The Sicarii Black Hebrew Israelites also known online as Sicarrii 1715, are a San Diego-based anti-Semitic and racist fringe religious group whose followers believe that Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans are the true descendants of the 12 Tribes of Israel. The hate group, predominantly based in California, has roughly 15-20 members who actively participate in weekly public demonstrations in downtown San Diego and hundreds of followers online. These events generally involve Sicarii leaders using amplified sound to heckle passersby and broadcast their hateful rhetoric.
An offshoot of the larger movement known as the Black Hebrew Israelites, the Sicarii sect echoes the majority of the movement’s core principles, including the beliefs that white people are agents of Satan, Jews are liars and false worshipers of God, and blacks are the true “chosen people.”
The sect’s leader is Adonis Glaude. Known to his followers as “Ahlazar BanLawya” or “Hebrew Guerilla,” Glaude often leads Sicarii demonstrations, or as they refer to them, “camps,” and is featured prominently on the group’s social media.
In June, the group posted a video on their YouTube page entitled “God strikes white man down live at Israelite camp.” The video has since been removed for violating usage terms on bullying and violence. The footage captures the Sicarii encouraging violence against an apparently white passerby. Glaude, speaking into his microphone, yells, “Get him up the street. Get him up the street.” Someone who seemingly was unaffiliated with the Sicarii rushed to punch the victim, knocking him to the ground. Glaude yells, “The war is on. There you go, that’s what happens.” As a second assailant approaches the victim, who is now lying on the ground, and begins kicking him, the Sicarii erupt in applause.
The hate group’s violent nature is further evidenced by the “Death to America” chants that end each of their demonstrations, their freely expressed hatred for whites and Jews, and their use of the name Sicarii, a reference to Jewish Zealots who engaged in extremist activities to resist the Roman Empire during the First Century.
In line with other Black Hebrew Israelites, the Sicarii symbol features the Star of David, and members often wear costume-like garb resembling that worn by the Jewish High Priest (the chief religious official) in the ancient Holy Temple during the Roman times. Although the Sicarii are based in San Diego, the hate group has chapters in Seattle as well as the Inland Empire region of Southern California.
Like other Black Hebrew Israelites, Sicarii members’ Facebook profiles often include the names “Yasharalah” or “Yahawada.” These names are, respectively, references to Yisrael (Israel) or membership in the tribe of Yehuda (Judah). Others use names with tribal/Biblical references, including “Ban Zabalawan” (“son of Zebulun”) and “Banyamyan” (Benjamin).
Beyond their public demonstrations, the Sicarii also spread their message of hate online, and maintain several active YouTube pages where they post lectures and footage from their demonstrations. The Sicarii justify their hateful rhetoric with an alternative interpretation of the Old and New Testaments. They twist various biblical verses to fit their worldview through a Hebrew Israelite lens. A range of groups have been targeted by the Sicarii’s offensive beliefs:
- The Sicarii believe women should assume a subservient role to men. Married women must ask for permission from their husbands before participating in Sicarii activities or asking questions during Sicarii events.
- The Sicarii promote a number of anti-Semitic views, including the belief that Jews “stole” the Hebrew Israelites’ identity as the “chosen people” and are part of a master conspiracy to control the world. In one YouTube video the Sicarii note, “You’re damn right that there’s an international Jewish conspiracy. You’re the richest goddamn devils on the earth.”
- They are also Holocaust deniers, arguing that the Jewish people “staged the Holocaust and did it just to steal the land [of Israel].”
The Sicarii believe Bible references to the “wicked” are actually allusions to white people, whom they refer to as “the devil.”
- Despite borrowing some elements from observant Muslim practice, including the dress code for female members, the Sicarii are Islamaphobic, believe that “Mohammed was a false prophet” and promote conspiracy theories that the Quran endorses pedophilia. One meme on their social media pages includes this call to arms: “All-out war on Islam has been declared. Qam yasharahla [arise Israel].”
- The Sicarii condemned the U.S. legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, citing traditional Bible verses which frown upon homosexuality. Sicarii consider homosexuality a “wicked” act.
- “You’re the vile of the earth. You’re sick; you promote all types of sexual deviance and debauchery…you’re a vile creature.”
- The Sicarii harbor extreme anti-American sentiments, and blame the U.S. for slavery and white supremacist ideology. They frequently refer to America as a modern-day Babylon (possibly conflating that city with the morally corrupt Sodom and Gomorrah). One of their videos includes the line, “The Russians are going to destroy America…we rejoice at this fact.”