The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Islamic State tries to use Oregon takeover to turn Americans against their government

(Kacper Pempel/Reuters)
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Supporters of the Islamic State terrorist group are urging American sympathizers to try to instigate more anti-government demonstrations like last week’s armed takeover of a federal building in rural eastern Oregon.

A Twitter posting addressed to members of the Islamic State community describes the ongoing occupation by armed rancher Ammon Bundy and his fellow activists as a “key opportunity,” and suggests that Islamists should do what they can to help them.

[Why veterans look at the Oregon occupation and see ‘loose cannon clowns’]

It urges sympathizers of the organization also known as ISIS and ISIL to encourage the Oregon protesters—using messages sent from accounts with American-sounding names—and to suggest more targets for future take-overs.

“A mass mobilization of anti-government rebels could occur,” said the message, posted to the account of a self-identified Iraqi supporter of ISIS who calls himself Abu Adriatic Irhabi. “These rebels have military experience and are trained in warfare. They may be able to degrade and destroy their corrupt, evil, and oppressive government, or at the least severely damage its operations.”

A translation of the posting was provided by SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist social media.

[ISIS, with gains in Iraq, closes in on founder Zarqawi’s violent vision]

In the message, the writer offers thoughts on how Islamist militants could extract the maximum benefit from the protest, which began on Jan. 2 when Bundy and small group of armed protesters occupied a vacant government building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, to protest the impending imprisonment of a pair of accused arsonists.

Ammon Bundy used a Facebook video posted Dec. 31 to summon an armed militia to Burns, Ore., by Jan. 2. When they arrived, they took over a federal building. After the protest, Bundy told a reporter why this fight is so important to him. (Video: The Washington Post)

The posting says Islamists should avoid inviting the protesters to convert, as they are “hard-core anti-Islamic.” Instead, the encouragement should appear to come from “everyday Americans supporting their cause,” it says.
“Give them ideas for warfare, strategies, tactics,” it says. “Suggest targets for them.”

The message suggests using racist and anti-immigrant language to help whip up passions, but then adds a word of caution.

“Not all are racists,” it says, “so be careful.”

Read more:

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