terrorism » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘terrorism’
July 5, 2016 Off

Arabic-Language Social Media Glorifies Killing of Israeli Rabbi

On July 1, Rabbi Miki Mark was mur­dered by Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ists who shot him from their vehi­cle as he was dri­ving with his wife and three of their ten chil­dren in the Hebron area, near the set­tle­ment of Otniel where he headed the local Yeshiva. His wife and two of their chil­dren were wounded in the attack.

As was the case in the recent Tel-Aviv shoot­ing, hash tags glo­ri­fy­ing the attack began appear­ing on Arabic-language social media. They included #the­he­bron­op­er­a­tion, #thera­madan­ji­had, #road60 (the high­way where the shoot­ing took place), as well as #the­quick­re­sponse, imply­ing that this attack was in revenge for the killing of Sara Al-Hajjouj ear­lier that day, who accord­ing to reports, had attempted to stab Israeli Bor­der Police sol­diers at a check­point near the Cave of the Patriarchs.

Glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of the attack was also ref­er­enced under hash tags relat­ing to the ongo­ing wave of Pales­tin­ian ter­ror which began in Sep­tem­ber of 2015, includ­ing #the­jerusalem­intifada and #theintifadacontinues.

Images posted on Twit­ter in after­math of the attack showed the wrecked car (below) with the cap­tion “A Set­tler is Killed and Three Oth­ers Wounded in a Heroic Shoot­ing Oper­a­tion in Hebron”, with the hash tags #road60 and #the­quick­re­sponse, along with the icon of the cur­rent wave of ter­ror at the bot­tom left cor­ner. Also appear­ing below is the cap­tion “Your blood was not shed in vain. Blessed be your right hand, you who were quick to respond”. This refers to the killing of Sara Al-Hajjouj ear­lier that day.

Hamas1

A car­toon links the attack to the Mus­lim holy month of Ramadan by show­ing the rifle against the back­drop of a cres­cent, with the head­line “Oper­a­tion in Hebron in Retal­i­a­tion for the Mar­tyr­dom of a Woman near the Cave of the Patriarchs.”

Hamas2

Notably, Face­book pages claim­ing affil­i­a­tion with Hamas stu­dent cells of Pales­tin­ian uni­ver­si­ties also cir­cu­lated sim­i­lar images. One pro­claim­ing to be Al-Quds University’s Hamas stu­dent cell posted (July 1) an image of the attack’s after­math, with the cap­tion “This is the Pure Weapon … the Weapon of the Resis­tance: a set­tler is killed and three oth­ers wounded in a shoot­ing oper­a­tion on their vehi­cle near Hebron.”

Hamas3

The same pic­ture was posted (July 1) by another Face­book page pro­claim­ing to be part of the Hamas stu­dent cell, this time of Hebron Uni­ver­sity. It also posted the fol­low­ing image, with the cap­tion “The Month of Ramadan.. a Month in which the West Bank’s Men Recorded a Fierce and Heroic Bat­tle.” Below appears the cap­tion “A Set­tler is Killed and Three Oth­ers Wounded in a Shoot­ing Oper­a­tion on their Car near Hebron.”

Hamas4

A Face­book page pre­sent­ing itself as that of the Hamas stu­dent cell of Bir Zeit Uni­ver­sity in the West Bank posted (July 1) a pic­ture of late Rabbi Mark with the cap­tion “Crushed”. The pic­ture even specif­i­cally states that rep­re­sents the Bir Zeit Uni­ver­sity Islamic Bloc of Hamas.

Hamas5

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

June 27, 2016 Off

New AQAP Publication Encourages Additional Attacks Following Orlando

AQAP Inspire pamphlet encourages attacks following Orlando

Cover of the AQAP pam­phlet, fea­tur­ing an image of Omar Mateen

Al Mala­hem media, Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP)’s pro­pa­ganda wing, released a pam­phlet on June 23 that praised the Orlando shoot­ing and pro­vided sug­ges­tions for copy­ing it and mak­ing addi­tional attacks both more lethal and bet­ter suited to AQAP’s pro­pa­ganda aims.

The four-page PDF pam­phlet, which was released on Telegram, was titled “Inspire Guide: Orlando Oper­a­tion,” and included mul­ti­ple ref­er­ences to Inspire mag­a­zine, AQAP’s English-language pro­pa­ganda magazine.

The pam­phlet indi­cated that its goal was 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.”

This fol­lows in the path of recent issues of Inspire mag­a­zine, which have focused on small scale attacks that can be con­ducted by indi­vid­ual sup­port­ers of AQAP.

The pam­phlet praised the fact that the shoot­ing was against a large pub­lic gath­er­ing in an enclosed area, and that the per­pe­tra­tor, Omar Mateen, owned his gun and had prior firearms train­ing. It sug­gested as well that Mateen was able to cause more destruc­tion because, it claimed, “those present in the night­club were drunk.”

How­ever, the pam­phlet sug­gested that it would be best for future per­pe­tra­tors not to tar­get spe­cific groups in soci­ety, such as Lati­nos or the LGBT com­mu­nity, because the focus of news cov­er­age would then be on the group tar­geted, rather than on the over­all ter­ror­ist ele­ment of the attack.

