memri
March 7, 2018 MEMRI Daily Brief No. 153

Russia-Developed Texas-Based Encrypted Communication App Zello: Growing In Popularity Among Jihadis – And Growing In Usage In Terror Attacks; Zello CEO Declines MEMRI Advice, Leaves Jihadi Content On Platform

March 7, 2018 | By Steven Stalinsky
Russia | MEMRI Daily Brief No. 153
Islamic State (ISIS) supporters and other jihadis from around the world are using the Austin, Texas-based communication application Zello for planning and executing terrorist attacks in the U.S., the U.K., European countries, Turkey, and elsewhere around the world. On January 30, 2018, it was reported that the perpetrator of the April 2017 Stockholm truck attack had used Zello to communicate with other jihadis immediately after he drove the vehicle into crowds on a main street, killing five people and injuring 14. In March 2017, a Texas-based ISIS recruiter who moderated a Zello channel, instructed followers to kill infidels, and personally approved terror attacks was indicted by a federal grand jury. The Zello push-to-talk app can be used on smartphones, tablets, and PCs, and is available for Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Windows PC operating systems, and for two-way radios. Users can create private or public channels that allow them to easily chat with others and listen to conversations. The main Zello app is free; the Zello@Work app is fee-based. The Zello website states that the app's "advanced encryption ensures all communications are secure." It adds: "Services may disclose personally identifiable information when it's required to comply with law enforcement requests or subpoenas when you violate the Terms of Service." On September 11, 2017, it announced that all private voice messages on Zello on the version released after June 6, 2017 are end-to-end encrypted.[1] The company states that its app has been downloaded 65 million times. Zello's Russian Connection The technology that would later become Zello, initially developed in Russia by Alexey Gavrilov under the name Loudtalks, was announced at the September 2007 TechCrunch 40 Mobile and Communications Conference.[2] Zello bought the Loudtalks technology, moved its development team to Texas, and brought Gavrilov on as CTO; under CEO Bill Moore, it was rebranded, other apps were added, and its products were announced in June 2012. Moore is also founder and CEO of the TuneIn radio streaming service; Gavrilov and his team created some popular apps for that service as well.[3] Zello's Popularity Increased In U.S. During And After Hurricanes Irma And Harvey In Late Summer 2017 When Hurricanes Irma and Harvey struck Florida, Puerto Rico, and the southern Atlantic Ocean in August and September 2017, over a million new users downloaded Zello. It became the top free download in both Apple's App Store and the Google Play store, after gaining fame as the top communications tool of the "Cajun Navy" Harvey rescuers in Houston. "Over one million people have joined [Zello] in the last day, with most coming from Puerto Rico and Florida," Gavrilov said, but went on to warn users that the app was not designed for disaster communications and required either WFi or a cellular data link, despite online rumors to the contrary. Jihadis Use Zello To Plan Attacks in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Italy, Sweden, Russia, And Elsewhere Over the past three years, Zello has been at the center of terrorism cases worldwide, as the following example highlights: The Dallas, Texas-based ISIS recruiter Said Azzam Mohamad Rahim, who was moderator of a Zello channel called State of the Islamic Caliphate, told his listeners to kill as many "infidels" as possible with poison, rocks, and trucks, by burning, and by pushing people off buildings.[4] He gave the go-ahead to Salman Abedi, perpetrator of the May 2017 Manchester suicide bombing; in August 2016, Abedi had sought Rahim's approval via Zello, saying: "Sheikh, I live in Manchester, in Great Britain. I live among non-Muslims. I have found work with them. Am I allowed to kill them? Is it permitted to kill them with a bomb?" To which Rahim responded on Zello: "To the boy from Manchester I say, okay, kill them! Show no mercy to civilians."[5]Also receiving instructions from Rahim was Abdulgadir Masharipov, the perpetrator of the New Year's Day 2017 attack at Istanbul's Reina nightclub, in the month preceding the attack.[6] In March 2017, Rahim was indicted by a federal grand jury for making false statements to federal agents about his alleged support of ISIS.[7] According to the indictment, he had posted his support of ISIS on social media, solicited violence, and praised attacks for which ISIS had claimed responsibility – including the Istanbul nightclub attack and the July 2016 Nice, France truck attack.[8] Rakhmat Akilov, who carried out the April 2017 Stockholm truck attack, communicated using Zello following the attack. He wrote on the app: "My trousers are burned. I thought it was going to explode but it didn't... Around ten are dead."[9] Also in April 2017, Italian police arrested a resident of the country who had used Zello to discuss his plans to carry out an attack in Italy. A judge called him "an extremely dangerous subject" who posed a "very high risk of moving on to carrying out series acts of violence." In one Zello message, he had called for "non-believers" to be "roasted on kebab skewers" and fed to dogs.[10] Tajik national and ISIS member Murodbek Kodirov was arrested in August 2017 for posting a voice message on Zello that included "calls for inciting religious hatred." He had been making plans with another individual, "D. Sharipov," to carry out first an ax attack and then a suicide bombing in a crowd.[11] Murad Atajev, a Daghestani preacher at a mosque in Berlin attended by Russian-speakers, was arrested in October 2015; he had attempted to recruit ISIS militants, and broadcasts of his sermons were featured on Zello.[12] MEMRI JTTM Research And Analysis Exposes Extent Of Zello's Popularity Among Jihadis A September 7, 2016 MEMRI JTTM report[13] revealed that jihadis, ISIS members, and ISIS supporters from around the globe were using Zello. More recently, on April 28, 2017, a link to the pro-ISIS "Zello Channel" group was circulated on numerous pro-ISIS Telegram channels; the link shows that it has nearly 13,000 subscribers.[14] MEMRI JTTM research over the past two years has discovered a range of ISIS channels in numerous languages on Zello. For example, the Zello "Islamic State channel," which includes "Recruiting new members" in its description, operates in French, Arabic, and Hebrew. It is notable that all the jihadi Zello groups revealed by MEMRI in the report are apparently still active. The accounts are easily identifiable; they have names such as "The Islamic State" and "The State of the Islamic Caliphate." They have avatars of the well-known black jihadi flag, and of jihadi leaders such as Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and Osama bin Laden. They share images of weapons, and threatening messages. All of these are easily recognizable, and Zello should be able to flag them as terrorist content if it wants to. Zello CEO Requests MEMRI Reports On Jihadis On Zello – But Won't Shut Down Their Accounts In March 2015, following reports that Zello was being used by ISIS, Zello CEO Moore said that he had not heard that the app was popular among ISIS fighters, and noted, "It's terrible that Zello is used for evil." The company, he said, is putting "a fair amount of effort... into figuring out ways to minimize the app's use by bad guys... so that only healthy conversations can flourish."[15] The first MEMRI report on jihadi use of Zello, published September 7, 2016, showed that jihadi channels on the platform had thousands of subscribers. Shortly after the report's publication, MEMRI received a request from Moore for a full version of the report and also offered him an opportunity to speak with MEMRI staff about the jihadi content on accounts on the app. Moore ignored this offer, and the content was left on the platform. Later that month, on September 26, MEMRI again contacted Moore to offer assistance, and let him know that the jihadi content was still on Zello. He did not reply, and the content remained. A follow-up MEMRI report, published in April 2017, noted that the content still had not been removed. In August 2017, Moore publicly acknowledged that Zello was being used by malicious actors, noting: "Oh, it's used for bad, yes. Cartels, gangs, ISIS, and others. Like any communications tool, it's used for good and evil both... It's a net positive, but it's not without risk. It doesn't replace law."[16] Shortly thereafter, in September, he underlined that even though Zello was available to ISIS and other bad actors, he preferred to take a "libertarian" view regarding policing his users – though, he said, he understands the "moral quandary" that this presents.[17] On February 1, 2018, MEMRI JTTM staff reexamined the accounts and found that most, if not all, remain active. Zello's Leadership Shows Little Interest In The Fact That The Platform Is Becoming Jihadis' Favorite App – What Can Be Done? Zello's failure to take responsible action to remove jihadi content on its platform is reminiscent of other tech companies' similar lack of action. In 2010, MEMRI met with representatives from YouTube/Google about such content on their platforms. At that time, I was told that they were not interested in removing it – yet now they do what was recommended. Twitter too brushed off early MEMRI warnings about the jihadi content on it. Now, Zello is ignoring its facilitation of jihad worldwide. MEMRI's research over the years on jihadi content on these platforms, and repeated attempts to make sure that YouTube and Twitter remained aware of the extent of the problem, contributed to their eventual efforts to remove it. The same can be done for Zello and might compel them to act more responsibly. The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), a partnership of Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube for collaboration on the issue of terrorist activity online, works to "forge new partnerships" with small tech companies. Joining it would be a good first step for Zello and could steer them to normal industry standards about removing terrorist content.    *Steven Stalinsky is Executive Director of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).   [1] Support.zello.com, accessed February 2, 2018. [2] Techcrunch.com, September 17, 2007. [3] Techcrunch.com, June 20, 2012. [4] Dallasnews.com, October 30, 2017. [5] Theaustralian.com.au, August 14, 2017. [6] Hurriyet.com.tr, April 25, 2017. [7] Newsweek, August 14, 2017. [8] Dallasnews.com, March 23, 2017. [9] Thelocal.se, January 30, 2018. [10] Thelocal.it, April 25, 2017. [11] En.crimerussia.com, October 11, 2017. [12] Rferl.org, October 16, 2015. [13] See MEMRI JTTM report U.S.-Based Walkie-Talkie Encrypted Chat Application Zello Used By ISIS Members And Supporters From Around The World, September 7, 2016. [14] See MEMRI JTTM report U.S.-Based Walkie-Talkie Encrypted Chat Application 'Zello' Continues To Serve As A Meeting Place For Jihadists; Calls For Attack On France Transmitted On App, April 28, 2017. [15] VOAnews.com, March 17, 2015. [16] Buzzfeed.com, August 31, 2017. [17] Inc.com, September 8, 2017.

