This section looks at Internet responses to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. It provides examples of commentary from a wide variety of groups, from civil rights groups to extremist organizations. This includes both the strongly positive and the strongly negative.
The intent is to provide a snapshot of responses to the tragedy, not to comment on or to categorize the inherent nature of these groups.
Added 9/20/01. This Lebanese television station, licensed in 1997, has the stated goal of "[preserving] the Islamic values and [enhancing] the civilized role of the Arab and Islamic community," and claims to be the first "Arab establishment" to "stage an effective psychological warfare against the Zionist enemy." The "struggle with the Zionist enemy" is its "most important" area of coverage. On September 17, Al-Manar posted to its Web site a story which has since been widely re-posted, including by white supremacists such as August Kreis, claiming that 4,000 Israelis were absent from their jobs at the World Trade Center on September 11, thus implying that Israel was in some way behind the attack. The story apparently has its roots in a statement by the Israeli embassy shortly after the attacks that it was trying to learn the status of some 4,000 Israeli citizens in the New York City area.
Added 9/20/01. The Palestinian Chronicle, an online news source designed to present viewpoints on issues from a Palestinian perspective, is based in Washington, D.C., but includes editors from the United Kingdom, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. Its "honorary editorial board" includes Noam Chomsky among others. Since the September 11 attacks, it has posted a variety of news articles and essays related to them. Editorial pieces include essays with titles such as "America, We Feel Your Pain, Do You Feel Ours?", "Attack on America, Who's to Blame?", "Why I Will Not Rally Around the President," "May God Touch All of Humanity with His Infinite Grace," "The War Comes Home," "Americans Are Dying for Israel's Sake," and "Israel Is Not Worth One American Life, Not One." Following the September 11 attacks, hackers launched a cyberattack on Palestinian Chronicle, which shut down the Web site for several days before it could be restored.
Minaret of Freedom.
Added 9/19/01. The Minaret of Freedom, a small, Maryland-based group of Arab-American libertarians, issued a statement condemning the "apparent terrorist attacks," and calling on American Muslims to volunteer to give blood.
Hard-Core White Supremacists/Organizations
Added 9/19/01. This Harrison, Arkansas-based "third position" ("third positioners" claim a "third" alternative to socialism and capitalism as a way to bring people from the right and left to their nationalist, racist, and anti-Semitic agenda) group has distributed fliers in Pocatello, Idaho, sporting slogans such as "One Enemy One Fight," and "Support the Intifada-Death to Imperialism." They are attributed to "National Revolutionaries for Mid East Justice."
Gerhard, Victor. Added 9/19/01. Gerhard, a lawyer for the neo-Nazi National Alliance posted his opinion of the September 11 attacks to the Vanguard News Network Web site. "My biggest regret," writes Gerhard, "is that in all the carnage of the day, some non-liberal, non-race-traitor Whites lost their lives. The blame for their deaths is permanently on the heads of the bandit outpost called Israel, the leaders of the Jewish colony of America, and the White members of the cruise-missile crazy American Ruling Class." Gerhard regretted that the terrorists did not exclusively target "Jews and race-traitors." Gerhard states that white supremacists themselves should be staging a "real revolution," which he believes the events of September 11 proved were possible. "WE should be blowing up NYC and DC, not waiting for a bunch of camel jockeys to do it for us," he writes. Gerhard also fears that the "full force of the 'security' effort" and the "propaganda machine" will be focused on whites, "the only race in the world that will sit and nod its head as the Jews declare their intent to destroy it."
Juba, Charles. Added 9/19/01. Juba, a Pennsylvania hard-core white supremacist and ally of August Kreis, posted a notice on his personal page on the Posse Comitatus Web site. Juba urges readers not to get caught up in the "jew media's attempt to rally the American public around this corrupt government." According to Juba, "our culture and our way of life has been utterly bombarded by the evils that be, and the recent attacks on Jew York and Washington are only a taste of what is to come."
