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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > The Latest Anti - Semitic Myth: "ISIS Is A Zionist Conspiracy"

The Latest Anti - Semitic Myth: "ISIS Is A Zionist Conspiracy"

September 1, 2014


Yasmina Haifi, a senior Dutch-Moroccan Ministry of Security and Justice official in the Hague, claimed on Twitter in August that ISIS (the notorious terror organization "Islamic State of Syria and Iraq") "has nothing to do with Islam. It's part of a plan by Zionists who are deliberately trying to blacken Islam's name." Haifi is project leader at the Ministry's National Cyber Security Center which is also directly linked to the Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV). Pro-Palestinian Haifi also described herself "as an activist for the Dutch Labor Party" (PvdA).

The Ministry and the NCTV distanced themselves from Haifi's controversial views and suspended her from her job. But the arrogant Haifi insisted that her views were right and that she was fully entitled to express them. A Facebook campaign in support of Haifi was even launched: "We support government official Yasmina Haifi." However, it is not true that government officials are allowed to freely air highly controversial views.

Moreover, the very first to launch the latest anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that ISIS is a Mossad/CIA creation were the Iranians. On July 19, 2014, "Time" quoted Iran's English language daily newspaper, the "Tehran Times." This newspaper translated "a scoop by the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) which cited a purported interview with National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden." According to the article, Snowden had described a joint U.S., British and Israeli effort to "create a terrorist organization capable of centralizing all extremist actions accross the world." "The plan, according to IRNA, was code-named Beehive – or in other translations, Hornet's Nest – and it was devised to protect Israel from security threats by diverting attention to the newly manufactured regional enemy: ISIS." (There is no evidence, however, that Snowden said something to that effect, but I do not doubt that Putin's efficient spies find Snowden's revelations on the NSA highly useful.)

Back in 2001, the Iranians were also among the first to launch the outlandish conspiracy theory that Israel and the Mossad were behind the 9/11 attacks. "Al-Manar," Hezbollah's television station in Lebanon, claimed on September 17, 2001, that Jews hadn't come to work at New York's World Trade Center (WTC) on September 11. (An outright lie, of course.) And Iran's conservative daily newspaper "Kayhan" wrote on October 2, 2001: "It is known that 4,000 Jews worked at the WTC in New York and that these people did not come to work that day." Similar 9/11 conspiracy theories gained wide acceptance among Muslims. Even in Germany, France and the United States silly authors wrote bestsellers claiming that the CIA and the Mossad – and not radical Muslims – instigated the 9/11 attacks.

Haifi claims that "ISIS has nothing to do with Islam," and that "many Muslims believe that ISIS (or IS) is not Islamic." The same nonsense was repeated by Arie Boomsma who makes TV shows in Holland. Dutch columnist Sylvain Ephimenco who also speaks and reads Arab, does not agree. He writes in the liberal Dutch daily newspaper "Trouw" that ISIS/IS simply follows the example and teachings of the Muslim prophet Mohammed. He quotes Islamic historian Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari (838-923). In 627 Mohammed beheaded 700 tot 900 members of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe. And "hordes of Muslim warriors" conquered the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Asia and Europe, beheading unbelievers, selling women as sex slaves, destroying churches and temples, Ephimenco writes. And he then asks the proper question: "What is the difference between the acts of horror committed by Caliph Al-Baghdadi and the prophet Mohammed?"

Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is the self-proclaimed Caliph of the so-called "Islamic State" (IS). The mass executions conducted by ISIS/IS remind me of the way the Nazis executed about two million Jews and non-Jews in Russia between the Summer of 1941 and early 1944. (I am currently writing a book on the murderous Nazi "Einsatzgruppen.")

Dangerous ISIS recruiters in Holland

The Dutch Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) reported recently that "jihadism in the Netherlands is much stronger than previously assumed."

Two Muslim couples of about 30 years old were arrested in the village of Huizen at the end of August 2014, quite recently, that is. One couple were arrested on Friday August 29, the other couple on the next day. Huizen is a former fishing village where Christian traditions are still strongly respected. (Yet, there are complaints about Moroccan youngsters who sympathize with Hamas.)

