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.
Azzam Publications. Added 11/28/01. Expecting their Web site to be closed down, this UK-based group issued a "Farewell Message" in which they summarized their positions on the 9/11 terrorist attacks and subsequent events. These can be summarized as 1) The war is a war against Islam and any Muslim who disagrees "has been defeated by the Western ideological warfare;" 2) The history of the conflict goes back to "the time when the Jewish tribes gathered against the Prophet Muhammed and the Christians launched the Crusades…it is part of a deeper plot to try and destroy Islam;" 3) The American government is an enemy to Islam; 4) They condemn "those apologetic and defeatist" Muslims in the West who have sided with the U.S. government and "Zionist-controlled America," specifically the American Muslim Council and the Muslim Council of Britain; 5) They believe the statements by Osama bin Laden and the Taliban that they had nothing to do with the 9/11 terrorist attacks; 6) The U.S. was going to attack Afghanistan by October anyway; the 9/11 attacks were an "excuse to speed up the process;" 7) Whoever is not on the side of the Taliban is a hypocrite; 8) "Defensive Jihad" is required of every Muslim; 9) Calls by Western leaders for moderate Muslims to tackle extremist elements within their ranks are merely appeals to divide Muslims; 10) Any assistance any Muslim gives to "a disbeliever against the believers" is an apostate; 11) They expect their Web site to be open and closed continuously; 12) Practicing Muslims should plan to leave the United States; and 13) The path to victory is long and arduous.
A graphic from the Web site is reproduced below:
Hamas Weekly. Added 11/16/01. In his weekly editorial in this Hamas newspaper, Dr. 'Atallah Abu Al-Subh, writes what amounts to a loving ode to anthrax, in which he salutes the biological agent for sowing "horror in the heart of the lady of arrogance, of tyranny, of boastfulness!" Al-Subh revels in the idea that anthrax has filled "the lady who horrifies and terrorizes the world with fear," and has made the U.S. lose "confidence in the moment in which she lives, or in which she will live." He believes that "Allah is capable of defeating America by means of the weakest of his earthly soldiers, after he used [anthrax] to sow horror in their hearts." Al-Subh doesn't stop there. He regrets that anthrax has found it way "to only eight American breasts so far…" and tells the biological agent, "In sound mind, I thank you and confess that I like you, I like you very much. May you continue to advance, to permeate, and to spread." His wish is for anthrax to "enter the air of those 'symbols,' the water faucets from which they drink, and the pens with which they draft their traps and conspiracies against the wretched peoples." And, finally, Al-Subh hopes that anthrax will "turn the bodies of the tyrants into matches burning slowly and gradually, so that they understand that the truth belongs to Allah and that they should give those entitled to rights their rights."
Islamweb. Added 11/28/01. Islamweb, a Web site run by the Qatar Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs that ostensibly adopts a "balanced and moderate approach and avoids bias and extremism," published an essay titled "Zionists Could Be Behind Attack on WTC and Pentagon," which suggests that the 9/11 attacks were "masterminded by an international Zionist organization, 'The Elders of Zion,'" as a reaction to the UN Conference against Racism held in Durban, South Africa. Citing "The Jihad Times," a Lahore-based Urdu weekly newspaper, Islamweb states that the Elders of Zion "tasked the Zionist-controlled FBI and the Israeli secret agency Shabak…to carry out the devastating attacks."
Mohamad, Mahathir. Added 11/2801. According to news reports, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, while addressing a terrorism conference in Kuala Lumpur, said that "Despite protests that the war against terrorists is not war against Islam, what cannot be denied is that only Muslim terrorists are being targeted." Mohamad said "there was talk" that the war would be extended to countries like Iraq, although there was no proof that Iraq aided Osama bin Laden. "While there is talk about attacking Iraq," he said, "there is no violent rage against the spreaders of anthrax or [Timothy] McVeigh's supporters." Mahathir stated that attacking Afghanistan would not wipe out terrorism but just fuel Muslim anger and create more attacks.
