Barely two months after a rabbi, his wife and four other Jews were brutually murdered in a Chabad House in Mumbai, India, the Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn has been targeted in a series of jihadist videos posted on the internet.
The English-language videos and posts singled out Orthodox Jews, and especially the Chabad-Lubavitch community in the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, for attack.
The source of the thinly-veiled threats, a group called Revolution Muslim, is domestic to the United States, and the English-language threats are carefully tailored in an attempt to avoid breaking any American laws.
Nonetheless, the intent is clear, according to the Targeted Actionable Monitoring Center (TAM-C) of the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR), a U.S. and Israel-based organization with offices in the United Kingdom as well.
'Do Not Let Orthodox Judaism Get Away With Murder in Ghaza'
Headlining a propaganda video of a rally by a far-left organization were the words, “Do Not Let Orthodox Judaism Get Away From Murder in Ghaza [Gaza]."
Underneath the video was the statement, “Make EVERY attempt to reach these people and teach them the message of Islam or leave them a message from Islam.”
A subsequent video and accompanying text clarified the “message” the Islamist blogger had in mind and how to “reach these people.”
The video first denies that any threats against Orthodox Jews were made on their website, but then switches to a montage of images of dead Arab children - apparently from Gaza - interspersed with repeated images of “770” – the Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters – and a blood-spattered Jewish prayer book from a terrorist attack in the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem.
The video concludes with the sound of gunshots.
The text under the video adds the following P.S.: "NYPD - It was me (Yousef al-Khattab) that made the Chabad Islamic propagation (sic) post and appeal. Do have your search warrants in order. The gunshots at the end in NO WAY are meant for the NYPD (since they asked me about it).”
Other Locations Targeted As Well
The videos followed the posting on the same jihadist site of photos of the Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters and its main synagogue, its address at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, and details of the times when the synagogue is filled with worshippers.
The third and final video in a series of three aiming at the Chabad-Lubavitch community is narrated entirely by Al-Khattab, who appears to either be completely exhausted, or possibly even under the influence of a sedating substance of some kind. He is leaning back, with his eyes almost completely closed, his voice drawling.
He begins with what is apparently meant as disclaimer, saying his group is "not here to fight with Jewish people" and explaining that the bullet sounds are just a "sound wave" used for the videos.
The threats begin, however, a moment later: "An atrocity is done and an act of terrorist [sic] is done like what was done in Ghaza, when they indiscriminately bombed women and children, and just... I don't even know what to say... and we know where the source is, and the source is definitely 770 Eastern Parkway is one of those sources that funds it, and gives their spiritual support as well… and definitely Yeshiva University in Washington Heights, is another place that prepares students, religious Orthodox rabbinical Jewish students to be in the hesder yeshiva, which is the officer corps of the religious Jews, so yes, these are definitely the sources, and the Jewish Federation buildings, all over the United States, they fund it."
Al-Khattab continues: "In the eyes of the Muslim world... even the thinking Christian populace would agree -- that Israel is a war crime. We think it's imperative to bring to the forefront, hold these people responsible... find out who is the head of the Jewish Federation... give them the Islamic message... leave them the message of Islam. Let them know, that maybe they drew up those borders that they occupy, but our borders as Muslims are all over the place. Okay? That's not a threat, that's what it is, that's what it's gonna be.
"And wal-LAH hee, (Arabic for "truthfully" -ed.) New York City Police Department, CIA and FBI, you can put me in jail for the rest of my life, as long as I got that information out there for people to know what to do, I did something," Al-Khattab asserts.
'Tears of Today, Weapons of Future'
A new video posted this week, entitled "An Arabic Boy Threatens America For What It Did To…" shows an Arab boy who becomes increasingly upset and angry as he is interviewed during an apparent demonstration, ending his short diatribe in tears.
The video is preceded by the headline "Don't Wait for Obama's Change (Warning: External Links Are NOT Necessarily the Views of RevolutionMuslim.com)". This is followed immediately by the exhortation to Stand Up Against American and 'Israeli' Aggression (sic) and a media player with the YouTube video, uploaded by "EgyptianAnger."
At one point the boy bursts into tears and then shouts out loud, "We came here today to make them pay, those who attacked us, not to just talk… we will grow up, And Grap (sic) You From Your Land, America!!"
The video ends with the words, "Tears of Today, Weapons of Future."
Risk Management is Key, Warns Security Group
Al-Khattab is listed as one of three top leaders of the Revolution Muslim group, headed by Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal. Al-Khattab claims to be Jewish by birth, and has allegedly switched lifestyles numerous times.
The self-styled Islamist says in a personal blog that he was born a Morrocan Jew named Joseph Cohen, then traveled to the United States where he became a member of the anti-Zionist Satmar Chassidic sect in Brooklyn. From there, he writes in a personal blog, he moved to the Jewish region of Gush Katif in Gaza, before finally converting to Islam in Morocco. He presently is allegedly a cab driver in New York City.
According to TAM-C, lone-wolf terrorist attacks on Jewish assets and individuals are a growing phenomenon worldwide, running the gamut from vandalism to shootings and car bombings.
The organization has recommended that security personnel for Israeli and other Jewish people and properties “increase their situational awareness, enhance general protective measures for fixed assets and review emergency recovery procedures.”
Nissan Ratzlav-Katz contributed to this report.