Jihadists React to Charlie Hebdo Attack in Unanimous Celebration
The reported January 7, 2015 attack by three unidentified gunmen on the office of "Charlie Hebdo," a French satirical newspaper known for publishing material mocking radical Islamists, has triggered widespread celebration across the online jihadist community—particularly on Twitter.
In an overwhelming wave of responses, fighters and supporters of different jihadist groups rallied behind the attackers, characterizing them as heroes and "Charlie Hebdo," along with all of France and the West, as perpetuators of oppression and blasphemy toward Islam.
Common in jihadists' responses was the claim of justice toward France, which the users regarded as as oppressive to Muslims and facilitating of blasphemous speech. User "Bint Abdullah" tweeted:
User "Ivan IS," to a similar note, tweeted:
User "Abu Suleyman" tweeted:
Jihadist also used the attacks as a springboard to further threaten Westerners. One such threat came from an alleged Islamic State (IS) fighter, "Abu Dujana," who tweeted:
The unidentified gunmen committing the attack were also portrayed as heroes by jihadists. Abu Dujana asked that "Allah swt reward our brothers in France," and characterized them as "real men" who "took revenge for the Ummah [nation]." His tweet was accompanied by an "#IS" hashtag. Comparably, user "Nadim al-Muhajir" tweeted that he wished for the shooters to "gain martyrdom" and enter "Jannah [Paradise]":
Jihadists also responded with artwork on the attacks. For example, the account of "Al Muwahideen Media" tweeted a justification of the attack on top of a picture of the shooters:
Another picture, tweeted by the account of "Victory for the People of Tawheed," showed pictures of those "Charlie Hebdo" staff members killed in the attack beside silhouettes of fighters and the IS-affiliated flag bearing the Islamic Shahada [statement of faith] and seal of the prophet:
Also prevalent in the commentary was the expectation of condemning statements from moderate Muslims. User "Bint Abdullah," for example, tweeted that those claiming that the event would strain Muslims' lives in the West were wrong to live "amongst kuffar [disbelievers]" in the first place:
The same user followed up by mentioning the "#NotInMyName" hashtag, with which moderate Muslims decry Islamic extremism, tweeting in part that "the murtadeeen [apostates] and munafiqqqqqn [hypocrites] will be raising their voices #notinmyname..."
Similarly, user "Abu Jandal" tweeted:
From another angle, user "abu khattab australi" tweeted, "There can be no condemnation of this attack on #CharlieHebdo. 100% Islamic whoever says otherwise is a clear liar." In an earlier tweet, the user stated of the attack, "Allah(swt) defends the honor of his messenger and so do the believers," to which another user, "Ahalulldhikir," responded, "Anybody insult prophet (saw) must be killed even if it just minor word."
Notable in early responses has been a seemingly competitive desire between al-Qaeda (AQ) and IS supporters to attribute the attack to their respective groups. User "Abu Sumaya Al-Khalidi," for example, tweeted that "Eye Witness reportedly heard a gunmen saying 'you tell the media it was Al Qaeda in Yemen'!"
Such competitive-spirited statements, however, were also met with calls for unanimous celebration and a putting aside of contention between AQ and IS. User "Qaqa al-Baritani," an alleged fighter with IS, tweeted: