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.
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). Added 10/10/01. In a press release dated October 8, the ADC expressed support for U.S. military actions designed "to bring to justice the criminals behind the September 11 attacks…and to ensure that no such attacks against the American people occur in the future." According to the release, "Arab Americans stand shoulder to shoulder with our government and fellow citizens in opposing those who would attack our country." Although expressing hope that every measure would be taken to avoid civilian casualties, ADC criticized "attempts to cynically exploit Arab and Muslim concerns regarding some US policies in the Middle East to justify the crimes of September 11." ADC reiterated that "nothing could justify the September 11 attacks," and stated that "those who would use widespread concerns over US policies as a rationalization for these crimes are distorting and misrepresenting these grievances."
American Muslim Council. Added 10/10/01. In a statement issued on October 8, the American Muslim Council expressed support for U.S. action against world terrorism and reaffirmed its condemnation of the September 11 attacks. According to the AMC, it "appreciates" President Bush's reaffirmation that "this is a war against terrorism and not against the Afghan people, Muslims or Islam." The AMC also praised Bush's "compassion and humanitarian efforts for the Afghani people."
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Added 10/10/01. This Washington, DC-based group issued a statement on October 8 expressing support for President Bush's "strategic campaign to combat terrorism and to protect American citizens from attack," and stating that this support will "remain firm whether or not we agree with particular tactics used to carry out that campaign." The statement commends Bush for stating intentions to protect innocent Afghani civilians and to provide food aid.
Council of Lebanese American Organizations (CLAO). Added 10/10/01. In a statement issued by the Ohio-based CLAO, representing sixteen Lebanese American organizations opposed to Syrian involvement in Lebanon, the CLAO said that Lebanese Americans "grieve and mourn our fallen fellow Americans." Lebanon, reads the statement, has for decades suffered "from the same forces of evil that struck America," and the people of Lebanon "will always be grateful for the sacrifices America made for the cause of freedom, democracy, and peace in their county." CLAO pledges its "full support" to President Bush in the "nation's relentless pursuit of the purveyors of terror" and supports as well a "zero-tolerance policy towards all states and regimes that harbor, support, train, and tolerate terrorists on their soil."
Muslim Public Affairs Council. Added 10/10/01. The Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Islamic Center of Southern California issued a statement on October 7 "wholeheartedly" supporting President Bush in "the attempt to defeat terrorism." MPAC prays for the "safety of our young men and women in Afghanistan who are fighting for a world free of terrorism," and also pray "for the safety of innocent civilians in the region." MPAC applauds President Bush for extending humanitarian aid to Afghani civilians and for his statement that the war is against terrorism, not Islam, Muslims, or the Afghani people. MPAC urges the Bush administration to pay attention to "the legitimate sentiments" of Muslims around the world, "particularly their quest for peace, justice, dignity and an even-handed US policy n the region." Otherwise, MPAC warns, "extremists will exploit this sentiment in order to isolate America."
Hard-Core White Supremacists/Organizations
Metzger, Thomas. Added 10/10/01. In a statement made on October 7, white supremacist Thomas Metzger condemned the U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan. Although Metzger claims to "recognize the Islamic threat," he condemns the present attack "not because I love Arabs but because it will only cause more problems for our struggle." According to Metzger, the "Iron Heel" is bleeding the treasury and will promote plans "to import large numbers of Semites into North America at a time when we should be deporting those already here." In short, Metzger says, "this is not our Race separatist WAR and our struggle should waste no time or material supporting it."
National Alliance. Added 10/10/01. William Pierce, head of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, in a broadcast on October 6 titled "America's Real Enemies" pointed to Jews as the eponymous enemies. According to Pierce, in George W. Bush's administration, non-Jews are "out front, in the public's eye," but "the Jews are there, just as in the Clinton government…working behind the scenes." Bush's Jewish advisers, Pierce claims, "judge every policy by the single criterion, 'Is it good for the Jews?'" According to Pierce, they "are disguising their fight against our freedom as a fight against terrorism." They are already "ramming" new laws through state legislatures and will be pushing hard for new federal laws against "terrorists." Pierce suggests that Bush's Jewish advisers, as well as the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, will be the people to make the list of "terrorist organizations." The real purpose is to "silence people with Politically Incorrect ideas." According to Pierce, the "Jews and their Gentile hangers-on" are "hell bent" on using the September 11 tragedy "as an excuse to stamp out…freedom." Pierce says, "They are the ones against whom we should wage an all-out war, until the last of them has been annihilated."