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IRGC Cyber Division Confirms Supreme Leader Khamenei's Assertion That 'Demons Are Assisting The Enemies' With Statements That 'The Israeli Mossad Is... Using Demons' And 'The Jews Are Experts At Sorcery And At Creating Relationships With Demons'

March 27, 2020

In a March 22, 2020 speech broadcast live on Iranian television, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei reiterated that the U.S. created the coronavirus and is spreading it worldwide, and explained to the public that "demons are assisting the enemies." Iranian news agencies omitted this quote from their reporting on the speech.

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Syrian Opposition Website Reveals Information About Hizbullah Drone Base In Southern Damascus

March 27, 2020

On March 25, 2020, a Syrian opposition website known for leaking intelligence documents claimed that Hizbullah in Lebanon has established a dozen military bases south of the Syrian capital, Damascus, including a drone base.

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Jihadi Social Media – Account Review (JSM-AR): On Facebook, Twitter, English-Speaking Jihadis Celebrate Boris Johnson Testing Positive For Coronavirus: 'Make This Virus Reach Out To All Those Who Have Their Hands Painted With Blood of Muslims'

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March 27, 2020


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The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

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memri
March 27, 2020 Special Announcements No. 892

Follow The MEMRI Series On Reactions To Coronavirus Crisis – Update No. 2 – Get The Latest Translations And Analysis From The Middle East And Beyond

