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Muslim Extremists Targeting Jews After 9/11 RULE Hatred of Jews and Israel a Motivating Factor

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

Several plots, while not directly targeting Jewish institutions, have been motivated in part by hatred of Jews and Israel. For example, in 2007, Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, a naturalized U.S. citizen, and four other Muslim immigrants conspired to kill American soldiers at New Jersey's Fort Dix army base. According to court documents, "anti-Zionist hatred is one of the reasons, if not the primary reason why they planned to attack Ft. Dix." The Department of Justice further alleged that the men were motivated by "their desire to 'avenge' the supposed crimes of Zionism."  Shnewer told an undercover informant that his first choice was to kill Jews in Israel: "I love to kill Jews. I tell you this, in all honesty, it is a dream of mine."

Hatred of Jews and Israel has also influenced deadly attacks carried out by "lone wolf" Muslim extremists. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist from Virginia who killed 13 people at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas, expressed his support of killing Jews and Israelis in a series of e-mails exchanged prior to the attack with Anwar al-Awlaki, an American Muslim cleric living in Yemen who has influenced several extremists through his English-language propaganda and recruitment materials online.

The shooting at Fort Hood followed a separate incident in June 2009 when  Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot two uniformed American soldiers, killing one of them, at a military recruiting center in Arkansas. Muhammad, an American Muslim convert, reportedly searched for information about Jewish institutions on the Internet. After his arrest, Muhammad admitted to throwing a fire bomb at the house of an Orthodox Rabbi in Nashville, Tennessee, and confessed to firing shots at the home of Little Rock rabbi in the days before his attack on the recruiting center.

Although post-9/11 plots and conspiracies in the U.S. are increasingly led by or involve American Muslim extremists, the threat from foreign nationals remains. In September 2009, for example, Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, of Jordan, attempted to detonate what he believed were explosives at the 60-story Fountain Place building in Dallas, Texas. In addition to expressed his desire to attack the U.S. for its incursions in Iraq and Afghanistan, Smadi also espoused a hatred of Israel and Jews, calling for the "destruction of the Jews."

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

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