During the siege at the Lindt Chocolat Café in Sydney, Australia Monday by Iranian-born self-proclaimed Islamic cleric Man Haron Monis – an avowed supporter of the Islamic State – that ended in a shootout with security forces leaving Honis and two of the 17 people he’d taken hostage dead, jihadists swarmed social networks expressing their satisfaction that Australians were struck in their own home.
According to many of the social media chatter monitored by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), “the operation was in revenge for Australia's participation in the ongoing fight against the Islamic State (ISIS). Many pointed out that this was a response to the call by ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad Al Adnani to Muslims in the West to carry out terror attacks in their countries of residence.”
These and other edicts by ISIS and Al Qaeda leaders to carry out lone wolf attacks against targets in the West have filled social media in recent months, resulting in numerous warnings by the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon.
IS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi (Caliph Ibrahim) recently vowed "volcanoes of jihad everywhere."
Last month, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) social media group also called upon ISIS supporters in the US to use the protests in Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere throughout the United States as a cover to carry out lone-wolf attacks.
Also last month, senior Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP leader Nasser Bin Ali Al Ansi reiterated the group's call for attacks on western Targets, and urged Muslims throught the West to carry out lone wolf attacks.
Jihadists also have infested the world's second biggest streaming music service SoundCloud, a Berlin-based social networking platform created in 2007 that allows users to upload and share audio content for free.
According to MEMRI’s social media monitoring, “An American fighting in Somalia known as Mujahid Miski[i] cheered the attack in a series of tweets and blamed it on the Australian people. He tweeted: ‘This banner will go into each & every house, not just chocolate shops in Australia. Even the White House #sydneysiege.’”
In other tweets, he stated: "O' people of Australia, do not blame the hostage taker, rather blame your own government for massacring Muslims everywhere. #sydneysiege," and "Just remember the brothers held in #Guantanamo by the Kuffar when you see the them suffering like this. #sydneysiege."
“He added that he would prefer to see a jihadi attacker who actually kills, not merely takes hostages,” MEMRI said. He tweeted: "It seems the one that took the hostages in #Australia was no good. I ask Allah swt to bring ont that kills not take hostages."
ISIS supporter UmmSayfillah @UmmSayfillah), who MEMRI said “apparently lives in the West,” wrote: "SubhanAllah. May they feel the true meaning of terror as our sisters have felt it! Ameen! Too numerous to ever fully appreciate. And the world is crying because these kalab escaped from a café after a couple hours.. The historical images of our people are … Wallah kiff[infidel] media makes me SICK. 'look of terror on women's faces' 'historical images…WTH? Real terror on a woman's face is seeing her family blown to pieces with horrific injuries, homes destroyed, being raped by oppostion forces."
Elsewhere in the West, a Dutch ISIS supporter and self-described aid worker in Latakia, Syria (@mohammadibnalbaraa) wrote: "If I were to pick a store in Sydney to siege it would more likely be Krispy Kremes or Max Brenners … Probably Max Brenners, mm Ghanima [booty]. Dat there Jewish occupational chocolate would taste so sweet with their tears beside it."
ISIS supporter @Greenbird7072_ quoted Michael Abebolaijo, perpetrator of the May 2013 London vehicular and stabbing death of British soldier Lee Rigby, writing, "'You people will never be safe' Adebolaijo said that and they thought it's a joke. #sydneysiege."
The pro-Jabhat Al Nusra account Al Muwahideen Media (@AlMuwahideenMedia), tweeted: "1000's of #Muslims killed doesn't make the news, a few #kaffir [infidel] hostages do A lesson."
Muhamad Idris tweeted: "#Sydneysiege is nothing but childsplay if #isil were the ones involved there I'm positive by now the entire Sydney would've been under khilafa."
Muhajirah Amatullah (@MuhamadIdris) tweeted: "#IS liberated vast areas of Iraq & Syria #Sydneysiege terrorist liberates a coffee shop It's a publicity stunt, some terror org is jealous… Australian Witness replied, "Even if he is Daulah[ISIS] which I doubt probably Shia this Chocolate Terrorist is a clown."
Operation is a response to ISIS's call for attacks in the West
MEMRI said, “The Twitter account Al Nusra Al Maqdisiyyah (@bakoon7), which is operated by a group of ISIS supporters in Gaza, urged jihadis to depict the events in Australia and similar events as linked to ISIS, stating: ‘As for the hostage abduction in Sydney, and similar incidents of this nature, irrespective of whether they were caused by jihadist activity or not, we must exploit every incident in order to spread fear in the infidel West!’”
