On 9/11 Anniversary, ADL Says Anti-Semitism Remains Core Component of Recruitment Efforts by Terror Groups

New York, NY, September 10, 2015 … Fourteen years after the 9/11 attacks, terrorist groups motivated by Islamic extremist ideology continue to rely on depictions of a Jewish enemy – coupled with violent opposition to the State of Israel – to attract and recruit followers.

In a new report, “Anti-Semitism: A Pillar of Islamic Extremist Ideology,” the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) examines the nature and function of anti-Semitism in terrorist propaganda, focusing on recent rhetoric being promoted by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Al Qaeda, and Al Shabaab.

“Anti-Semitism remains at the core of Islamic extremist ideology and Jew hatred is often used as a rallying cry and recruitment tool,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL National Director. “We are witnessing terrorist organizations quickly adapting to social media platforms and new technology to reach an ever-widening pool of potential recruits. As terrorists continue to adapt their violent ideologies to social media, anti-Semitic narratives have become more easily accessible than ever before.”

Among the most prevalent themes outlined in the report are:

  • New technology and the development of social media platforms have been key in aiding the promotion of terror propaganda and related anti-Semitic narratives;
  • Anti-Semitism remains a central element in Al Qaeda and its affiliate’s efforts to recruit and motivate a new generation of supporters and would be jihadists;
  • ISIS threats against Jews are often most pronounced under two sets of circumstances: when there is conflict involving Israel and the Palestinians, and when it wants to reinforce perceptions of strength;
  • Various terrorist propaganda, including online magazines, such as AQAP’s Inspire, continue to portray Jews as a key force at war with Islam;
  • Even terrorist organizations such as Al Shabaab that operate in locations with little to no Jewish presence employ anti-Semitic narratives to mobilize support;
  • Supporters of Palestinian terror on social media regularly share and post anti-Semitic and anti-Israel content inciting violence;
  • Recent attacks in Europe against specifically Jewish targets underscore the danger of violent anti-Semitic messages;
  • Several individuals linked to terrorist plots and other activity in the U.S. were influenced, at least to some degree, by anti-Semitic and anti-Israel messages. 

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.