Reacting To Texas Shooting, ISIS Supporters, Syria-Based Jihadis Celebrate Death Toll, Claim U.S. Authorities Would React Differently If Shooter Was Muslim

May 26, 2022

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Following the May 24, 2022 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, jihadis published posts online celebrating the attack and claiming that the only reason the "hypocritical" U.S. authorities have not classified the attack as an act of terrorism is that the shooter was not Muslim. Posts claimed that the shooter's past experiences of having been bullied informed his actions, implying that the experiences of jihadis in Syria, who are allegedly "bullied" by Russian forces and Iran-backed militias, should be excused for violently retaliating.

ISIS Supporters Celebrate: "More Americans Dead"

In a group on the Islamic State (ISIS)-operated Rocket.Chat server, a user posted a screenshot of a tweet by "Spectator Index" with a breaking news report about the shooting, reporting at least 21 victims, including 18 children. The user gloated: "More Americans dead."

Another ISIS supporter commented sarcastically: "Hopefully they [U.S. authorities] send in drones to bomb these Americans who are terrorizing Americans, Allah A'lam. [God knows best]."[1]

Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Cleric: If The Shooter Were Muslim, U.S., Arab Rulers Would React Differently

Reactions to the shooting on Telegram included those of Syria-based jihadis such as Abu Mariyah Al-Qahtani, asenior religious official in Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), who argued that U.S. authorities would have considered the "crime" a terrorist act had the shooter been Muslim.[2]

The user also condemned Arab governments and media outlets, arguing that had the shooter been Muslim, they would rush to dub the incident a terrorist act, even before U.S. authorities. He wrote: "They did not consider this crime to be an act of terror because it was not carried out by a Muslim. If it had been carried out by a Muslim, then the hypocritical Arab media and many of the Arab rulers would have treated this as an act of terror even before the West."

"The Shooter's Religion Was Not Mentioned"

Syria-based jihadi activist Ibrahim Radwan, a.k.a. Ibrahim Abu Ta'ib, published a post on Telegram on May 24 discussing how the shooter's religion affected how the attack was categorized by the U.S., noting that despite his crime, some are excusing the shooter's actions because "he was bullied" by others.[3]

"Salvador Ramos [the shooter] killed his grandmother and went on his way to kill 20 innocent children in a school. He managed to legally purchase weapons in Texas, only hours after he turned 18. They [U.S. authorities] did not refer to his religion, nor was it mentioned that he was a gay and the son of a drug-addict mother. [Yet] it was reported that he was bullied?!" he said.

Reflecting the presence of Russian forces and Iran-backed militias in Syria and their effect on jihadi groups, Abu Ta'ib argued that it is akin to bullying, and that Syrian jihadis are being subjected to conditions similar to those of the Texas shooter. He asked: "What we do about the bullying we are subjected to by the Russian and Iranian occupations and their militias, and by their collaborators?"


[1] Techhaven, May 25, 2022.

[2] Telegram, May 24, 2022.

[3] Telegram, May 25, 2022.

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