March 27, 2020
Special Announcements No. 892
WASHINGTON, D.C., March­ 27, 2020 – The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) continues to add dozens of new translations and reports on reactions to the coronavirus pandemic on our Coronavirus Reactions page (to read Update No. 1, click here). To date, MEMRI has published 22 reports and 33 clips on the pandemic. The clips have been viewed almost 2 million times on social media. New MEMRI clips and reports on reactions to the coronavirus include translations of statements by Egyptian, Iranian, Iraqi, Jordanian, Lebanese, Palestinian, Saudi, Yemeni, Turkish, and Russian political, military, and religious figures, among others: LATEST CLIPS AND REPORTS ON CORONAVIRUS Conspiracy Theories In The Arab Media: The Coronavirus Is Part Of An American Plot To Ruin The Chinese Economy And Reprogram The Global Economy https://www.memri.org/reports/conspiracy-theories-arab-media-coronavirus-part-american-plot-ruin-chinese-economy-and Get The Latest Translations And Analysis From The Middle East And Beyond – Follow The MEMRI Series On Reactions To Coronavirus https://www.memri.org/reports/get-latest-translations-and-analysis-middle-east-and-beyond-%E2%80%93-follow-memri-series-reactions Arab Writers: The Coronavirus Is Part Of Biological Warfare Waged By The U.S. Against China https://www.memri.org/reports/arab-writers-coronavirus-part-biological-warfare-waged-us-against-china Iran Studies Project Secretary of Iran's High Council for Human rights Ali Bagheri Kani: America Is the Great Satan, Acts Inhumanely Even During COVID-19 Pandemic; Countries That Do Not Cooperate with Us Are Responsible for Spreading the Virus https://www.memri.org/tv/secretary-iran-high-council-human-rights-bagheri-kani-america-great-satan-europe-shame-spreading-coronavirus Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: U.S. Is Accused of Creating the Coronavirus, It Would Be Unreasonable for Us to Accept Assistance from It https://www.memri.org/tv/iranian-supreme-leader-ayatollah-khamenei-coronavirus-reject-american-aid-increase-hostility Experts on Iranian TV: COVID-19 May Be an American 'Ethnic Weapon' Targeting the Genome of Iranians, Chinese https://www.memri.org/tv/iranian-discussion-coronavirus-ethnic-bioterrorism-weapon-america-target-iranians-chinese Iranian Sunni Scholar Abdolhamid Ismaeelzahi: COVID-19 Came to Iran through Chinese Students at the State-Funded Al-Mustafa University in Qom, Which Brainwashes Sunnis https://www.memri.org/tv/iranian-sunni-scholar-abdolhamid-ismaeelzahi-mustafa-university-brainwash-coronavirus In Iran III: Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi Denies Approving Purchase Of Vaccine From Israel https://www.memri.org/reports/coronavirus-iran-iii-ayatollah-makarem-shirazi-denies-approving-purchase-vaccine-israel The Coronavirus In Iran – Part II: In Tweets, Iranian Journalist Says Death Toll Is 2,000 – Not 237 As Regime Claims – And Criticizes Health Minister; Tweets Were Deleted Shortly Thereafter https://www.memri.org/reports/coronavirus-iran-%E2%80%93-part-ii-tweets-iranian-journalist-says-death-toll-2000-%E2%80%93-not-237-regime Senior Iranian Official Hossein Sheikholeslam – Advisor To Majlis Speaker, Former Advisor To Foreign Minister, And Former Iranian Ambassador To Syria – Dies Of Coronavirus: Clips From the MEMRI TV Archives https://www.memri.org/reports/senior-iranian-official-hossein-sheikholeslam-%E2%80%93-advisor-majlis-speaker-former-advisor Iranian Majlis Representative From Qom: 10 Deaths Every Day From Coronavirus In The City, The Regime Is Concealing The Numbers Of Dead In Iran; Former Official In Office Of President Rouhani: 'Coronavirus – A Gift From The Clerics Of The Islamic Republic [Of Iran] To The People' https://www.memri.org/reports/iranian-majlis-representative-qom-10-deaths-every-day-coronavirus-city-regime-concealing Iranian Scholar Hossein Momeni: COVID-19 Is Man-Made, A Weapon That Targets Shi'ites, Muslims, Iranians https://www.memri.org/tv/iranian-scholar-hossein-momeni-coronavirus-man-made-disaster-turn-opportunity IRGC Gen. Gholamreza Jalali, Head of Iran's Civil Defense Organization: Coronavirus Has Many of the Characteristics of a Biological Weapon; The U.S. Has Many Biological Labs in the Area That May Be Responsible for Spreading the Virus https://www.memri.org/tv/irgc-general-jalali-civil-defense-coronavirus-biological-weapon-american-laboratories Iranian TV Host Delavari Continues to Criticize Top Officials' Coronavirus Response: 'President Rouhani… We Haven't Heard from You for A While. We Miss You…' https://www.memri.org/tv/iranian-host-delavari-urges-president-rouhani-monologue-coronavirus Iranian TV Host Slams IRGC General in Charge of Civil Defense for Evading the Issue of Coronavirus and Bio Warfare: You Only Come to the Show When We Couldn't Care Less about What You Have to Say https://www.memri.org/tv/iranian-host-delavari-slams-irgc-general-jalali-civil-defense-coronavirus-bio-war Iranian Researcher and Former Diplomat Amir Mousavi: Coronavirus Created in a Lab; U.S. May Have the Cure, but Is Waiting to Release It in Order to Profit https://www.memri.org/tv/iranian-researcher-diplomat-amir-mousawi-coronavirus-conspiracy-america-has-cure Dr. Hossein Ali Shahriari, Member of Medical Committee in Iranian Majles: WHO Experts Come to Iran to Learn from Us, Rather Than