as Nicholas John Griffin, a former chairman and later president of the far-right British National Party and Philip Dewinter and Frank Creyelman, members of Vlaams Belang, a far-right Flemish nationalist party.

Four of the eight Americans who participated in the conference were from Veterans Today, a website that presents anti-Semitic conspiracy theories as news.

Jim Dean, a managing editor for Veterans Today who has made claims of Israeli control of America, attended the conference and told an Arabic-language newspaper that Veterans Today has “unconfirmed reports that a secret U.S. organization supported by the CIA and the Israeli Mossad carried out assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists” and that “the same organization has links to the Islamic State (ISIS) and it supervises, through a specialized department, the television filming of beheadings.” He claimed that this secret American-Israeli-supported organization supposedly “oversaw the filming of the beheading of American journalist James Foley in August.”

The delegation from Veterans Today also included Gordon Duff, Colonel Jim Hanke, and Mike Har­ris, who has ties to mem­bers of the neo-Nazi National Social­ist Move­ment (NSM) and has claimed that Zion­ists are responsible for a num­ber of mass shoot­ings in America. Among the Americans was also Richard Hines, described by the Syrian media as a former South Carolina politician who previously served in the Ronald Reagan administration.

Coverage of the conference by Press TV, Iran’s government-run English-language satellite news network which provides a platform to well-known American anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers, was consistent with the conference’s messaging, discussing the West’s supposed “unprecedented support for terrorism in Syria” which aims “to create sectarian tensions and destroy Syria.”

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Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi

Press TV also claimed that even “U.S. experts slammed Washington for interference in Syria’s internal affairs,” and then presented Gordon Duff, senior editor at Veterans Today, as an expert. Duff told Press TV that “thinking that ISIS…the intelligence support they’re getting, that it doesn’t involve multiple intelligence agencies, that it doesn’t involve a number of governments, is unrealistic. We have to accept that we’re dealing with something that involves a broad conspiracy.”

Others at the conference were not as specific about who to blame for terrorism in Syria, but discussed it as part of a general conspiracy. Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi discussed the need “to defeat the conspiracy” and Syria’s Justice Minister Najm al-Ahmad stated that the current events in Syria represented “organized terrorism backed by several countries.”

Additionally, according to Syrian official media, Head of Hezbollah’s Arab Affairs Division, Sheik Hassan Ezzil Deen attended the conference.

Other recent conferences abroad that have hosted American anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, and conspiracy theorists include the 2nd New Horizon Conference in Iran in September 2014, a May 2014 pro-“resistance” conference in Beirut that attracted members of Palestinian terrorist groups as well as at least three American activists, and the Iran Hollywoodism Conference in February 2013. Americans who frequent these types of conferences are often given a platform for their fringe views.

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November 19, 2014

Recent Arrest Highlights ISIS Recruitment of Women

The recent arrest of a Virginia woman on charges related to her support for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) highlights the growing phenomenon of female members and supporters of ISIS – a trend linked to ISIS propaganda and recruitment efforts aimed directly at women.

ADL documented eight female U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been suspected of involvement with terrorist groups in 2014 (only four were arrested; the others were minors).  This is a sharp uptick: ADL documented only 12 female U.S. citizens and permanent residents arrested on terror charges between 2002 and 2013.

Six of the women believed to have engaged in terrorist activity 2014 are accused of involvement with ISIS. Estimates indicate that about 10% of the group’s Western recruits are female.

Heather Elizabeth Coffman, the most recent woman arrested in connection with her support for ISIS, had allegedly maintained several Facebook accounts on which she posted pro-ISIS messages and propaganda. Coffman claimed that she could facilitate travel to join ISIS for potential recruits, offering to connect them with terrorists abroad. She denied these activities in an interview with law enforcement and is charged with lying to federal agents about her involvement with ISIS.

ISIS messaging to women emphasizes their potential roles as the wives of fighters and mothers to the next generation of extremists. The terrorist organization has even established media wings aimed at women.

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Poster announcing the creation of Al Zora Foundation

One such media outlet, Al Zora Foundation, publishes recipes and first aid suggestions together with posters of women in burkas declaring allegiance to ISIS. A recipe for dates with millet, for example, is provided as a “fast mild appetizer eaten with coffee that provides food for the muhajideen (fighters)…they are high in calories and provide the Mujahideen energy and strength.”

Al Zora has also provided advice to women seeking to travel to join ISIS. “How many female Muslims are distinguished from all female Muslims where her concern…and her life aspiration is the explosive belt?” asks one memo, followed by advice for these women to learn first aid, sewing, and cooking, and to participate in exercise and weapons training, as well as extra prayers and supplications that they can use to aid the fighters and teach other women upon their arrival in Syria. “Imagine with me, oh sister,” it states in the section on sewing, “if a mujaheed, a brother to you in Allah, is martyred and his jihadi clothes that he wore and in which he walked, trained, waged jihad, and afflicted the enemy of Allah, were made by your hands.”

isis-khansa-media

A Khansa media poster announcing a new series of posters for female ISIS supporters

Another media outlet, Khansa Media, releases posters and banners with ISIS propaganda statements set alongside flowers and pink backgrounds. It has recently introduced a series of posters proclaiming the “virtues of women.” A video announcing the relaunch of Khansa media this September stated, “We send our message to [Iraqi Prime Minister] al-Maliki and his army that we are ready for him, and we will remain as assets and support for our husbands and our children,” followed by clips depicting women training with weapons.

Both Khansa media and Al Zora also regularly repost and retweet propaganda from ISIS’s primary media outlets. Sometimes they also add their logos to the corners of posters praising dead fighters and the glories of battle.

Multiple female supporters of ISIS also engage with the group’s content on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Ask.FM. These supporters post typical ISIS propaganda about fighting and beheadings alongside statements about modesty and extremist Islam. They emphasize their children (often their Twitter handles begin with the word “umm” which means ‘mother of’ followed by a child’s name) and everyday life, while providing tips to potential recruits and actively encouraging others to travel to Syria and Iraq to join the terrorist group.

Women engaging with terrorist groups is not a new phenomenon, nor is it ISIS specific. Two of the women arrested in 2014 who were not involved with ISIS are accused of supporting Al Shabaab, the Somali Al Qaeda affiliate. In previous years, women have been arrested for causes as diverse as attempting to establish a terror cell abroad to sending funds and aid to various terror groups to attempting to kill U.S. personnel abroad.

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