New Trend Magazine. Added 11/28/01. In an essay, "Conspiracy Theories about 9/11," author Kaukab Siddique notes that "some Muslim elites" have offered conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terrorist attacks claiming that Jews committed the acts. Siddique suggests that this conspiracy theory is a "serious mental problem which afflicts Muslim elites." If such "elites" had wanted to use this theory as "disinformation to confuse America," Siddique asserts, "they should have directed it at the American public." Instead, the theory was directed at Muslim audiences and "created widespread confusion and misplaced sense of innocence." Siddique argues that such conspiracy theories are dangerous for Muslims because they show the "mental defeat of the theorists." For them, Siddique says, "Jews are so powerful that nothing is beyond them. It is true on a realistic level that the Jews are powerful, rich and well-organized. However, to believe that nothing is beyond them…indicates a serious inferiority complex which is prevalent among Muslim elites." This creates, Siddique says, a "huge gap between the jihadist impulse which, after having defeated the USSR now wants to take on the U.S., and the middle class Muslim elites who are mentally unable to even consider jihad."
Hard-Core White Supremacists/Organizations:
Aryan Nations. Added 11/27/01. Aryan Nations leader Ray Redfeairn posted a message on the Aryan Nations Web site suggesting that "if you read the Jew sites on the Internet, you will see them screaming to high heaven about 'haters' using the events of 911 for recruiting new members." Redfeairn claimed that "while it is true" that the 9/11 attacks generated a "flood of interest in our organization (which does translate to new membership," his main goal was to "use the tragedy to awaken our Aryan People to the vile actions of the Satanic Jew….This is a golden opportunity for us to make great strides in exposing the Jew for what he truly is." Redfeairn announced a program that would include flooding mainstream churches with literature, targeting young people, and saturating neighborhoods with literature. This literature, Redfeairn promised, would include "absolute proof that the events of 911 were a direct result of our support of the bandit Jewish State in Palestine," and a "demand for the U.S. to destroy the terrorist state called Israel if we are truly warring against terror."
Meanwhile, the scrolling marquee on the Aryan Nations Web site contained the following message: "American Airlines Airbus A300 explodes and crashes in Far Rockaway, Queens, jew York City! Let us pray it struck a nice jewish community! The New World Order boys needed another incident to keep the flagwaving 9-11 momentum going. What new sweeping laws will 'they' pass after this incident? Stay tuned, brethren, for you ain't seen nothing yet!" Another notice posted to the site informed those people "naïve enough" to donate money to 9/11 relief funds that "you are lining the pocket of the rat faced jew and those that you intended to receive help from your donations will receive a pittance, if anything at all."
Christian Research. Added 11/28/01. The Autumn 2001 issue of Arkansas-based Christian Research's Facts for Action newsletter, a Christian Identity publication, contains an editorial by editor Dan Gentry in which he complains about the patriotism suddenly discovered by the "indiscriminate mob" in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, which "many of us believe [were] carefully choreographed." Gentry is upset because of a news article equating the religious fanaticism of Al Qaida with that of Christian Identity and suggesting that such groups are the "most virulent threat to democracies." "Democracy," according to Gentry, is "the coded phrase for elimination of the Aryan race, and establishment of a Judaic hegemony." According to Gentry, "the Jews are worried that the State Department is not pursuing an all-out war against Islam fast enough."
Duke, David. Added 11/28/01. The October 2001 issue of the David Duke Report includes a letter to subscribers from David Duke in which he says that "America is now at a critical point in history." According to Duke, "Jewish supremacist elements in the government and mass media" are trying to radically expand the attacks on Afghanistan into a "massive, global war." This war, writes Duke, will not protect the U.S. from terrorism but will have the opposite effect: "it is a war from which only Israel can benefit while America is greatly harmed." According to Duke, the war was touted as a war to protect freedom, but the "very first step" taken by the federal government was to "take away our freedoms and diminish American Constitutional Rights." The second step authorized and funded an "American 'secret police' force of huge proportions." Duke claims that "Jewish supremacists and their servants are responsible for all this." Duke urges followers to "financially support my ongoing efforts to awaken the American people."
Mystic Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Added 11/28/01. In a recent issue of The Flame, the newsletter for this Ohio Klan group, the Klansmen ask "Where was the patriotism and faith in God before Sept. 11th?" According to the newsletter, the 9/11 attacks will stay in their minds forever: "These non-white anti-Christian terrorists struck a blow to this country that no one ever imagined could ever happen!" Although the article states, in a veiled reference to Jews, that "there are people who ran the World Trade Center that the Klan knows are enemies to our county as well," the Klan magnanimously states that it does not matter why it happened or what really led to the attacks; only that justice be done. The article suggests that God turned his back on America because America was not following his word, but when Americans "start denouncing the evils of communism, race mixing, homosexuality and start standing up as a white nation…only then will God bless America." The newsletter also warns white Christians to be on high alert because Muslims hate white Christians with a passion, and warns them to "keep a close eye on the black population in America" because of people like Louis Farrakhan and Jesse Jackson.
