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August 12, 2014 0

ISIS Renews Twitter Campaign Threatening U.S.

al-battar-isis-poster

Image tweeted by Al Bat­tar Media

In response to U.S. engage­ment in Iraq, ISIS sup­port­ers have renewed threats on Twit­ter that Amer­i­cans and the U.S. are at risk of attack. Most of the threats are being posted with the hash­tag #AMessageFromISIStoUS.

Although many offi­cial ISIS media out­lets have been deleted from Twit­ter in recent days, the Al Bat­tar Media han­dle, one of ISIS’s offi­cial accounts, has been post­ing threats, with tweets such as “Would you like to taste the losses, pain, death and all what you tasted in Iraq again?” and “O West­ern­ers, your gov­ern­ments have lost their minds, and they will let you pay the cost of their stu­pid­ity, the Islamic State is too strong, so you must yield to it, not fight it!”

An unof­fi­cial pro-ISIS account that tweets infor­ma­tion from Al Bat­tar media has also tweeted such mes­sages as “Lis­ten: All your bases in the Ara­bian Gulf are our tar­gets, and you know what we’ll do with the employ­ees!” “Tar­get­ing Iraq means tar­get­ing Amer­ica and Amer­i­cans in (sic) all over the world!” and “NOW we’re warn­ing the Amer­i­cans NOW our words speak After Airstrikes: We’re cut­ting their heads Our weapons speak!” All were tweet­ed­with the hash­tag #AMessageFromISIStoUS.

The “Shamal­mala­hem Media” han­dle, ded­i­cated to releas­ing pro-ISIS news, has been pref­ac­ing all of its tweets (regard­less of sub­ject) with the mes­sage from ISIS hash­tag or the hash­tag #Calami­ty­Will­Be­fal­lUS. Its tweets include descrip­tions and video of ISIS fight­ers attack­ing Kur­dish and Iraqi forces, as well as video in which it claims ISIS snipers are “catch­ing the Amer­i­can sol­diers in Iraq.”

Shamal­mala­hem Media has also released an eigh­tand a half minute video addressed “to the peo­ple of the united states (sic) and a mes­sage espe­cially to the (sic) barack obama (sic)” call­ing for the U.S. to remem­ber the destruc­tion it encoun­tered in the sec­ond Iraq war, and to expect worse should troops be sent. The video has since been removed from YouTube  as a vio­la­tion of the company’s policies.

As is typ­i­cal for ISIS social media cam­paigns, mul­ti­ple ISIS sup­port­ers are also tweet­ing var­i­ous threats with the same hash­tags. A num­ber of the sup­port­ers have specif­i­cally directed the threat against New York City, post­ing images of Times Square and of the falling Twin Tow­ers along with the mes­sage “The head of ISIS Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said: Our appoint­ment in New York.”

This cam­paign is the sec­ond time that ISIS orga­nized a Twit­ter cam­paign threat­en­ing the U.S. The first was in June when the group encour­aged fol­low­ers to tweet using the hash­tag #Calami­ty­Will­Be­fal­lUS, to warn the U.S. against engage­ment in Iraq.  That hash­tag has occa­sion­ally been used in the cur­rent cam­paign as well.

ISIS has become well known for its sophis­ti­cated use of social media even as it is increas­ingly blocked by social media sites.

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August 5, 2014 1

New ISIS Video Recruits Westerners

Fol­low­ing reports that between 70 and 100 Amer­i­cans have trav­elled to fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a new video released by ISIS’s Al-Hayat media wing has allegedly fea­tured an Amer­i­can call­ing for oth­ers to join.isis-terrorist-targets-video

The video, “Eid Greet­ings from the land of Khi­lafah,” was released on August 2 and fea­tures video of chil­dren prais­ing the organization’s gov­er­nance inter­spersed with video of fight­ers from around the world. The alleged Amer­i­can is a man called Abu Abdu­rah­man al-Trinidadi who is appar­ently of Trinida­dian ori­gin. Other mil­i­tants fea­tured  allegedly came from Great Britain, Fin­land, Tunisia, Indone­sia, Bel­gium, Morocco and South Africa. All praise ISIS and encour­age Mus­lims from around the world to join the orga­ni­za­tion and to estab­lish them­selves in the ter­ri­tory it holds.

For more back­ground on ISIS’s media savvy and recruit­ment of for­eign fight­ers, see ADL’s report “Hash­tag Ter­ror: How ISIS Manip­u­lates Social Media.”

