What Al Qaeda Is Saying About Police Shootings

With all the media coverage of recent shootings by law enforcement and the shootings in Dallas, it is no surprise that terrorists have taken notice.

A Twitter account for Al Maqalaat (@Al_Maqal_Pubs), a media outlet of Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch Jabhat al-Nusrah, has been using the recent police homicides for anti-American propaganda.

“Fact: 123 black Americans have been killed by the police in America this year alone while we are only in the month of July,” read one Tweet this morning. (The 123 statistic is actually the number of blacks killed by police shootings.)


The account followed up with another Tweet saying, “The democratic west on their moral high horse and the tyrants in the Middle East have more in common then they know.” It is not clear to whom it is referring as “Middle East Tyrants,” although it seems to be Islamic State.


Al Maqalaat actually cites the same Washington Post database that Thought Front used in yesterday’s posting. The account reports the statistic that 509 people have been shot in 2016, although there have been only 18 unarmed people shot this year. (Granted, shootings are not necessarily justified because someone has a weapon, as in the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile cases.)

The Twitter account also boasts that Shaykh Abu Mariyah Al-Qahtani, a senior media official for Jabhat al-Nusrah, predicted this last year by writing that America would collapse from racial violence.

“The Dallas riots is exactly what Shaykh Abu Mariyah Al-Qahtani predicted before,” said Al Maqalaat, though there were actually no riots.


In the writing in question, Shaykh Abu says,

America is suffering from economic collapse followed by a volcano of revolt by oppressed black Americans…It was and still is inciting its drugged people against the Sunnis, under the pretext of the war on terror, but what will happen if the black people revolt against it?

A black volcano will erupt, this will be the flood which will end the might of America, Obama must review his account which he did not pay attention to, and he must expect a revolution of anger between his ranks.

(In the interest of full disclosure, both Shaykh Abu and Thought Front publish using the website WordPress.)

The use of racial violence is not new as fodder for anti-American propaganda, even in countries whose own governments show intolerance toward some people. It was popular for the Soviet Union, which coined the anti-America rebuttal “And you are lynching Negroes.” And it is popular in other anti-American media today, such as the Iranian state media outlet Press TV, which often covers racism in America.

And, as long as there is racism and police brutality in America, the theme will likely live on.