National Alliance. Added 11/27/01. On November 10, the neo-Nazi National Alliance held what it described as "one of its most successful demonstrations ever" in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. Attending also were members of other extremist groups, including the World Church of the Creator, the Council of Conservative Citizens, the American Friends of the British National Party, and EURO (the organization of David Duke's followers). The demonstration was led by Deputy Membership Coordinator Billy Roper; marchers carried signs with slogans such as "No Blood For Israel" and shouted chants such as "No more terror, no more war, no more being Israel's whore." About 70 people participated in the march.
At the same time, National Alliance leader William Pierce delivered a shortwave radio broadcast, "Terrorism and Hate," in which he stated that "on the public-relations front, the Bush government and the Jews are losing everywhere." According to Pierce, Muslims are unhappy with the military campaign in Afghanistan and "the Jews and the Bushites can't understand it." Pierce suggests that "it is inconceivable to the fat, smug bureaucrats in Washington…that there still are people in the world with a sense of pride, people who care about more than money and free food and being comfortable, people who will fight, even against overwhelming odds, to keep their independence and their way of life." Pierce also "notes" that "not all of the people in Afghanistan are black-haired, swarthy, greasy, hook-nosed, Middle Eastern types." Some of the tribes, Pierce says, are white, due to Aryan conquests and colonization 3500 years ago. Pierce avers that while he has never been pro-Arab or pro-Muslim, he believes that there need be no fundamental conflict with Arabs and Muslims "because they are in their part of the world and we are in ours." The one thing that has brought conflict, Pierce says, "is the Jewish lust for power and control in the Arab part of the world and our support of the Jews."
In closing, Pierce addresses recent anti-terrorism measures, suggesting that "the scuttling of the Bill of Rights is being done under cover of the need to protect Americans from foreign terrorists, but the real reason is to protect them from the wrath of the still patriotic segment of the American people-if that patriotic segment can be awakened and informed and organized and inspired to act." That, Pierce says, is "our job."
Neo-Hate. Added 11/16/01. This New-York based racist rap group recently expanded the enemy list on its Web site to include Arabs as well as Jews and Blacks. "It is our duty to kill and massacre Dirty Arabs!" they write, though they make it clear that they believe that "the root of these terrorist activities" is "U.S. support of Israel." Although Neo-Hate despises all non-whites, the group still reserves most of their hatred for Jews: "The Jew is the World's foremost problem. I call for a World Wide Aryan Resolution. I call for the Elimination of ALL JEWS and ALL ARABS."
Racial Nationalist Party of America. Added 11/16/01. A flyer distributed by this white supremacist group is emblazoned with the heading: "God Bless America, God Damn the Jews." The flyer goes on to blame Israel and the Jews for the war the U.S. is waging. The flyer states that "The Jewish State of Israel, and its Jewish supporters in the United States, in particular, the Jewish lobby which controls our congress [sic], along with those Jewish leaders in on congress and our nation's cabinet, have succeeded in bringing their cursed war, and their wretched enemies to America's shores."
Scriptures for America/Laporte Church of Christ. Added 11/15/01. This group, led by Pastor Pete Peters, whose followers practice the racist and anti-Semitic Christian Identity religion, suggests that "Israeli Jews" and "the Mosad" [sic] are behind the September 11 attacks. An article in their newsletter states that "The Israeli Jews have much to benefit if America fights the Moslem world. And thus many suspect the behind-the-scenes action of the Mosad." Readers are admonished to "remember that Judaism is an enemy of Christianity, and that Moslems are an enemy of Christianity as well. Remember too, that a government that allies itself with both Jews and Moslems may very well begin to persecute Christians that do not give their blessings to a human blood sacrifice called War." Expanding on its conspiracy theory, the group claims Jews intended to "commit a heinous terrorist act and blame it on so called domestic terrorists," as a ploy to hand over a list of suspects-including Christian Identity followers-to the government and law enforcement. They write, "Guess whom they have on the list? That is right-the true Christian remnant that understand who they are and what they're doing."