National Alliance. Added 9/20/01. William Pierce, the head of this notorious neo-Nazi organization, addressed the September 11 attacks in his September 15 "American Dissident Voices" shortwave broadcast. In a speech titled "Provocation and Response," Pierce said, "the whole world is entering a new era now where all [the Jews] money and the hundreds of millions of mindless lemmings in their television audiences and being able to manipulate the political system and the government of what is still the world's most power country…no longer are enough to guarantee the Jews' continued hegemony." What happened in New York and Washington "is just one small manifestation of this new era." According to Pierce, "not everyone in the world is willing to be dominated by the Jews." The terrorist attacks were "a direct consequence of the American people permitting the Jews to control their government and to use American strength to advance the Jews' interests at the expense of everyone else's interests."
Posse Comitatus. Added 9/19/01. August Kreis, maintainer of the Posse Comitatus Web site, issued a new statement to replace his initial statement hoping the World Trade Centers would burn to the ground. In his September 17 statement, Kreis stated: "If our borders would have been better controlled, or better yet closed, we would have extremely limited or stopped the influx of non-white, non-Christian immigrants into this nation." Kreis stated that if the U.S. wants to end terrorism, it must expel all Jews and non-whites from "OUR Promised Land, this New JerUSAlem," as well as ending support to Israel, closing the U.S. borders, and minding its own business. Kreis also warned that, "there has been much talk lately of exchanging Freedom for security by this treasonous federal beast system." Kreis declares that he "will NOT blindly be led down the road to their jew World Order totalitarian government."
Steele, Edgar. Added 9/19/01. Edgar Steele, the lawyer who defended Aryan Nations in the suit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center and who has since become more outspoken himself, calls on the Vanguard News Network for a lifting of the "taboo" about "speaking about America's 'inner party,' its true ruling class," i.e., Jews. According to Steele, "America has become obnoxiously aggressive because America is now Jewish owned, led and managed."
Stormfront Mailing List. Added 9/19/01. The Stormfront Mailing list is an e-mail list for hardcore white supremacists maintained by Don Black. Reactions to the September 11 attacks generally blame Israel or Jews for the attacks. One poster, a South African, writes that "I have to agree with opinions that the USA did made his own grave [sic] by waging war against the arabs in the past 8-9 years…in the end, this is just another Pearl Harbour. Your govt are [sic] going to use your boys [for cannon fodder] for the Jew's war."
World Church of the Creator. Added 9/19/01. Forwarding to his mailing list a news article describing a mob that rampaged outside a Chicago-area mosque, WCOTC leader Matt Hale told his followers, "now we have to help channel this hatred toward the Jews." In Phoenix, Arizona, WCOTC members distributed literature featuring the headline "LET'S STOP BEING HUMAN SHIELDS FOR ISRAEL." The flyers quote Osama bin Laden in 1998 allegedly urging Americans to "find a nationalistic government that will look after their interests and not the interests of the Jews."
Miscellaneous Hate Groups/Anti-Semitic Groups
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH).
Added 9/19/01. CODOH, a Holocaust denial organization headed by Bradley Smith, has published four articles about the September 11 attacks on its Web site. "I understand how the Holocaust story is implicated in the hatred so many in the Muslim world feel towards America," Smith writes. "The story was used to morally legitimate the creation of the Israeli State on Palestinian land, and America approved." According to Smith, "Americans and Israelis share the same self-righteousness, greed, and contempt for others that have brought this tragedy upon us, which is surely not the last one." Smith believes that it is likely that there will be "a rise of anti-Jewish anger among a minority of Americans who are half-awake with regard to the grievous behavior of the Israelis." Smith said the Palestinians have become "copycat figures of the Israelis they hate," because they have been acting out of rage.
Added 9/19/01. In entries in his public personal diary on his Web site, British Holocaust denier David Irving sums up his view of the September 11 attacks: "Fanatical Muslim terrorists crash planes into the World Trade Center, as a symbolic centre of Jewish international finance, killing thousands, to punish the United States for their blind support of Nazi Israel's occupation of Palestine."
Nation of Islam. Added 9/19/01. In a speech on the weekend following the September 11 attacks, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan condemned the "wild beasts" who had "lost their humanity" and carried out the terrorist attacks and agreed with government leaders that a strong response was warranted. He said that the attacks were indeed an act of war, that Americans were "justly angry," and that he agreed with President Bush that there must be an appropriate response. However, he said, "anger and wounded pride must not determine what the appropriate response should be."