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August 1, 2014 0

Gaza’s Future: It’s Up to the International Community

by Abra­ham H. Fox­man
National Direc­tor of the Anti-Defamation League

This arti­cle orig­i­nally appeared in The Jerusalem Post

The “bar­baric vio­la­tion of the cease-fire agree­ment,” in the words of the White House spokesman, by Hamas when they attacked Israeli sol­diers, killing two and tak­ing one hostage, sums up the chal­lenge fac­ing Israel and the West in this vital conflict.

An orga­ni­za­tion that launches rock­ets at civil­ians, uses its own civil­ians as human shields, that has in its char­ter repeated calls for the destruc­tion of the Jew­ish state is, not sur­pris­ingly, an orga­ni­za­tion to whom an agree­ment on a cease­fire is just another tac­ti­cal oppor­tu­nity in its ongo­ing war and is there merely to be vio­lated to achieve their evil ends.

This bla­tant action high­lights the need for stronger solu­tions to the prob­lem of Hamas in Gaza. Make no mis­take about it. If this con­flict ends leav­ing Hamas stand­ing with­out a clear path toward pre­vent­ing its rear­ma­ment in the years ahead, the vio­lence to come will make what we have seen so far look pale in comparison.

Some would argue that what Israel has to do is expand its oper­a­tion to destroy the Hamas infra­struc­ture and lead­er­ship so that it is no longer a threat and can no longer dom­i­nate Gaza. Such a deci­sion lies, of course, with the Israeli gov­ern­ment, but clearly there has been a hes­i­ta­tion to go in that direc­tion because of the poten­tial for sig­nif­i­cant IDF casu­al­ties, the inevitable dra­matic rise of Pales­tin­ian civil­ian casu­al­ties, and the impact on it would have on inter­na­tional, and specif­i­cally U.S. opin­ion toward Israel.

Short of such an expan­sion of the war, the goals need to focus on two things: pre­vent­ing Hamas from rearm­ing after this con­flict and the need for a Secu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion estab­lish­ing a super­vi­sory mech­a­nism and force to imple­ment the ban­ning of new weapons to Hamas.

The his­tory of such efforts is not good, as for exam­ple, the U.N. res­o­lu­tion about Lebanon after the 2006 war which banned weapons going to Hezbol­lah. It is believed that Hezbol­lah now has as many as 60,000 rock­ets, not to men­tion other advanced weaponry.

A com­mit­ment to pre­vent the rearm­ing of Hamas, how­ever, can be far more suc­cess­ful. In the case of Hezbol­lah, Iran was the main sup­plier of weapons and Syria the main conduit.

In the case of Hamas, all of its neigh­bors under­stand that Hamas is not only a threat to peace and sta­bil­ity but it rep­re­sents the larger threat of Islamic extrem­ism that is a dan­ger to mod­er­ate forces through­out the region. There­fore, Egypt, Jor­dan, Saudi Ara­bia, and the Pales­tin­ian Author­ity all would have an inter­est in ensur­ing that a Secu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion of this sort would work and that a super­vi­sory body would have enough author­ity and means to make sure that it does work.

And here is the cru­cially impor­tant upside: only through such an agency could con­di­tions be ripe to improve the qual­ity of life for the res­i­dents of Gaza and for the Pales­tin­ian Author­ity to return to gov­ern­ing Gaza.

One of the dis­may­ing aspects of this con­flict is the lament about civil­ian casu­al­ties in Gaza with­out suf­fi­cient recog­ni­tion of why they have occurred and what has to take place to pre­vent them from recurring.

The com­bustible com­bi­na­tion of an extrem­ist orga­ni­za­tion hav­ing access to rock­ets, mor­tars, machines and mate­r­ial to dig and build tun­nels for mas­sive acts of ter­ror, made this war inevitable.  Future wars are like­wise inevitable unless a new dynamic is created.

The Israel Defense Forces will do their part. It is now time for the inter­na­tional com­mu­nity, led by the U.S., to do its part. The viciously cal­cu­lated vio­la­tion by Hamas of the 72-hour cease­fire agree­ment must serve as a reminder: with­out an over­see­ing body man­dated to pre­vent Hamas from rearm­ing, we will find our­selves in a worse sit­u­a­tion down the road.

The time to act is now.

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