Torch, The. Added 11/28/01. The November 2001 issue of this Arkansas-based Klan organ, published by Klan leader Thomas Robb, contains an article titled, "Understanding the Terror," in which Thomas Robb suggests that those Americans who since 9/11 have reached out to people of other faiths are actually displaying their "lack of faith in Jesus Christ." According to Robb, Jesus Christ taught Christians to be intolerant. Robb then attempts to discover "why so many in the Islamic world hate us." It is not, he says, because of America's democracy and freedom, but rather because "ever since the beginning of the last century we have allowed anti-Christian Jews entrance into our Christian government under the guise of tolerance," and the Jews came to dominate the entertainment industry and "eventually captured our political parties and churches." As a result, the U.S. abandoned the "Christian principles of our forefathers" and adopted a campaign of "political Zionism" that dominated its actions in the Middle East and created a 50-year anti-Arab foreign policy. "We are now faced," writes Robb, "with this terrible and deadly enemy which has targeted us because of our support of the Jewish nation…now we are under not a blessing but a curse for our wickedness."
Truth at Last, The. Added 11/28/01. Issue 431 of this Georgia-based virulently racist and anti-Semitic newspaper is a "special issue" devoted to "why they hate us." According to the newspaper, the "Jewish lobby gloats as U.S. [is] dragged into Israel's war." Articles within described alleged Israeli actions against the Palestinians, how the "Jewish Lobby" controls Congress, and similar subjects.
World Church of the Creator. Added 11/27/01. In an October 29 press release, this racist and anti-Semitic group announced a future speech by leader Matt Hale in Champaign, Illinois. In the press release, Hale claimed that "this Jewish-dominated government…is quite willing to force non-Jewish Americans to become human shields when the righteous wrath of the Arab people towards America moves from rhetoric to violence." According to Hale, Americans have to decide whether "propping up the parasitical state of Israel is worth the lives we have already lost and will certainly lose in the future." Hale claimed that "with each passing day, more and more White people agree with our message."
Miscellaneous Hate Groups/Anti-Semitic Groups:
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust. Added 11/16/01. Bradley Smith, the Holocaust denier who runs CODOH, uses the events of September 11 as another opportunity to cast doubts on the Holocaust . He compares the certainty of the September 11 attacks to the "uncertainties" he harbors about the Holocaust. Smith writes, "Americans will never again find themselves so bemused with the 'Holocaust' that happened in Europe over half a century ago. We all watched a 'holocaust' on our television screens-a holocaust about which there is no doubt whatever." Smith wants to know if "deniers" will appear "who will dismiss the destruction of the World Trade Center as a hoax?" He questions whether the WTC "holocaust" will be used in the same way he believes the U.S and Israel currently use the Holocaust. Smith writes, "Will this 'American' holocaust be exploited to promote imperial foreign policy initiatives by the U.S. Government and it's [sic] little ally in the Middle East? Entirely possible. In imperial politics, that's how 'holocausts' are employed."
Council of Conservative Citizens. Added 11/16/01. In the "Confederate Dreadnought" section of its Web site, the CofCC published an editorial urging "Southern nationalists" to continue to press for "political independence" and segregation despite the September 11 attacks (some Southern nationalists had called for "constructive criticism" rather than independence in the wake of the attacks). The editorialist wished Southern people to "glorify God, aided by the ethnic segregation he instituted in the Bible." For this writer, these "fundamental principles" don't change "because some Arabs crashed two planes into the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon." The writer views September 11 not as "the heralding of a new global war on terrorism," but rather as a sign that "Americans must face the judgement [sic] of God for its sin and wickedness."
Nationalist Free Press. Added 11/28/01. In an essay titled "The War on Freedom" in the anti-Semitic Nationalist Free Press newsletter, Pastor V. S. Herrell writes that a survey conducted in Pakistan revealed that 48% of Pakistanis say that Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks and 25% believe the U.S. was behind the attacks. According to Herrell, "This gives a combined total of 73% that know the Jews were responsible-when you understand that the United States IS Israel." The attack on the World Trade Center, Herrell writes, "just demonstrated the extent to which the Jews in Israel are controlling America." Herrell says that George Bush and the American media are calling their most recent actions a "War on Terrorism" but "in truth it is a War on our Freedom."