Help Us https://www.memri.org/tv/iranian-majles-medical-committee-member-coronavirus-outbreak-will-not-last-long Iranian Shi'ite Eulogist Nariman Panahi: Khamenei's Bodyguards Prevented Us from Kissing His Hand on Feb. 15 to Protect His Life (Authorities Confirmed Coronavirus in Iran Only 4 Days Later) https://www.memri.org/tv/iranian-shiite-eulogist-nariman-panahi-government-protected-khamenei-coronavirus-early Iranians Lick Shi'ite Shrines in Defiance of Coronavirus Threats; Iranian-Islamic Medicine Expert: I Will Cure It https://www.memri.org/tv/iran-lick-shiite-shrine-coronavirus Iranian TV Host Delavari Criticizes Government's Coronavirus Response: The Delivering of Information to the Public Is Catastrophic https://www.memri.org/tv/iranian-host-mohammad-delavari-health-ministry-failing-information-coronavirus-outbreak Iranian Deputy Health Minister Harirchi: We Oppose Quarantines; If We Shut Down Qom, People Would Go Traveling, Spreading Coronavirus All Over the Country https://www.memri.org/tv/coronavirus-iran-deputy-health-minister-harirchi-oppose-quarantinue-close-qom-traveling-spread-over-country Iraq Iraqi Islamic Scholar Hadi Al-Modarresi, Prior to Being Infected with Coronavirus: The Virus Is a Divine Punishment against the Chinese https://www.memri.org/tv/qom-iraqi-scholar-hadi-modarresi-coronavirus-divine-punishment-chinese-mock-islam Iraqi Political Analyst Muhammad Sadeq Al-Hashemi: Coronavirus Is an American, Jewish Plot to Reduce World Population; Rothschilds Paid for the Annihilation of Native Americans and Scots https://www.memri.org/tv/iraqi-analyst-sadeq-hashemi-dean-koontz-american-zionist-plot-coronavirus-world-population Iraqi Political Analyst Sabah Al-Akili: The Coronavirus Was Spread in China by American Officials in 2015; This Is Part of a Biological War against China https://www.memri.org/tv/iraqi-analyst-sabah-akili-coronavirus-epidemic-america-biological-war-electronic-flies Jordan Jordanian International Law Expert Faisal Al-Khozae: COVID-19 Was Manufactured by America, Which Also Manufactured the AIDS, Swine Flu, SARS, and Anthrax Viruses https://www.memri.org/tv/jordanian-intl-law-expert-faisal-khozae-coronavirus-man-made-america-labs-aids-swine-flu-anthrax Jordanian Islamic Scholar Ahmad Al-Shahrouri: The Jews Are More Dangerous Than Coronavirus, AIDS, and Cholera; Jihad Purifies Our Bodies and Souls, Can Save People from These Diseases https://www.memri.org/tv/jordanian-sheikh-shahrouri-jews-more-dangerous-coronavirus-aids-jihad-purify Lebanon Lebanese Journalist: Lebanon Needs An End To The Iranian Patronage Over It, Not Nasrallah’s Advice On Fighting The Coronavirus https://www.memri.org/reports/lebanese-journalist-lebanon-needs-end-iranian-patronage-over-it-not-nasrallah%E2%80%99s-advice Lebanese Political Science Professor Al-Naboulsi: Coronavirus - Possible Anti-Chinese Biological Warfare by the U.S. https://www.memri.org/tv/lebanon-poli-sci-prof-naboulsi-coronavirus-possible-anti-china-biological-warfare-america Palestine Hamas Supporters Debate: Should The Movement Maintain The Lull With Israel During The COVID-19 Outbreak, Or Fire Rockets And Thus Double The Number Of Cases In Israel? https://www.memri.org/reports/hamas-supporters-debate-should-movement-maintain-lull-israel-during-covid-19-outbreak-or Palestinian Writers: The Coronavirus Is A Biological Weapon Employed By U.S., Israel Against Their Enemies https://www.memri.org/reports/palestinian-writers-coronavirus-biological-weapon-employed-us-israel-against-their-enemies Imam in Hamas TV Friday Sermon a Day before Coronavirus Cases Confirmed in Gaza: This Virus Is a Soldier of Allah; Muslims Are the Least Affected https://www.memri.org/tv/gaza-friday-sermon-palestinian-sheikh-jamil-mutawa-coronavirus-allah-soldier-praise-victims Saudi Arabia Saudi Columnist Following Coronavirus Outbreak: Why Do We Expect The World To Solve Our Problems? https://www.memri.org/reports/saudi-columnist-following-coronavirus-outbreak-why-do-we-expect-world-solve-our-problems Veteran Saudi Journalist: The Iranian Regime Is 'The Deadliest Virus' – And The West's Lenience Towards It Endangers The Region https://www.memri.org/reports/veteran-saudi-journalist-iranian-regime-deadliest-virus-%E2%80%93-and-wests-lenience-towards-it Yemen Friday Sermon By Houthi Minister Of Public Health Dr. Taha Al-Mutawakkil: America Could Be Behind The COVID-19 Pandemic; It Massacred Its Own People On 9/11 https://www.memri.org/reports/friday-sermon-houthi-minister-public-health-dr-taha-al-mutawakkil-america-could-be-behind Houthi Leader Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi: America, Other Countries Have Laboratories that Weaponize Bacteria, Viruses Such as COVID-19; They Spread Them Through Explosives, Deliberately-Contaminated Humanitarian Aid https://www.memri.org/tv/houthi-leader-abdul-malik-america-laboratories-coronavirus-target-countries-biological-weapons Turkish Studies Project Turkish Politicians, Press, Public React To Coronavirus: 'This Virus Serves Zionism's Goals Of Decreasing The Number Of People' https://www.memri.org/reports/turkish-politicians-press-public-react-coronavirus-virus-serves-zionisms-goals-decreasing Russian Media Studies Project Political Strategist And Former Deputy Governor Oleg Matveychev Calls For Exterminating Quarantine Evaders And 'Liberal Bastards' On The Model Of Stalin's Great