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Muslim Extremists Targeting Jews After 9/11 RULE Introduction

Posted: August 26, 2011

Plots against the New York Jewish Community
Hatred of Jews and Israel a Motivating Factor
Spreading the Message Online
ADL Takes Lead in Protecting the Jewish Community

The terrorists responsible for the September 11, 2001, attacks were motivated, in part, by an ideology rooted in the hatred of Jews. Mohamed Atta, a key member of the Al Qaeda Hamburg cell responsible for the attacks, considered New York City to be the center of a global Jewish conspiracy, and Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who masterminded the attack, had previously developed several plans to attack Israeli and Jewish targets. In their view, New York, as a center of world finance, was the quintessential Jewish target.

In the years since the attacks, a significant number of American citizens and residents involved in terror plots in the U.S. have been influenced by violent ideologies developed by Al Qaeda and other foreign terrorist organizations that promote hatred of Jews and Israel. 

According to these ideologies, Jews are the eternal enemy of Muslims and the embodiment of true evil.  Al Qaeda-affiliated extremists and those who have adopted a similar ideology have long referred to their enemies as "Zionist-Crusaders," the "Jewish-Crusader Alliance," or the "Jews and Crusaders," thereby identifying Jews as a key component of the forces they view being at war with Islam. 

Al Qaeda's ideology, which was developed by the original ideologues of Islamist terrorism, led to attacks against distinctly Jewish targets around the world beginning in 2002. Since then, these anti-Jewish themes have increasingly been propagated online, including in English-language terror propaganda intended to reach and appeal to Western audiences.

As a result, American citizens and residents influenced by these ideologies of extreme intolerance have not only expressed hatred of Jews and Israel, but also in several cases specifically targeted Jewish institutions.

While most plots in the U.S. since 9/11 have been foiled by law enforcement before they were carried out, several cases demonstrate the willingness, if not the capacity, of extremists motivated by radical interpretations of Islam to target Jews.

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9/11 Ten Years Later: The Changing Face of Hate, Terrorism and Democracy in America

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