WASHINGTON, November 1, 2013 — American victims of a Hajj time attack this year have started receiving death threats. One victim received threats via a message on Twitter, that said, in Arabic “By God, We will kill all of you as long as you kill us in Syria. Victory is for us.”
The sender of the threat @AbuTawbah, posted the message after the article Americans performing Hajj attacked in Saudi Arabia appeared on the Washington Times Communities.
It is unclear whether @AbuTawbah was involved in the original attack or not.
The message is in reference to the ongoing conflict in Syria, wherein the government, composed mostly of Allawite Shias, are fighting against rebel forces, led by the Nusra Front, a key Al Qaeda branch consisting of extremist Salafists.
In the original article, @seyedmg is identified as a victim of an attack on American Muslims participating in Hajj in the country of Saudi Arabia. During the religious ceremonies, the Americans were threatened and attacked in the city of Mina, resulting in injuries to several group members. Currently, the State Department is reviewing the situation.
The threat throws cold water on the assertions of critics, who derided reports of the attack as “not believable.” Bolstering the original report are numerous eyewitness reports from prominent leaders of the Dearborn, Michigan Shia Muslim community, including a popular television personality. The incident is being reported to Federal agencies, and due to the sensitive nature of the threats, no other witnesses will be identified.
Horrifying details of the attack have begun to emerge, including the testimony of one witness who specifically requested anonymity:
“As we got in, the first group on the right was an Australian extremist group. They came in and approached our group.
They asked us ‘Where are you from?’
We said we are American.
‘Are you … Shia?’
‘We are Shia.’
‘You are [Infidels].’
The Australian group started hovering and started punching. They head-locked one of our guys and strangled him until his face turned blue.
Then they started shouting and attacking a few of us.
‘We’re going to do Karbala all over again,’ shouted one of them
At the time, there was no obvious exit from tent. It was very terrifying. They blocked exit. They drew knives. Amongst their group were very big muscular men, they were huge.
They pointed to women’s tent and said we are going to rape them. If you don’t leave here in 15 minutes we will kill you.”
Another witness gives similar testimony on the same occurrence, offering an additionally disturbing account:
“[Our group] entered the tents and they saw three men choking and strangling [our friend] to death. When our men saw him, he was on the verge of death, and was as blue as a corpse. We ran at the attackers and rescued [him], who couldn’t breathe and couldn’t walk. We carried him back to our tents…”
The same individual, when asked about the injuries sustained by other group members said “I witnessed men our group bleeding. One had a broken toe. Other bleeding from his head and his face beneath his eyes. Women where all terrified, crying screaming.”
When asked about how group members felt after they reached a safe location, the witness was pessimistic, “[After we reached a hotel] many did not leave the building because they feared the same people would come and kill them. I noticed several people did not sleep… Almost all of the members said we will never come back to this country where we are attacked by terrorists and the police does nothing.”
The witness believes that this incident is “proof that sectarian issues are crossing geographical boundaries and are having an effect on the rest of global society.”
At the time of the posting of this article, the threat posted by @AbuTawbah is no longer visible. Recipients of the threats are asking Federal law enforcement agencies to investigate the threats.
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