Terror https://www.memri.org/reports/political-strategist-and-former-deputy-governor-oleg-matveychev-calls-exterminating Intense On-Air Clash Over Coronavirus Precautions Between Russian Liberal Democratic Party Leader Zhirinovsky And Komsomolskaya Pravda's Star Correspondent Aslamova Goes Viral https://www.memri.org/reports/intense-air-clash-over-coronavirus-precautions-between-russian-liberal-democratic-party As Russia Awaits Spread Of Coronavirus, Columnist Gurevich Pleads With Regime To Be Open With Russia's Citizens https://www.memri.org/reports/russia-awaits-spread-coronavirus-columnist-gurevich-pleads-regime-be-open-russias-citizens Russian Biologist Yakutenko Discloses Chaos Accompanying Evacuation Of Russians From China https://www.memri.org/reports/russian-biologist-yakutenko-discloses-chaos-accompanying-evacuation-russians-china Russian Biologist and Former U.N. Expert Igor Nikulin: Coronavirus Is a Biological Weapon Used by Global Government to Reduce the World's Population by 90% https://www.memri.org/tv/russian-biologist-igor-nikulin-coronavirus-conspiracy-global-government-decimate-population Sermons By Imams In The West Canadian Islamic Scholar Younus Kathrada: We Take Coronavirus Precautions Seriously, and Should Do the Same for Allah's Commands; We Must Not Ally with Jews, Christians, Infidels – This Matter Is More Dangerous than COVID-19 https://www.memri.org/tv/canadian-scholar-younus-kathrada-coronavirus-allah-distance-sin-do-not-take-jews-christians-allies Sec.-Gen. Of European Council For Fatwa And Research: I Refuse To Listen To Those Who Say That COVID-19 Is A Global Conspiracy; Its Effects Are Clearly Visible https://www.memri.org/reports/sec-gen-european-council-fatwa-and-research-i-refuse-listen-those-who-say-covid-19-global Syracuse, NY Imam Khadar Bin Muhammad: COVID-19 Is A Reminder That We Are 'Just Chilling' While Surrounded By Evil In A Land Of Infidels; Women Who Expose Their Ankles, Wrists, Ears, Necks Are Playing Games With Allah Like Jews https://www.memri.org/reports/syracuse-ny-imam-khadar-bin-muhammad-covid-19-reminder-we-are-just-chilling-while-surrounded NY-Based Muslim Brotherhood Activist Bahgat Saber To Egyptian Nationals: Give Coronavirus To Officials, Staff At Egyptian Consulates And Embassies; If I'm Infected, 'I Will Go To The Egyptian Consulate' In New York https://www.memri.org/reports/ny-based-muslim-brotherhood-activist-bahgat-saber-egyptian-nationals-give-coronavirus Muslim Brotherhood-Affiliated Canadian Imam Hussein Amer: The Chinese Eat Aborted Human Fetuses; Coronavirus Is Allah's Punishment For Their Treatment Of Uyghur Muslims https://www.memri.org/reports/muslim-brotherhood-affiliated-canadian-imam-hussein-amer-chinese-eat-aborted-human-fetuses U.K.-Based Islamic Scholar Abdul Rahman Dimashqia: Coronavirus Outbreak in Iran Is Divine Punishment for Shi'ites; Iran Deliberately Infects Sunnis with the Virus https://www.memri.org/tv/uk-scholar-dimashqia-shiites-accused-aisha-wife-prophet-coronavirus-divine-punishment NJ Friday Sermon by Mohammad Abbasi, Rutgers University Faculty Member: Coronavirus Is Divine Retribution For China's Treatment Of Uyghur Muslims; It Is The Least The Chinese Should Suffer, May Allah Punish Them Further https://www.memri.org/reports/nj-friday-sermon-mohammad-abbasi-rutgers-university-faculty-member-coronavirus-divine Reform Project Iranian Political Activist Heshmatollah Tabarzadi Slams Khamenei, Calls to Bring Down Presidential Palace on Rouhani’s Head Because of Irresponsible Handling of COVID-19 Pandemic: We Might as Well Die an Honorable Death https://www.memri.org/tv/iranian-political-activist-heshmatollah-tabarzadi-calls-for-uprising-khamenei-rouhani-irresponsible-coronavirus D.C.-Based Egyptian Journalist Atef Abdel Gawad on Iranian TV: Claiming U.S. Spread Coronavirus Is Illogical; Americans Work on Vaccine While Russia, China, Iran Do Nothing But Point Fingers https://www.memri.org/tv/dc-based-egyptian-journalist-atef-gawad-iranian-illogical-claim-america-spread-coronavirus-affected Muslim Liberal Mansour Al-Hadj: Muslims Must Denounce The Absurd Notion That The Coronavirus Outbreak And Other Natural Disasters Are Allah’s Revenge On The Unbelievers https://www.memri.org/reports/muslim-liberal-mansour-al-hadj-muslims-must-denounce-absurd-notion-coronavirus-outbreak-and South Asia Studies Project Afghan Taliban Criticize Atheists, Say: 'Allah Illustrated... His Might With Such A Nanoscopic Being [Coronavirus]' https://www.memri.org/jttm/afghan-taliban-criticize-atheists-say-allah-illustrated-his-might-such-nanoscopic-being Afghan Taliban: 'Coronavirus Is A Disease Ordained By The Almighty Allah Which Has Perhaps Been Sent By Allah... Because Of The Disobedience And Sins Of Mankind' https://www.memri.org/jttm/afghan-taliban-coronavirus-disease-ordained-almighty-allah-which-has-perhaps-been-sent-allah Afghan Taliban Assure International Community Of Cooperation To Fight Coronavirus In Areas Under Their Control https://www.memri.org/jttm/afghan-taliban-assure-international-community-cooperation-fight-coronavirus-areas-under-their Revivalist Group Tablighi Jamaat Not To Send Preachers To China And Hong Kong Due To Coronavirus, Forms 30 Groups Of Preachers For Other Countries https://www.memri.org/jttm/revivalist-group-tablighi-jamaat-not-send-preachers-china-and-hong-kong-due-coronavirus-forms    