We Hold These Truths (WHTT). Added 9/20/01. This Arizona-based anti-government and anti-Semitic group published an essay on its Web site titled "Why Did They?" The essay - under the heading "Pharisee Watch," by which they mean Jews - states that "our purpose at We Hold These Truths is to place the guilt squarely on the guilty." If the U.S. leaves the placing of blame to "our Pharisee-controlled media," the essay states, it will not be the last time. If it leaves it to political leaders, "most of whom fear the Israeli power structure far more than they fear the voters," then the truth will not be known. WHTT states that the cause of the September 11 attacks was the "bullying, war-making tactics of those who control our own government towards multiple small and frail independent Arab states, including Palestine and Iraq." WHTT says that though it does not often agree with the United Nations, it does agree that "Zionism is Racism."
"Patriot" (militia, sovereign citizen, anti-government) Organizations
Gritz, Bo. Added 9/20/01. James "Bo" Gritz, the former Green Beret and prominent leader in the "patriot" movement, released an undated statement on his Web site titled "America-Toast Taliban-Ben [sic] Laden Now!" Calling September 11 a "vicious day of infamy" more horrific than Pearl Harbor, Gritz claims the attacks were committed by Muslim extremists "dedicated to punishing us (U.S.) for pro-Jewish policies and actions against Arab interests." Gritz claims that Israeli intelligence knew the details of the attack beforehand. Gritz suggests that it was the "high concentration of influential Jews" that made New York and Washington, D.C., attractive targets. He warns that "what we watched on 11 September could be a preview of what is to come."
Michaels, Elizabeth. Added 9/20/01. Arizona-based "patriot" figure Liz Michaels stated in an essay on her Web site that "the tree of liberty" was "watered with the blood of patriots on September 11." Now, she writes, it must be watered "with an equal portion of the blood of tyrants." She advocates the killing of the people who committed the acts, and the destruction of nations that harbored or trained them. She asserts what a number of right-wing figures have said, that the "culture of disarmament" helped lead to the tragedy, because even a few armed citizens on the airplanes could have averted the hijackings. She also states that it is "time to close the borders" and "expel certain immigrants." In her opinion, "people from certain nations" should not be allowed into the United States. She also asserts that the U.S. government has a "bigger problem than Bin Laden. Namely, American patriots. American patriots are not going to tolerate a police state…American patriots are the LAST enemy the federal government wants to have. Because they are the very people most capable of taking down the standing government."
Progressive Labor Party. Added 9/20/01. The Brooklyn-based Progressive Labor Party issued a statement claiming that the attacks of September 11 "are the direct result of the wars that capitalists wage against each other." The PLP's statement argues that the attackers "chose to attack workers rather than make revolution against capitalism." The "little terrorists" (the attackers) don't want to eliminate the "horrors of the capitalist system." They only wish to "grab a piece of the pie from the 'big terrorists.'" The "big terrorists" are the multi-national corporations and the governments who support them, "especially the U.S. government." According to the PLP, the "little terrorists" pretend to be champions of the oppressed, but they are "just in it for themselves." The "U.S. bosses," though, may cry "crocodile tears" for the victims of the attacks, but "these bosses have killed many more workers than that themselves." PLP warns that the danger is that in our "righteous anger against the New York terrorists," people will lose sight of "how much death is caused by the big terrorists-the capitalist system." Worse yet, "some might actively or passively side with the U.S. bosses as they whip up hysteria against Arabs and increase police state fascist policies against the working class."
Incidents.org. Added 9/19/01. At the online forum for Incidents.org, a Web site hosted by the System Administration, Networking and Security Institute, there are a string of postings from hackers in the United States calling for cyberattacks on Arab and Islamic websites. "We have a large, incredibly well-trained and highly motivated corps of soldiers [for] the new mode of war," wrote one poster.
LifeSavers Ministries. Added 9/20/01. On its Web site, Voice for Life, the California-based LifeSavers Ministries, run by Tim and Terri Palmquist, posted a letter from Tim Palmquist dated September 11, 2001, with the title, "Who Caused the World Trade Center Disasters?" Palmquist states that the "burning, imploding mass of people in one of our nation's greatest landmarks was a sign of God's judgment against our nation." Either Americans recognize the disaster as "coming from the Lord," Palmquist writes, "or we deny His inspired Word." According to Palmquist, the U.S.'s "disregard for the sanctity of human life" led to the September 11 acts, "in hope that we will see in today's carnage our need to come back to Him."