Peters, Pete. Added 10/10/01. In Christian Identity leader Pete Peters' newsletter, Scriptures for America, the racist and anti-Semitic Peters tells his followers that in order to understand the September 11 attacks, they should not look at the "Talmudic television" but rather the Bible. According to Peters, the World Trade Center symbolized communism and Judaism; Peters suggests that God may have directed the attacks. On the other hand, Peters also raised the possibility that Israeli Jews may have been behind the attacks, because they would have much to benefit if the U.S. fought against Muslims. Peters concludes by telling readers that both Judaism and Islam are enemies of Christianity. He suggests too that the government may have committed the act so that it could blame it on "so-called domestic terrorists"-in other words, on the "true Christian remnant" (Christian Identity believers).
Miscellaneous Hate Groups/Anti-Semitic Groups
Nation of Aztlan. Added 10/10/01. Hector Carreon, of La Voz de Aztlan, published an essay titled "Anthrax Terrorists May Be Zionists," in which he claims that the recent outbreak of anthrax in Florida may be the work of Jews. According to Carreon, in July 2001 he received an anonymous letter containing a "small amount of a yellowish white substance" and text that claimed that "Jews had an illustrious history in biological research." Carreon claimed to have had "flu like symptoms" ever since receiving that letter. This made Carreon suspicious of the Boca Raton anthrax case; Carreon claims that "the laboratory engineered Anthrax spores came in the mail in an envelope that included a 'Star of David' charm." Carreon writes, "We believe that the terrorists are actually Zionists." Everyone assumes that "the dangers we face" come from Islamic terrorists, Carreon writes, "but our experience has been different. We fear Zionist terrorists more. They have been trying to take away our constitutional right of freedom of political expression through acts of terrorism."
"Patriot" (militia, sovereign citizen, anti-government) Organizations:
American Patriot Alliance. Added 10/10/01. According to founder Greg McClain, the American Patriot Alliance was formed on September 11, 2001, "in response to the attack on our nation's soul and freedom." McClain lists four main missions: 1) because "Jesus Christ has given us the right of self defense, defense of the family, and defense against tyranny…" APA therefore supports "the right to bear arms and to defend that right against anyone or nation which tries to suppress this right; 2) APA favors a moratorium on immigration to the United States and supports "strong use of the National Guard, Coast Guard and trained civilian patriots to defend our borders;" 3) APA calls for repeal of the National Security Act; and 4) APA "opposes the so-called New World Order and opposes any alliance or participation in any treaty…which compromises our independence as a nation;" consequently, APA wishes the U.S. to withdraw from the United Nations.
Republic of Texas. Added 10/10/01. Christopher R. Kenney, "Commander" of the Republic of Texas Defense Forces, sent an e-mail to followers on October 9 expressing concern about the formation of the "Homeland Defense Department" and the "broad sweeping powers being given to police at all levels." According to Kenney, ROT is also "very concerned" about NATO flights in the United States. Kenney asks that all people "consider the situation we are in" and enlist in ROT. "The Feds are clamping down with the definition of domestic terrorist," Kenney writes. "I am sure there will be even more restrictions coming down the pike. We must prepare while we can."
Martin, Al. Added 10/10/01. Al Martin, the self-declared "America's foremost whistle-blower on government fraud and corruption" who "lives at an undisclosed location," and sells his conspiracy materials on his Web site, published a column titled "Watch out for Jackboots and Swagger Sticks," in which Martin attacks the Office of Homeland Security. According to Martin, the Bush administration is "playing it smart," attempting to raise public support first, before announcing "some of the more sinister activities of this agency." Martin claims that, "according to an inside source," the OHS will have a plain-clothes division to be called the "State Security Division," as well as a smaller uniformed division to act "as a defacto State Political Police." The agency, Martin writes, will operate "with extralegal authority" and will be able to ignore Habeas Corpus, and the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. "Anyone, who knows the Bushes for what they are," says Martin, "can see that this will be the groundwork for a new, more powerful, more sinister agency, wherein all sorts of covert activity, illegal or not, will be extant."