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Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS)-Affiliated News Agency Releases Advisory On 'Technical Safety'

March 27, 2020

On March 27, 2020, the Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS)-affiliated Ebaa' News Agency shared an advisory titled "Your Technical Safety," which is a part of its weekly online paper. The advisory provides some tips on how to deal with electronic viruses, which it claims are "as dangerous as the coronavirus."

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March 27, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8661

Philadelphia Imam Nafis Abu Zayd: Homosexuality Is A Psychological Disease; We Will Fight Back Against Progressive, Modern Islam

March 27, 2020
United States | Special Dispatch No. 8661
On March 10, 2020, Philadelphia Imam Nafis Abu Zayd posted a lecture to the Maktabah Ibn Taymiyyah YouTube channel that was titled "The LGBT Community Will Never Be Endorsed by Islam." Describing homosexual acts as heinous, he said that homosexuality is a psychological disease that is played on by Satan and that homosexuals prefer their sexual perversions over their God-given reason and intellect. He criticized progressive Muslims who try to find loopholes in Islam in order to accept the LGBTQ community under the pretext of civil rights and inclusion. Imam Abu Zayd also said that Allah would deal with today's homosexuals like he dealt with the homosexuals in Sodom and Gomorrah, and he explained that there is a "global agenda of homosexuality" that uses subliminal messages in order to indoctrinate people. In addition, he cited Quranic verses that said that the Jews and the Christians will never be pleased with the Muslims until they follow their way and that Muslims must not take Jews and Christians as allies. Towards the end of his lecture, Imam Abu Zayd emphasized that Muslims are not willing to compromise their religion, that they oppose anything that goes against the Quran and the Sunnah, and that they reject progressive Islam. He added: "Islam doesn't need your progression… We do not support or advocate for modern Islam [or] for the LGBTQ community, ever." Maktabah Ibn Taymiyyah is an Islamic library in Philadelphia. Imam Abu Zayd's lecture was a response to a recent lecture by prominent American scholar Omar Suleiman that was titled "Alliances and Coalition Building." Sheikh Suleiman had delivered his lecture, which has drawn some criticism from the Muslim community, at the LGBTQ+ Conference that was hosted by the East Plano Islamic Center in Plano, Texas. To view the clip of Imam Nafis Abu Zayd on MEMRI TV, click here or below. "If You Say [Homosexuality Is] A Psychological Disorder – Yes It Is" Imam Nafis Abu Zayd: "If you commit this hideous act, if you paraded around, it's dhalim [i.e. sin]. And if you say it's a psychological disorder – yes it is. [...] "The creator of everything is not responding in a sympathetic way, so why are you doing that? Tell me. Come on man. You're not going to water me down. Not with that stuff. [...] "Many of you don't know about the story of Lut [i.e., the figure known as Lot in the Bible]. [...] "His wife, the reason why she was lagged behind is because she was one of those people who were sympathetic to the sexual perversion and deviance of these people. Which reminds me of a lot of individuals within the Muslim community and outside the Muslim community." [...] "[Progressive Muslims] Try To Find Loopholes, They Try To Find Ways To Bring In, This Humanitarian, This Civil Rights, This 'We Need To Be Inclusive'" "They try to find loopholes, they try to find ways to bring in, this humanitarian, this civil rights, this 'we need to be inclusive... They're all from our fellow human beings.' No, they have secluded themselves. [...] "It is the natural order that a man is with a woman and a woman is with a man. That's the natural order. [...] "They're not going to get me to buy that it was so much trauma that they had in their life... Other than the fact that it's a disease and shaytan [Satan] is playing them. [...] "And they were so bold back then. They already told him... Just bring the punishment, come on, bring it. You said your Lord would destroy us, bring it. Oh, Allah brought it. Allah brought it, trust me. He brought it. [...] "Allah is going to deal with them. Yes, he's going to deal with them. That is the way it is going to get done. We have to realize this. This doesn't mean hatred. See, they want you to think that this is hatred. [...] "You are going to get dealt with, just like Allah dealt with these individuals." [...] "There Is A Global Agenda Of Homosexuality" "The Jew and the Christians will never be pleased with you, oh Mohammed, until you follow their way. [...] "The worst crime that you can commit on earth is to commit shirk [polytheism] and disbelieve in Allah. This is the worst thing. So you mean to tell me that it is an honor to be with someone who disbelieves in Allah? [...] "If a Muslim makes a statement like that, something is wrong with his aqeedah [creed]. [...] "This is not permissible – for the believers to take the non-believers as helpers, friends, confidants, protectors. [...] "We're going to call a spade a spade. You have a sexual perversion, alright, and you prefer that sexual perversion over your reason – the God-given faculty that Allah, which is your intellect. [...] "There is a global agenda of homosexuality... [...] "They study the way that human beings interact, the way that human beings move. What gets them ticking, what doesn't... They do that. And they gradually have been sending subliminal messages and doing certain things with what you do, taking statistics, and seeing how to program, and to introduce this indoctrination." [...] "We Will Fight Back; This Is Islam" If you want to come and push an agenda that's other than kitaab wa sunnah [Quran and Hadith] – we will stand against you. We will mention you by name. We will point out your faults, and go into that issue. [...] "We will fight back. This is Islam. We're not going to remain silent. [...] "We don't want any progressive Islam. [...] "[To] anyone that pushes an agenda about 'Progressive Islam' – Islam doesn't need your progression. [...] "We do not support or advocate for 'modern Islam.' We do not support or advocate for the LGBT community ever. We do not support or advocate for anything that goes against kitaab wa sunnah."  

