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Friday, January 27, 2023

ISIS Hails Capitol Riot, Says U.S. Unrest ‘Will Pay Off’ for Terror Group

ISIS said in a new issue of its weekly newsletter that rioters “being seen breaking into one of the most important centers of sovereignty in America” signaled that domestic unrest could work to the terror group’s advantage.

The full-page article in the latest al-Naba used a Reuters photo of a police flashbang illuminating the west front of the Capitol in order to disperse rioters on Wednesday. The terror group hailed the “great” symbolism of breaking into the U.S. Capitol “during a meeting of the tyrants,” and said the history of America “over the past decades” reveals a pattern of “greater and more serious internal events.”

ISIS noted that it’s “not the first U.S. election whose results are contested and questioned,” and “it will not be the last.” They predicted that President-elect Biden will be preoccupied with domestic strife as “the conflict is between the two parties and their supporters.”

“What matters to us in all of this is that America the crusader will be busy more with herself and that political struggle inside it will pay off,” ISIS added, predicting fewer resources would be dedicated to fighting international terror groups in terms of funding and forces.

ISIS called the Trump administration’s declaration of victory over the terror group “lying… to excuse that regression,” adding of the U.S. war against ISIS that “the campaign withered away.” The group said it would continue to fight the U.S. regardless of who the president is, “black or white, ‘Democrat’ or ‘Republican.'”

Terror groups have characteristically seized on civil unrest in America in order to recruit and inspire attacks during a perceived period of domestic weakness or distraction.

In a June issue of al-Naba, ISIS argued that the unrest arising from protests over the death of George Floyd could pull U.S. focus away from assisting countries that were fighting ISIS.

Al-Qaeda’s general command tried to take advantage of the summer protests in a communique issued to a Western audience that encouraged rebellion within the United States as the government was “subjugating and killing poor, impoverished Christians, the helpers of Jesus.”

The al-Qaeda message made a pitch for Westerners to convert to Islam, as “we believe that the majority of the American people believe in the existence of the Almighty God” and “this is why we wish for them the best of both worlds,” aka national success and “deliverance in the Hereafter.” The terror group called for “all-out revolt” against the government and the “narrow class of capitalists and financiers that holds the reins of the global economy,” claiming that al-Qaeda’s war against the United States “is aimed at bringing an end to injustice and oppression” and is “similar to your reaction” against the killers of George Floyd.

Al-Qaeda previously tried to capitalize upon protests; the summer 2015 issue of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Inspire magazine tried to appeal to protesters in the African-American community in an article vowing to “take practical steps to avoid targeting you in our operations” if people of color would in turn fight the government and try to stop U.S. aid to Israel. Al-Qaeda said they sympathized with “the oppression and injustices directed towards you” but insisted they were still justified killing blacks in terror attacks: “We advise you to move out of big cities that represent the economy, politics or military strength of America like New York and Washington.”


Bridget Johnson
Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a terrorism analyst and security consultant with a specialty in online open-source extremist propaganda, incitement, recruitment, and training. She hosts and presents in Homeland Security Today law enforcement training webinars studying a range of counterterrorism topics including conspiracy theory extremism, complex coordinated attacks, critical infrastructure attacks, arson terrorism, drone and venue threats, antisemitism and white supremacists, anti-government extremism, and WMD threats. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15 and a private investigator. Bridget is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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