"Patriot" (militia, sovereign citizen, anti-government) Organizations:
Faith & Freedom Sentinel. Added 11/28/01. The October 2001 issue of this Illinois-based right-wing newsletter contains a warning that "Tyranny is Greater than Terrorism." According to the newsletter, "a greater enemy than terrorism looms on the horizon. Tyranny marches against the United States in a pincer movement…In a pincer movement, the use of an existing problem or crisis is used as an excuse to bring control over a people in the pretext of exercising a solution…That is exactly what the U.S. government is doing to 'we the people.'" The newsletter states that the "establishment news media," acting in tandem with the "New World Order politicians," are telling Americans that they must give up their constitutionally guaranteed civil rights in order to sustain national security: "That is the ploy being executed to consign our Constitutional Republic to the ash heap and help raise up the 'New World Ordered Dictatorship.'"
Minutemen of America. Added 11/16/01. This West Virginia-based Web site, patterned after the 1960s Minutemen (a right-wing paramilitary group headed by Robert DePugh), states that "in the light of the tragic events of 9/11/01 we at the Minutemen have shifted our purpose to not only the re-installation of our true constitutional Republic but now also to prepare as a 'Home Guard' against foreign enemies of our Christian nation." According to the Web site, the attacks show that Americans must organize Minuteman cells in every county in America for the defense of "liberty and Christian America." According to the Web site, "Now is the time for all heterosexual Christian American males to become part of the solution not part of the problem and take America back from the alien forces which now occupy our Country!"
Valentine, Carol. Added 11/28/01. Carol Valentine, long time maintainer of the "Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum" Web site, published an essay titled "Operation 911: No Suicide Pilots," in which she claims that the planes hijacked on 9/11 were not actually hijacked but were controlled by "advanced robotics and remote-control technology." Valentine suggests that "US allies [meaning Israel, to judge by her examples] and people within the US military establishment are not opposed to killing American servicemen and civilians, given the right goal." Valentine asserts that the government wants Americans to believe "that a man who dresses in sheets [and] lives in a tent or a cave in the middle of nowhere-Osama bin Laden-was the mastermind."
Your-Voice. Added 11/28/01. This New Mexico-based anti-government newspaper (ostensibly for the benefit of the homeless) has an editorial by Sandra Kay Rice in its November 1, 2001 issue claiming that "according to the new Anti-Terrorist Bill, many of your neighbors are now legally classified as terrorists. Unbeknownst to you, you may be classified as a terrorist as well." According to the editorial, "most Americans who have ever stood up for anything, including their civil rights, are now legally classified terrorists." Anybody who has written a letter to a representative complaining about the government, who has complained about a traffic ticket or city ordinance, who has participated in a union walkout, who has protested book burning or book banning, or engaged in a number of similar activities, would be classified as a terrorist, according to Rice. "We are sitting still and allowing every Constitutionally protected right we have to be sacrificed," Rice states. "Talk about a complacent surrender."
Anti-War Committee of Students in Solidarity at the University of Pittsburgh. Added 11/28/01. In a statement circulated to various left-wing Web sites, this anti-war student group issued a statement outlining the "Top Five Lies About This War." The "five lies" include 1) "We're not at war with the Afghan people-look, we're bringing them food;" 2) "Oil? Who said anything about oil?" 3) "The U.S. is trying to liberate the people of Afghanistan from Taliban tyranny;" 4) "America is coming together;" and "the biggest lie of them all," 5) "It's possible to win a 'war against terrorism.'"
Earth First! Added 11/28/01. The November 2001 issue of this radical environmental journal carries an editorial titled "The Bush Dark Age Begins." The editorial alleges that President Bush "knew that a big attack was coming to New York and did nothing despite several public warnings by bin Laden." This was because Bush's agenda was to recreate Southwest Asia for "corporate profitability." Now Bush is planning "the military takeover of the world," according to Earth First!: "The day that Pakistan falls, King Fahd is assassinated, or a U.S. nuclear power plant is destroyed, Bush will make his move and then everything will change." The editorial urges readers to "do the right thing," specifically: "Fight back, organize and let your deep passion flow until the world stops, the wealthy surrender and negotiations among free people commence." Another article, titled "Are You a Patriot or a Terrorist? Intensifying Domestic Repression," by "Warcry," asserts that "the Bush administration shows no sign of hesitation or doubt as it takes full political advantage of [9/11] to ram its agenda through Congress."