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Ka'taib Hizbullah-Affiliated Social Media Release Photos Of Its Military Drill Carried Out In Preparation For Potential U.S. Assault On Its Headquarters In Iraq

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March 27, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8662

Canadian Islamic Scholar Younus Kathrada: We Take Coronavirus Precautions Seriously, And Should Do The Same For Allah's Commands; We Must Not Ally With Jews, Christians, Infidels – This Matter Is More Dangerous Than COVID-19

March 27, 2020
Canada | Special Dispatch No. 8662
In a Friday, March 20, 2020 sermon at Muslim Youth of Victoria, Canada, Sheikh Younus Kathrada, asked why Muslims do not take Allah's commands to distance themselves from sin as seriously as they are taking medical professionals' guidelines about social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that Muslims should distance themselves from fornication by lowering their gaze, wearing the hijab, and avoiding events where men and women can mingle freely. He advised his audience to audit themselves and see if their closest friends are Muslims or non-Muslims, explaining that this matter is more dangerous that the coronavirus or any other plague. Sheikh Kathrada cited verses from the Quran that said that Muslims should not take infidels, Jews, or Christians as allies and that the Jews and the Christians will never be pleased with the Muslims until they follow their religion. He emphasized that non-Muslims are still human beings that should be treated justly and called to Islam, but added that Allah has warned the Muslims regarding what is in the hearts of the non-Muslims. In addition, Sheikh Kathrada criticized prominent English-speaking Muslim preachers who advise Muslims not to object to gay marriage. This statement may have been a reference to a recent lecture by prominent American scholar Omar Suleiman that was titled "Alliances and Coalition Building." Sheikh Suleiman had delivered this lecture at the LGBTQ+ Conference that was hosted by the East Plano Islamic Center in Plano, Texas, and he has drawn some criticism from the Muslim community (for one example, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 7878). Sheikh Kathrada's lecture was uploaded to Muslim Youth Victoria's YouTube and Facebook pages. For more from Sheikh Younus Kathrada, see MEMRI TV Clips No. 7534, No. 7098, No. 6950, and No. 6906, as well as MEMRI Special Dispatches No. 8318 and No. 7851. To view the clip of Sheikh Younus Kathrada on MEMRI TV, click here or below. "When Allah Orders Us To Stay Away... From Sins, Then Why Don't We Listen?" Sheikh Younus Kathrada: "We are serious about this virus. We are not taking lightly all of these recommendations from the professionals, and all of these orders, and all of these prohibitions. [...] "Of those things that they have recommended is social distancing. [...] "When Allah orders us to stay away – to distance ourselves – from sins, then why don't we listen? [...] "Where are we from the words of Allah when He said to not approach or come near fornication or adultery. [...] "Distance yourselves from those things that will lead to this horrible crime. [...] "Distance yourselves from not lowering your gaze, so lower your gaze. Distance yourselves from not wearing hijab – wear the hijab. Distance yourselves from those free intermingling gatherings that have no guidelines or restrictions that you follow." [...] Being Close With Non-Muslims Is "More Dangerous Than The Coronavirus Or Any Other Plague" "Look to see who your close friends are. [...] "Are they Muslims or non-Muslims? [...] "Ask yourself about your children. Who are their closest friends? Who are the people they want to be with? Are they the Muslims or the non-Muslims? [...] "I swear by Allah that these types of things are more dangerous than the coronavirus or any other plague or virus. [...] "[The Quran says:] 'Do not take the infidels as allies.' [...] "[It also says:] 'Do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies – they are, in fact, allies of one another, and whoever is an ally to them among you, then indeed he is one of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.' And here again... I'm not saying to you that these non-Muslims are not human. They are human beings!" [...] "Don't Take [Jews And Christians] As Your Close Friends... Allah Knows; He Created Them" "And you will never hear me say to you that you should treat them unjustly, that you should treat them badly, or that you should kill them wherever you find them. [...] "Treat them well. Be kind towards them. Call them towards Islam. Show them what Islam is. [...] "Don't take them as allies. Don't take them as your close friends. Don't depend on them. Don't aid and assist them against the Muslims. "Don't think they are there to help you. In the end, believe me... Allah knows. He created them. He is telling us what is in their hearts. [...] "[The Quran says:] 'The Jews and the Christians will never be pleased with you, until such time that you start following their religion – their way.'" [...] "We Need To Be Aware Of This So That We Can Carry Out That Obligation Of Ours... Enjoining Good And Forbidding Evil" "In many of the Western countries, what do we have? We have these laws that are passed that allow gay marriage, so a man can marry a man and a woman can marry a woman. Then we have among us some of the most popular English-speaking preachers – some call them scholars – and they are telling us: 'Don't object to this. It is their right, let them be.' [...] "We need to be aware of this so that we can carry out that obligation of ours, which is enjoining good and forbidding evil – advising one another, speaking up, enjoining good, forbidding evil, of course all within the guidelines laid down for us in our shari'a."  

