Rumors about Global Jihad Day spark dangerous wave of disinformation


Yesterday, FBI Director Christopher Wray sought to reassure America’s Jewish community that his agency was taking any threats seriously. “I’m not trying to warn you by any means, but I want you to believe that the FBI will certainly be paying attention,” he said in an update on domestic security guidance following the Hamas attack. “We remain alert to the potential for violence as a result of this incident.”

The terms “jihad” and “days of rage” were both trending on X this morning, both promoted by high-profile accounts including far-right Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor-Green -Greene’s account. “If we’re not going to vote for speaker today, why don’t we go home next week and regroup? I’ll buy ammo when I get home,” Green wrote on X.

Former Hollywood lawyer Rogan O’Handley, who goes by the pseudonym DC Draino and has become an influential far-right figure, falsely claimed that Hamas called for an “International Day of Terrorism”. O’Handley, who has 1.1 million followers on X, added, “I wouldn’t change a thing about my daily life because I won’t let terrorism win,” he wrote. “However, I will bring an extra magazine. Please be safe, everyone.”

A WIRED review of Facebook, Instagram and TikTok found dozens of posts highlighting Meshaal’s comments and the potential threat of Jihad Day, but little evidence of threats against Muslims posted on those platforms. Yesterday, popular right-wing podcaster Charlie Kirk wrote on Instagram: “Jihad Day? Raise your arms.” The post has received 34,000 likes. Meta did not respond to a request for comment on Kirk’s post.

In a series of threats, disinformation and actual acts of violence, No return results to desktop, and in different countries. While a search for the word “jihad” on X returned no posts, it did suggest three people to follow, the first of whom was US President Joe Biden.

X did not respond to Wired’s request for comment about threats of violence on its platform or the lack of search results for jihad-related terms.

Calls for violence from right-wing accounts online echoed the violent response from extremist groups in the days after the war broke out.

While many right-wing groups have posted Islamophobic content and called for violence against Muslims, many other right-wing groups have doubled down on their anti-Semitic worldview and issued violent threats against Jews.

In a post on Telegram, the Texas chapter of the extremist group “Proud Boys” used a variety of anti-Semitic slurs to describe Jews and called for the “extermination” of Jews.

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