On January 8, 2021, Bridget Johnson, Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today wrote an article giving information about Islamic State (ISIS) cheering the recent Capitol Hill riot in Washington. According to Bridget, back in 2015, Al Qaeda 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.” And now, following the Capitol Hill riot, Islamic 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.
Bridget Johnson wrote:
In a full-page article in the latest issue of Al-Naba, the notorious terror outfit hailed the [riot as] “great” symbolism of breaking into the US 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 [and riot] 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 [and riot] 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.
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.”
About Bridget Johnson’s research-oriented articles
For many years, I have found Bridget’s Johnson’s articles on issues related to terrorism and religious extremism as informative and educative. She does lots of research and gathers information from numerous credible sources while writing on the activities of radical Islamic terrorist entities.
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 senior fellow specializing in terrorism analysis at the Haym Salomon Center. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15, a private investigator and a security consultant. She 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.