The two Muslim couples were about to travel to Syria where they wanted join the "Islamic State" jihadists. They planned to take their six young children with them. One of these children was an 8-months-old baby. Their children were immediately placed in the homes of foster parents by the child care council. Fons Hertog, the mayor of Huizen, was visibly shocked when he appeared on TV on Saturday, August 30. He had been informed about the jihadist plans of the two Muslim couples by the AIVD in The Hague. The police immediately confiscated the passports of the four suspected militants. It was on that same Saturday, too, that Christian immigrants/refugees from Muslim countries staged a demonstration in The Hague. They were protesting against the persecution of Christians by the ruthless ISIS/IS killers in Iraq and Syria. Among the speakers were two Christian members of parliament.

Last June, alert customs officials at the German airport of Düsseldorf stopped a 15-year-old Dutch-Moroccan girl named Moezdalifa El Adoui, Abigail R. Esman, author of the study "Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West" (Praeger, 2010). Moezdalifa had left her parent's home in Holland without saying goodbye and planned to fly to Turkey via Düsseldorf and then cross the border into Syria. She was part of a group of several girls from the Netherlands who planned to make this trip. "They were by no means the only ones: around the same time, for instance, 16-year-old twins Salma and Zahra Hulani slipped out of their parents' Manchester England home in the middle of the night, also for Syria." "All this seems to be part of a new campaign by ISIS to recruit Western Muslims," writes Abigail Esman.

Girls are promised jihadist "husbands" in Syria. There are also training camps for children where children as young as five years old are taught how to kill "infidels" with kalashnikovs. Boys are proudly displaying the heads of beheaded enemies. It is a clear manifestation of diabolical evil. Dismembering bodies and staring at them is necrophilia.

On August 28, 2014, three important ISIS recruiters were arrested in Holland and Germany. Azzedine Choukoud ("Abu Moussa"), a Dutch-Moroccan, and his wife Iman Bourr(a)arasi, also a Dutch-Moroccan, were arrested in Germany. A Dutch convert named Rodolph Holierhoek ("Abu Suhayb") was arrested in The Hague. Choukoud and Bourrarasi had fled to Germany and probably planned to travel to Syria. All of the arrested radicals played a leading role in the jihadist website "De Ware Religie" ("The True Religion"). Azzedine Choukoud also played a leading role in a pro-Hamas demonstration in The Hague on July 24, where ISIS followers shouted slogans such as "Kill the Jews!" ("Doodt de Joden!") He was a close friend of Murat Öfkeli, a notorious Dutch-Turkish jihadist who died in Syria. Prosecutors in the Netherlands tried to have Öfkeli, also known as "Ibrahim the Turk," convicted on several occasions but judges lamely ruled in his favor. This happened in 2003, for example, when I observed Öfkeli and his defense lawyer during a major terror trial in Rotterdam.

It's multiculturalism and mass immigration, stupid

There are over 500 British Muslims who have fought for the Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq, and more than 4000 joined the cause of the Taliban in Afghanistan. European governments are hardly able to tackle this perplexing problem. Some long overdue measures are being taken right now.

Leo McKinstry, an excellent and well informed "Daily Express" columnist in London, rightly points out "that extremism has flourished in a climate of formed by the twin strategies of mass immigration and multiculturalism." What he is writing about Britain equally applies to most other European countries. "Open borders have led to a phenomenal expansion of Britain's Muslim population to almost three million, many of the new arrivals hailing from parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia where Islamic sectarianism is rife." "We are a land increasingly without a mutual sense of belonging or shared national identity. It is little wonder that, according to one recent survey, 26 percent of Muslims here said they feel no loyalty to Britain. Enthousiasts for multiculturalism love to blather about tolerance, yet it is richly ironic that their pernicious creed has promoted intolerance, misogyny and reactionary oppression. In predominantly Muslim areas diversity means the trimph of the burka, sharia law, fundamentalism in state schools and reluctance to speak English."

"The fact that more than half of all Muslims in Britain are economically inactive is seen as the fault not of their culture but of the Government," McKinstry writes. "This represents a remarkable propaganda victory for the Muslim grievance-mongers." "The climate of victimhood has been eagerly seized on by the extremists to encourage a climate of hatred to the West. In reality the jihadists are not the victims but the exploiters. That was graphically illustrated by an address in 2013 by the notorious extremist Anjem Choudary to his followers: ‘The normal situation is for you to take money from the Kuffar (non-believer). So we take the Jihad Seekers' Allowance.'"

"It is telling that, before the advent of multiculturalism generations of Muslim immigrants were much better integrated into British society. But thanks to political folly and fear all that has changed. Tragically people such as James Foley are paying the price."