Despite its sug­ges­tion to tar­get more het­ero­ge­neous groups for strate­gic pur­poses, the pam­phlet did not shy away from anti-LGBT incite­ment. Rather, its cri­tique was couched by the state­ment that “the killing of such peo­ple is the most bind­ing duty and closer to human nature, but bet­ter than this is to avoid tar­get­ing areas where minori­ties are found.” ADL recently pub­lished an analy­sis of anti-gay rhetoric in Inspire and in ISIS’s English-language mag­a­zine, Dabiq.

Inter­est­ingly, the pam­phlet nods to the fact that Mateen indi­cated sup­port for ISIS, not Al Qaeda, while con­duct­ing the attack, stat­ing, “Lone Jihad is not monop­o­lized by al-Qaida (sic) or any other group, there­fore we call upon all active Jihadi groups, to adopt and build upon the idea of Lone Jihad and call towards it.” How­ever, it encour­ages would-be future per­pe­tra­tors to refer to bomb-making instruc­tions in past issues of Inspire mag­a­zine to make their attacks more deadly. An attack with weapons clearly taken from Inspire magazine’s sug­ges­tions would enable AQAP to claim some degree of credit.

To date, the Boston Marathon bomb­ing is the only domes­tic attack that was fully car­ried out that uti­lized direc­tions from Inspire mag­a­zine. How­ever, the mag­a­zine has played a role in the rad­i­cal­iza­tion of mul­ti­ple domes­tic extrem­ists, includ­ing the Tsar­naev broth­ers of the Boston Marathon bomb­ing, Jose Pimentel, who attempted a bomb­ing in New York, and Abdel Daoud, who attempted a bomb­ing in Chicago.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

June 23, 2016 Off

13th U.S. Resident Linked to Islamic Extremism in 2016

Akram Musleh of Indiana, arrested for attempting to travel to join ISIS

Akram Musleh

Akram Musleh, an 18-year-old res­i­dent of Browns­burg, Indi­ana, was arrested on June 21 for attempt­ing to travel to join ISIS. Court doc­u­ments indi­cate that Musleh had been engag­ing with ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda since at least 2013, when Musleh was a 15-year-old high school student.

Accord­ing to author­i­ties, the FBI first came into con­tact with Musleh after it was dis­cov­ered that he posted three videos of Anwar al-Awlaki to YouTube in August 2013. Awlaki, an Amer­i­can cleric and English-language pro­pa­gan­dist for Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula, was killed in a drone strike in 2011, but his speeches and quotes remain pop­u­lar among extrem­ist indi­vid­u­als and those rad­i­cal­iz­ing today. Indeed, the major­ity of U.S. res­i­dents linked to ter­ror moti­vated by Islamic extrem­ism since 2011 have allegedly down­loaded mate­r­ial cre­ated by Awlaki or shared his speeches and state­ments on social media.

Upon find­ing the Awlaki speeches, court doc­u­ments indi­cate that the FBI met with offi­cials at Musleh’s high school, and coor­di­nated with them to dis­cour­age Musleh from radicalizing.

Follow-up took place at Musleh’s school. It is unclear whether any mea­sures could have been effec­tive in Musleh’s case; he had allegedly obtained infor­ma­tion on Awlaki from a fam­ily mem­ber, and so appar­ently had at least one close per­sonal con­tact encour­ag­ing his rad­i­cal­iza­tion. In any event, the mea­sures unfor­tu­nately failed.

In April 2014, court doc­u­ments indi­cate that Musleh asked minors at a park if they wanted to join ISIS. In 2015, Musleh allegedly made mul­ti­ple attempts to travel to Turkey or Iraq, areas adja­cent to ISIS-controlled ter­ri­tory that are often used ini­tially as des­ti­na­tions for indi­vid­u­als attempt­ing to join the group. In 2016, he allegedly researched attack tar­gets and explo­sive mate­ri­als, and then tried again to travel to join ISIS, this time in Libya, where the group has an active fac­tion. He was arrested en route from Indi­ana to New York, where he allegedly intended to catch a plane from John F. Kennedy Inter­na­tional Airport.

Musleh is not the only U.S. res­i­dent to rad­i­cal­ize while still in high school. In 2015, 4 minors in the U.S. were linked to activ­ity moti­vated by Islamic extrem­ist ide­ol­ogy. They are among a total of 25 U.S. res­i­dents aged 21 or younger linked to such activ­ity that year. Seven U.S. teenagers were linked to activ­ity moti­vated by Islamic extrem­ism in 2014.

In recog­ni­tion of this dis­turb­ing trend, ADL has released a series of resources for edu­ca­tors and school admin­is­tra­tors that pro­vide back­ground infor­ma­tion about extrem­ism and mass vio­lence among school-aged indi­vid­u­als and mate­ri­als for cre­at­ing resilience among their stu­dents. Among the mate­ri­als pro­vided is a back­ground report on mass vio­lence and extrem­ism geared specif­i­cally to edu­ca­tors and pro­duced in coop­er­a­tion with START, the National Con­sor­tium for the Study of Ter­ror­ism and Response to Ter­ror­ism, at the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land. This back­grounder pro­vides infor­ma­tion about pre­cur­sors to vio­lent activ­ity and estab­lish­ing appro­pri­ate sup­port and refer­ral net­works. A sec­ond resource is a unique les­son plan focused on enabling stu­dents to rec­og­nize pro­pa­ganda if and when they encounter it and to become more dis­crim­i­nat­ing con­sumers of online mate­ri­als. Par­al­lel resources for par­ents are avail­able as well.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,