As violence has continued in Israel, propaganda released by foreign terrorist organizations threatening and inciting violence against Jews and Israelis has continued unabated. A new video released this week by Al Qaeda featuring audio by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the group’s leader, praises terrorism in Israel and also calls for attacks against the U.S.
The video began by focusing on Israel, with Zawahiri saying, “I ask Allah to bless…those who proceeded forward to stab the Jews.” He quickly pivoted to calling for attacks on the U.S. however, stating that in order to “liberate al-Quds (Jerusalem) and al-Aqsa mosque,” it is necessary to “strik[e] the West and specifically America in its own home.” Zawahiri then praised specific terrorists and attacks, including the 9/11 attacks, Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, and the Tsarnaev brothers who committed the Boston Marathon bombing.
Al Qaeda propaganda has attempted to harness popular anger about events in Israel in order to call for attacks against the U.S. in the past. Last year, the group released a magazine titled “Resurgence,” which had a cover story about Palestinians but focused primarily on harming American interests. Al Qaeda affiliate Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) issued a magazine called “Palestine: Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience” that called for attacks on the U.S. and provided instructions for the construction of pressure cooker bombs and car bombs.
ADL’s recent report, “Anti-Semitism: A Pillar of Islamic Extremist Ideology” contains multiple additional examples of terrorist exploitation of sentiments about Israel and of anti-Semitism for the purpose of gaining supporters and rallying recruits.
The new Al Qaeda video also calls for unity between terrorist organizations.
Like Al Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) also released a new video threatening Israel this week. The video is the second ISIS video to include a Hebrew speaker, although ISIS has translated official propaganda materials into Hebrew in the past.
Addressing “all the Jews, grandsons of apes and pigs,” the Hebrew speaker threatens that, “we are coming for you from all over the world to kill you.” In a reference to a hadith in which trees and stones tell Muslims where Jews are hiding so the Jews can be killed he goes on to state that there will be, “a big war, the war of the stones and of the trees, and this is near, it is not far.”
ISIS has released at least 17 videos threatening Jews and Israel since the middle of October, as well as multiple other propaganda materials including audio messages and graphics.
In addition, Palestinian terrorist organizations, individuals celebrating and promoting terrorism, and even mainstream Arabic-language news outlets have also added to the online invective encouraging ongoing violence.