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August 29, 2016

New ISIS Propaganda Continues to Encourage Easy Attacks

ISIS propaganda video Deter the Enemy from Harming Your State encourages attacks

Promo for the new ISIS propaganda video

Two newly released ISIS propaganda pieces  encourage the group’s supporters in the West to commit attacks using unconventional weapons, a message that has become a standard for ISIS and has increasingly been adopted by Al Qaeda as well.

A 19-minute long propaganda video circulated on August 23 via social media and Telegram made this call clear. Titled “Deter the Enemy from Harming Your State,” the video, created by ISIS’s Khayr Wilayah Media branch, called on followers “who are unable to make hijrah (travel to join ISIS) and join their brothers the mujahidin (fighters) in the Islamic State” to commit attacks using any means available. “Shake off the dust of negligence,” the video’s narrator intones, accompanied by English subtitles, “and do not try to excuse yourself due to lack of weapons or lethal tools, as you have the best example in the blessed attack in Nice.”

Using language that closely paralleled a 2014 speech by ISIS spokesman Abu Mohamed al Adnani – which was the first major instance of such calls – the video’s narrator  states, “If you lack a bomb or a bullet, take a single American or French kafir (apostate), or any of their allies, then smash his head with a stone, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or push him off a cliff, or strangle him, or poison him, but do not slacken or become weak.”

The video also attempts to exploit anti-Israel sentiment to encourage these attacks, a common tactic in terrorist propaganda. While showing video and images of alleged brutality by Israeli soldiers, the narrator criticizes Syrian preacher Ali Al-Halabi and other religious leaders who have argued against the killing of Jewish civilians, and contrasted those moderate views with ISIS’s assertion that all non-Muslims who are not subordinated by ISIS can be killed. By juxtaposing this with the images of Israelis, the video can be seen as implying that only ISIS takes the side of the Palestinians – and that killing civilians on ISIS’s behalf is  the only way one can be on the side of the Palestinians.

In a separate statement on Telegram,also released on August 23, the pro-ISIS media group Nashir Foundation similarly urges the use of unconventional weapons to commit terror attacks in the West. The statement includes a list of nine suggested plots, ranging from  the use of poison and creating dangerous driving conditions, to calling in false threats in order to create panic and waste resources.

This is not a novel call to action. Over the summer of 2016, several attackers in Western countries used commonplace items as weapons;  in  Nice, the perpetrator drove a truck into a crowd of people, while in other European cities and in the U.S., attacks were attempted or carried out with knives, machetes and axes.

ADL has compiled a list of prior examples of terrorist propaganda that encourages attacks with common items

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July 21, 2016

AQAP Releases Issue 2 of Inspire Guide After Nice Attack

Inspire Guide Nice Attack Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

Cover image of the Inspire Guide

Al Malahem media, Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP)’s pro­pa­ganda wing, released a new pamphlet examining the details of the July 14 attack in Nice, France, and encouraging copy-cat attacks.

The pamphlet is the second in a series called “Inspire Guides,” which state that they are designed to  “[pro­vide] guid­ance to the Lone Mujahid (fighter)” and to “follow-up, guide, put right and cor­rect Lone Jihad oper­a­tions in order to real­ize the best mil­i­tary and polit­i­cal results that serve the gen­eral policy of the Mujahidin (fight­ers) in our war with America.”

The first Inspire Guide was released in the aftermath of the June 12 shooting in Orlando, and provided tips for amplifying Al Qaeda’s message and increasing casualties in copycat attacks.

The new guide was released on Telegram on July 12. It proclaimed that Muhammad Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who conducted the attack, “executed the operation in its totality and perfection,” and suggested only that extremists seeking to replicate it refer to Inspire magazine, AQAP’s English-language propaganda magazine, for tips on increasing the lethality of truck attacks.

The speed with which the Inspire Guide was released after the Orlando and Nice attacks stands in contrast to the irregularity of Inspire magazine, which has produced a sporadic 15 issues since it was first published online in 2010. Unlike the magazine, however, both issues of Inspire Guide have consisted of only a few pages on one subject, without any graphics or attempts at sophisticated design.

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July 21, 2016

Arizona Arrest Reminder of Link between Terror and Anti-Semitism

Mahin Khan arizona terror plot

Mahin Khan

Court proceedings have indicated that Arizona resident Mahin Khan, arrested on July 1 for allegedly plotting to bomb a DMV on behalf of ISIS and the Pakistani Taliban, had considered directing his attack against a local Jewish Community Center (JCC) before choosing the DMV as his final target. His planning, as well as anti-Semitic statements he made, serve as a critical reminder of the nexus between anti-Semitism and Islamic extremism.

Khan had allegedly indicated his interest in attacking the JCC in an October 2015 conversation with an undercover FBI employee that was relayed in court on July 20, 2016. The criminal complaint filed against Khan also quoted him as requesting ammunition to target Jews, saying, “Need AK and pistols can u do that wanna take out marines and jews (sic).”

News reports suggest additional evidence of Khan’s anti-Semitism as well. A former classmate of his reportedly claimed that, “At one point he went as far as to say ‘what Hitler did was good.’ And he told me that he did not like the Jewish people.”

  • Khan is the 22nd U.S. residents motivated by Islamic extremist ideology to plot or consider an attack against Jewish or Israeli targets since 2002.
  • He is the 5th U.S. resident arrested in Arizona related to activity motivated by Islamic extremist ideology since 2002. Three additional Arizona residents have also been linked, but were killed or arrested outside the state.
  • Khan is the second U.S. resident to consider attacking a domestic Jewish target in 2016. The other was James Gonzalo Medina, a Florida resident arrested on April 29, 2016 accused of plotting to blow up a Florida synagogue during the Passover holiday on behalf of ISIS.

ADL has written a report about the connections between anti-Semitism and Islamic extremist ideology, which also includes a list of U.S. residents linked to terrorism since 2012 who expressed anti-Semitic motivation and a list of plots against Jews and Jewish institutions worldwide.

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