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March 27, 2020 Special Announcements No. 891

The MEMRI Weekly: March 20-27, 2020

March 27, 2020
Special Announcements No. 891
The following are links to reports from MEMRI's Special Dispatch Series and Inquiry and Analysis Series, as well as to transcripts from the MEMRI TV Project, released during the past week. *MEMRI REPORTS Special Dispatch No. 8661 – Philadelphia Imam Nafis Abu Zayd: Homosexuality Is A Psychological Disease; We Will Fight Back Against Progressive, Modern Islam, March 27, 2020 Inquiry and Analysis No. 1506 – White Supremacist Online Radio Outlets Call For Race War, Espouse Antisemitic Conspiracy Theories, Recruit For Violent Neo-Nazi Groups, March 26, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8660 – Friday Sermon By Houthi Minister Of Public Health Dr. Taha Al-Mutawakkil: America Could Be Behind The COVID-19 Pandemic; It Massacred Its Own People On 9/11, March 26, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8658 – IRGC Cyber Division Confirms Supreme Leader Khamenei's Assertion That 'Demons Are Assisting The Enemies' With Statements That 'The Israeli Mossad Is... Using Demons' And 'The Jews Are Experts At Sorcery And At Creating Relationships With Demons', March 26, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8659 – White Supremacist Threat Monitor (WSTM) – Account Review: Pacific Northwest Woman With Multiple Facebook Accounts Launches Neo-Nazi Brand, Collects Funds Via Venmo, March 25, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8657 – Sec.-Gen. Of European Council For Fatwa And Research: I Refuse To Listen To Those Who Say That COVID-19 Is A Global Conspiracy; Its Effects Are Clearly Visible, March 25, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8656 – Hamas Supporters Debate: Should The Movement Maintain The Lull With Israel During The COVID-19 Outbreak, Or Fire Rockets And Thus Double The Number Of Cases In Israel?, March 25, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8655 – Turkish Columnists Praise Jihad, Martyrdom, And Caliphate: 'Jihad Is A Valid Ruling Until The Day Of Judgement... If The Muslims Are Unified, [The Unbelievers] Will All Be Like Dogs At Our Door', March 24, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8654 – Palestinian Writers: The Coronavirus Is A Biological Weapon Employed By U.S., Israel Against Their Enemies, March 24, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8653 – Russian Political Strategist And Former Deputy Governor Oleg Matveychev Calls For Exterminating Quarantine Evaders And 'Liberal Bastards' On The Model Of Stalin's Great Terror, March 24, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8652 – Lebanese Journalist: Lebanon Needs An End To The Iranian Patronage Over It, Not Nasrallah’s Advice On Fighting The Coronavirus, March 23, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8651 – White Supremacist Threat Monitor (WSTM) – Account Review: On White Supremacist Dating Site, Women Seek Neo-Nazi Partners, Dismiss Careers As Only For 'Retarded Feminists,' Dream Of Being 'Barefoot And Pregnant In The Kitchen', March 20, 2020   *MEMRI TV MONITOR PROJECT MEMRI TV Clip No. 7896 – Canadian Islamic Scholar Younus Kathrada: We Take Coronavirus Precautions Seriously, and Should Do the Same for Allah's Commands; We Must Not Ally with Jews, Christians, Infidels – This Matter Is More Dangerous than COVID-19, The Internet MEMRI TV Clip No. 7895 – Call To Prayer, Quran Verses Inside 'Hagia Sophia Mosque' In Istanbul, The Internet MEMRI TV Clip No. 7894 – Iranian Political Activist Heshmatollah Tabarzadi Slams Khamenei, Calls to Bring Down Presidential Palace on Rouhani's Head Because of Irresponsible Handling of COVID-19 Pandemic: We Might as Well Die an Honorable Death, The Internet MEMRI TV Clip No. 7893 – Friday Sermon by Houthi Minister of Public Health Dr. Taha Al-Mutawakkil: America Could Be behind the COVID-19 Pandemic; It Massacred Its Own People on 9/11, Al-Eman TV (Yemen) MEMRI TV Clip No. 7892 – Secretary of Iran's High Council for Human rights Ali Bagheri Kani: America Is the Great Satan, Acts Inhumanely Even During COVID-19 Pandemic; Countries That Do Not Cooperate with Us Are Responsible for Spreading the Virus, Channel 1 (Iran) MEMRI TV Clip No. 7891 – Sudanese Preacher Abdallah Hassan Jiballah: Hatred, Hostility towards the Jews Is Part of Islam; It Is Forbidden to Normalize Relations, Form Alliances with Them, The Internet MEMRI TV Clip No. 7890 – Sec.-Gen. of European Council for Fatwa and Research: I Refuse to Listen to Those Who Say That COVID-19 Is a Global Conspiracy; Its Effects Are Clearly Visible, Hiwar TV (U.K.) MEMRI TV Clip No. 7889 – Houthi Leader Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi: America, Other Countries Have Laboratories that Weaponize Bacteria, Viruses Such as COVID-19; They Spread Them Through Explosives, Deliberately-Contaminated Humanitarian Aid, Al-Masirah TV (Yemen) MEMRI TV Clip No. 7888 – D.C.-Based Egyptian Journalist Atef Abdel Gawad on Iranian TV: Claiming U.S. Spread Coronavirus Is Illogical; Americans Work on Vaccine While Russia, China, Iran Do Nothing But Point Fingers, Al-Alam TV (Iran) MEMRI TV Clip No. 7887 – Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: U.S. Is Accused of Creating the Coronavirus, It Would Be Unreasonable for Us to Accept Assistance from It, The Internet MEMRI TV Clip No. 7886 – Imam in Hamas TV Friday Sermon a Day before Coronavirus Cases Confirmed in Gaza: This Virus Is a Soldier of Allah; Muslims Are the Least Affected, Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas/Gaza) MEMRI TV Clip No. 7885 – Jordanian International Law Expert Faisal Al-Khozae: COVID-19 Was Manufactured by America, Which Also Manufactured the AIDS, Swine Flu, SARS, and Anthrax Viruses, A One TV (Jordan) MEMRI TV Clip No. 7884 – Former Iraqi PM Ayad Allawi: Iran Does Not Want Iraq To Have a Strong Army; The Americans Will Not Leave Iraq; The Int’l Coalition, Not Iran, Defeated ISIS, Asia TV (Iraq)

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