A jihadist who calls himself Akhu Man Khafa Allah (@1999nnff) tweeted the attacker had heeded ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad Al Adnani's call to Muslims to carry out terror attacks in the very heart of the Western countries: "A single word uttered by Al Adnani, summoned forth lions amongst the Islamic State's supporters to strike fear in the infidel world and defend the caliphate."
ISIS supporter M-Shami-K (@y_dohak) also referenced Al Adnani's September 2014 speech "Your Lord is Ever Watchful," in which he urged Muslims to kill non-Muslims and Westerners, tweeting: "From Canada to Australia two opposite corner on the world map, adnanis speech has caused attacks."
“Many of the jihadis responding to the attack blamed Australia's involvement in the international coalition against ISIS,” MEMRI said.
For example, Farissa Rouh Muhajira (@liss_farissa) tweeted: "This is the punishment of anyone tempted to intervene in somebody else's business. Blame your country Australia and not us. Await developments with Allah's assistance!"
@abu11isis12 tweeted: "Anyone bewailing the hostages, servants of the cross: see how the Australian police treats Muslims." Later on, the account owner posted a picture of an Australian policeman arresting a Muslim demonstrator bleeding from his wound.
@delete103 tweeted: "Yesterday you decided to send your soldiers and planes to take part in the war against Muslims and now the response has arrived in your very homes." Later he attached a picture of Australian soldiers participating in the campaign against the Islamic state.
MEMRI said, “The pro-ISIS account ‘Fighting Journalist’ (@fightingjournalist) run by a group of Dutch nationals based in Syria tweeted: ‘I think these guys of #sydneysiege where not allowed to leave the country 4 Jihad in Syria so they brought it to Australia. #speculation.’”
ISIS supporter Abu YouheR (@obinoavey) tweeted: "Australia should retreat from the Middle East and Afghanistan and Muslims living in Australia sent to #IslamicState."
Female Syria-based ISIS member Muhajirah Amatullah (@BintWater), “who is likely of Australian origin,” MEMRI said, tweeted: "24 hr live-feeds of an empty street w/no audio, compare that to 24 hr live-feed of what Muslims endure under Australia terrorism. #Sydneysiege."
Twitter user named Dawood wrote, "Well Tony Abbott brought terror attacks directly to Australia. How idiotic do you have to be to bomb people in Iraq and not expect revenge?"
“What we've witnessed in Sydney should be a call to action for the United States and all our allies who have been threatened by violent Islamist extremists. We all face dual threats: terrorists who are seeking to enter the country to conduct attacks and from terrorists who are recruited and radicalized internally,” House Committee on Homeland Security chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said in a statement in response to the jihadi event in Australia.
“The United States must wage a robust effort here at home to combat violent Islamist extremism by working with local communities to intervene when we see signs of it, fighting against online Islamist propaganda and providing ways to stop individuals lured into the ‘jihadi cool’ subculture before they act,” McCaul said.
McCaul wrote about the importance of combating violent Islamist extremism in the US in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Islamic State Is Recruiting America's 'Jihadi Cool' Crowd. He’s also spearheading a review of the Obama administration’s strategy for countering domestic radicalization and a review of the administration's efforts to stop foreign jihadist fighters from returning to the United States.
“Today’s terrorist attack in Sydney, Australia stands as another reminder of the need for constant vigilance against the threat of violent Islamic extremists. he dual threat from foreign terrorists seeking to enter our nation and those radicalized here at home requires that we continue to work to identify these threats and do everything within our power to stop them before they strike,” said Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich), vice chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security Committee and chairman of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security.
Monis reportedly had been arrested in April for sexually assaulting a 27-year-old woman in 2002. He also received 40 additional charges in October after more victims came forward.
He was unsuccessful in getting the charges overturned in the High Court on Friday, The Age reported, whereupon he received 300 community service hours and a two-year good behavior bond.
He also reportedly sent hate mail between 2007 and 2009 to the families of Australian soldiers fighting ISIS abroad.
Monis also was charged as an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, who was allegedly stabbed and set on fire on a flight of stairs in her western Sydney apartment block in November 2013. His current partner also was charged with murder, but they both received bail because prosecutors believed the case against them was too weak.
Editor's note: Also read the Homeland Security Today exclusive report, ‘Caliph Ibrahim:’ The Man Responsible for ISIL's Headlines.