American photojournalist James Foley was beheaded in Syria by (reportedly) Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, a British Muslim and former hip-hop artist who joined ISIS/IS. He was recruited by Anjem Choudary, the former assistant of Omar Bakri Mohammed, another radical and anti-Semitic preacher from the Middle East who received political asylum in Britain in the 1980s. (When I interviewed both Bakri and Choudary back in 2002, they were heaping praise on the 9/11 hijackers.) Bakri has claimed an estimated 250,000 British pounds in state benefits since 1986, although he received substantial amounts of money from his fanatical followers. He is currently stoking unrest in Lebanon.

Another notorious extremist from the Middle East who was granted asylum in Britain was a Palestinian named Omar Mahmoud Othman, better known as Abu Qatada. He arrived in Britain in 1993 and was granted asylum one year later. He also cheated the British welfare system. It took many years and very costly legal proceedings to deport him to Jordan. Videotapes of Abu Qatada's radical and anti-Semitic sermons were found in the Hamburg "Marienstrasse" apartment of 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta, an Egyptian student who radicalized in the German port city of Hamburg when he began to frequent the local Al-Quds mosque in de 1990s.

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak warned in 1986 that regional terrorism would spread. Ten years later he called for an international conference on terrorism with a view to depriving terrorists of their safe havens. I am not a fan of Mubarak, of course, yet he was right when he warned in the Spring of 1996 that all too often terrorists take refuge behind false claims of political persecution. European nations, especially Britain, have granted political asylum to Egyptians wanted in Egypt on charges of terrorism. It was in December 1995 that 56 members of the Egyptian Al-Jihad terrorist organization were arrested by the Egyptian security service. (Al-Jihad formally joined Al-Qaeda in 1998 and Al-Jihad leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri became Osama bin Laden's deputy.) The arrested radicals had been trained in Sudan to carry out suicide bombings and assassinations. (Five Sudanese were among those arrested.) Some of the arrested terrorists had received their training from Yasir Sari and Adil Abdul Majid. They had financed attacks to be undertaken against vital Egyptian installations. Both of them lived in London as political refugees. British Prime Minister John Major promised in March 1996 that Britain would "rethink its asylum policies." Britain "would look at those who take advange of political asylum to foster terrorism elswehere." Major and successive British governments failed to act decisively on that matter, however. The current British Prime Minister James Cameron belatedly recognized in February 2011 that "state multiculturalism has failed and left young Muslims vulnerable to radicalization." "It is time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past."

It is not much better in other European countries where tens of thousands of Muslim immigrants with ties to radical groups have settled since the mid 1990s. Many other Muslim immigrants radicalized after their arrival in Europe. Somali immigrant Muhudiin M. Geele, for example, arrived in Denmark in 1997. He was still very young at the time and few people took notice of him. Yet, it was in Denmark that he radicalized and decided to make a jihadist trip to Somalia in 2005, four years after the 9/11 attacks in America. On January 1, 2010 the then 28-year-old Geele went to the home of Kurt Westergaard near Aarhus, and tried to kill the Danish cartoonist with an axe and a knife. The assailant shouted "revenge" and "blood", but Mr. Westergaard and his granddaughter had sought shelter in the bathroom. It did not take long for the police to arrive and arrest the Somali terrorist.

Five years earlier, Westergaard's cartoon depicting Islam's prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban had been published by the Danish newspaper "Jyllands Posten." Radical Muslims subsequently vowed to kill the courageous Danish cartoonist. The first attempt to do so was in February 2008 when three young men – one with Danish citizenship and two of Tunisian nationality – were arrested in Aarhus. They were followers of Raed Hlayhel, an extremely radical imam from a mosque in Aarhus.

A Swedish woman was attacked by a Muslim mob in the peaceful, tolerant, liberal and multicultural university town of Uppsala in August 2014 – quite recently, that is. Anna Sjögren's, "crime"? The Swedish mother of four was wearing a Jewish Star of David necklace. "A Muslim girl saw that I was wearing the Star of David on my neck and she started swearing at me and spat me in the face. I got very upset and pushed her off," Sjögren said. She added that someone standing next to the girl threw a sharp object at her face. "There were at least ten witnesses of the attack. All ten of them were wearing hijabs or scarfs of the PLO." "I cannot go to the police. The worst thing is that the assailants will get my name and address. They'll know where to find me and know I am the Jew who reported it." Sjören's jaw was severely damaged, her eyes were swollen and she sustained injuries all over her body.

19-year-old Abdullah from Scandinavia recently heaped praise on ISIS/IS and wants to join them. "Crucifixions and stonings will make the world a better place," this angry young man wrote.

