PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – A former Hamas leader is calling for a “global jihad,” and Portland police say they are taking the incident seriously.
On Friday, October 13, former Hamas leader Field Marshal Khalid issued a rallying cry calling on Muslims around the world to “take to the streets” on the Global Day of Anti-Israel Protest.
In a video statement obtained by Reuters, the former Hamas leader said, “(We must) go to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday.”
He called on “brothers and sisters” in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt to take action on Friday to unite in support of the Palestinians.
He also issued a special appeal to Muslims living in countries surrounding Israel, saying: “Jordanian tribes, sons of Jordan, Jordanian brothers and sisters… This is a critical moment, the border is very close to you, and you all know your responsibilities.”
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Jihad is defined as “the struggle against the enemies of Islam” and “the inner spiritual struggle against sin.”
His battle cry came as Israeli fighter jets struck more than 200 targets in Gaza City overnight as Israel vowed to escalate its response to Hamas attacks with a ground offensive.
Many media reports and social media users interpreted the day as “Global Jihad Day,” and the topic became a trending topic on X/Twitter on Thursday.
In response to the news, federal and local law enforcement officials warned the public to remain on high alert.
“We do not have any credible information that Portland faces any specific threats. As we always do, we are monitoring the situation and if any issues arise, we will mobilize resources as needed,” said Portland Police Bureau Chief Kevin Allen wrote to Fox 12 Thursday afternoon.
“It is also reasonable to assume that spontaneous or planned events/protests related to the ongoing Israel/Gaza conflict may occur in the coming days. Some may include demonstrations that may impact traffic. We ask our community to remain patient . Peaceful protest is guaranteed by the Constitution. The Portland Police Bureau recognizes the importance of protecting First Amendment rights and the City of Portland’s tradition of exercising freedom of speech and assembly. The Department is committed to respecting lawful assembly and expression while safeguarding the public Security, peace and order.”
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Meanwhile, other law enforcement agencies across the country are also on high alert.Released by the New York City Police Department a statement On X (formerly Twitter), there was talk of increasing uniform presence across the city, with a focus on “large gatherings and cultural venues” to ensure public safety.
The Los Angeles Police Department also said they would increase patrols on Friday. Especially around Jewish and Muslim communities and institutions.
When National Security Council spokesman John Kirby was asked about Jihad Day during a White House press briefing on Thursday, he said the White House was aware of the threat.
This week, the FBI also discussed the possibility that “Hamas attacks on Israel” could lead to violence in the United States. In the public safety alert, the FBI did not mention any specific threats “reflecting additional attack plans against the United States,” but added that “foreign terrorist groups and their sponsors remain committed to attacking Americans” at home and abroad.
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