Terrorist Groups Vow Bloodshed over Jerusalem Decision. ISIS? Less So

Osama bin Laden was just 14 when his mother noticed that he had stopped watching his favorite Westerns. She found him fixated instead on news reports about Palestinians, tears streaming down his face as he watched TV in their home in Saudi Arabia.

“In his teenage years, he was the same nice kid,” his mother related. “But he was more concerned, sad and frustrated by the situation in Palestine,” she said, according to Lawrence Wright’s account of bin Laden’s trajectory and Al Qaeda’s rise in his book, “The Looming Tower.”

The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has long been one of the themes invoked by jihadists to push a narrative of Muslim victimhood and to fan an us-versus-them framework. So it’s of little surprise that Qaeda affiliates across the world reacted with venom after President Trump this week recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a decision that was also denounced by Arab leaders.

The Taliban, Hamas and Shia extremist leaders also railed against the move.

But the outlier was the Islamic State, which waited until Friday to publish an editorial in its weekly newsletter — one that appeared to be mainly concerned with critiquing what it saw as hypocritical and self-serving statements by other jihadist groups and Arab leaders.

 

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