It was last July that ISIS/IS threatened to murder all the Jews. What they want is another Holocaust. Daniel Pipes, an American expert on Islam and jihadism, commented: "Yes, calling for a Holocaust against Jews refers to a violently anti-Semitic strain among jihadis and will surely appeal to some of them."

Al-Baghdadi said in a speech on the occasion of the month of Ramadan: "O ummah (=community) of Islam, the world today has been divided into two camps and two trenches… The camp of Islam and faith, and the camp of kufr (disbelief) and hypocrisy… all being led by America and Russia, and being mobilized by the Jews."

Emerson Vermaat is an investigative reporter in the Netherlands specialized in terrorism and crime. Website: emersonvermaat.com.


De Telegraaf (Amsterdam), August 13, 2014 ("PvdA-ambtenaar: ISIS is complot van zionisten"); August 14, 2014 ("Dwaze claim zet PvdA voor schut");

NRC Handelsblad (Rotterdam), August 25, 2014, p. 4 ("Facebook: Wij steunen ambtenaar Yasmina Haifi"). "Zo gek is dat niet, om te denken aan zionistische betrokkenheid bij IS."

Time, July 19, 2014 ("Why Iran Believes the Militant Group ISIS Is an American Plot"); Ravi Kumar, CAIR Lawyer Ponders Outlandish US/Mossad Conspiracy Theory, in: IPT Blogs, August 28, 2014.

A New Anti-Semitic Myth in the Middle East Media: The September 11 Attacks Were Perpetrated by the Jews (MEMRI Special Report, 2002), p. 9, 10.

Nederlands Dagblad (Barneveld, Netherlands), August 14, 2014, p. 4, 5 ("Veel moslims geloven niet dat IS islamitisch is").

Sylvain Ephimenco, IS is zuiver islam, in: Trouw (Amsterdam), August 21, 2014, p. 16. "Maar wat is het verschil in gruwel tussen kalief Al-Bagdadi en profeet Mohammed?"

Transformatie van jihadisme in Nederland (The Hague: AIVD, 2014). "Jihadisme is in Nederland veel krachtiger dan werd aangenomen."

NOS Journaal/RTL4 Nieuws (Dutch TV), August 30, 2014; De Volkskrant, September 1, 2014, p. 11 ("Vier Huizenaren verdacht van aansluiting bij IS"); De Gooi- en Eemlander (Hilversum/Huizen, Netherlands), September 1, 2014, p. 1-3 ("Jihadisten in een keurig dorp"). Muslims from the Christian village of Huizen who planned to travel to Syria.

Abigail R. Esman, Europe's Jihadist Girls: Teen Rebellion That Kills. in: IPT News, August 14, 2014; De Volkskrant (Amsterdam), 3 juli 2014 ("Meer meisjes van plan op jihad-reis naar Syrië te gaan").

De Telegraaf, August 29, 2014, p. 1, 3 ("Islamfanatici vast na maniakale acties: Haatzaaiers van het ergste soort").

Emerson Vermaat, De dodelijke planning van Al-Qaida (Soesterberg, the Netherlands: Aspekt Publishers, 2005), p. 65, 66 (on Murat Öfkeli).

Leo McKinstry, The political class has created this terror in our midst, in: Daily Express (London), August 22, 2014, p. 12.

Omar Bakri Mohammed, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Bakri_Muhammad. ("An estimated 250,000 British pounds in state benefits since claiming asylum in Britain in 1986.")

Press Association (London), 14 March 1996 ("Major primises crackdown on terrorists").

Reuters, February 5, 2011 ("Multiculturalism has failed in Britain – Cameron").

Jytte Klausen, The Cartoons that Shook the World (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), p. 86, 98; Julia Gerlach, Zwischen Pop und Dschihad. Muslimische Jugendliche in Deutschland (Berlin: Christoph Links Verlag, 2006), p. 80; The Daily Telegraph (London), January 2, 2010 ("Danish police shoot terrorist trying to enter Mohammed cartoonist's home").

The Allgemeiner, August 18, 2014 ("Swedish Woman Viciously Beaten for Wearing Jewish Star Necklace").

De Volkskrant/Vonk (Saturday supplement), August 23, 2014, p. 9 ("Leven in crisissituaties"). Quote from Abdullah.

John Rossomando, ISIS Threatens Holocaust Against Jews, IPT Comment, July 4, 2014. Also the quote from Daniel Pipes.

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