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US officials have prepared for a so-called 'Day of Jihad'
Khaled Mashal, the Hamas terrorist who called for a "day of jihad." Photo by Jordan Pix/ Getty Images

US officials have prepared for a so-called 'Day of Jihad'

A former Hamas leader has called on Islamists around the world to rise up Friday in support of Palestine, asserting that "this is a moment for the application [of jihad]."

In response, the Biden White House has advised Americans to remain "vigilant" and various American law enforcement agencies have made preparations just in case that support takes on a violent nature.

A number of conservatives including actor James Woods have emphasized that they will not live in fear but will instead pack heat and enjoy life as usual.

'Day of jihad'

Khaled Meshaal served from 2004 to 2017 as chief of Hamas, the terrorist organization that massacred thousands of Israelis in recent days, wounded thousands more, and has taken hundreds of hostages. Meshaal now runs Hamas' diaspora office in Qatar.

Blaze News previously reported that in a recorded statement obtained by Reuters, Meshaal called for protests in support of the Palestinians and for Middle Eastern nations to join the fight against Israel. He stressed that peoples and regimes in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan have a special obligation to step up.

"[We must] head to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday," said Meshaal. "Tribes of Jordan, sons of Jordan, brothers and sisters of Jordan ... this is a moment of truth and the borders are close to you, you all know your responsibility."

"To all scholars who teach jihad ... to all who teach and learn, this is a moment for the application [of jihad]," he added.

Salam Al-Marayati, president of U.S. nonprofit the Muslim Public Affairs Council, told Newsweek, "Hamas is a terrorist organization and this is what you expect from them. We denounce their terrorist activities and definitely don't even consider their calls for more fighting to be heeded by any Muslim because the [number] one thing you must abide by in Islam is if you are in any fight, you should not target civilians."

Despite Al-Marayati's reassurance, there have been signs of homegrown support for Hamas in recent days, from the offices of big-name universities all the way to the streets of major American cities.

Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, said Thursday, "We cannot and do not discount the possibility that Hamas, or other foreign terrorist organizations, could exploit the conflict to call on their supporters to conduct attacks here on our own soil," reported the New York Times.

It appears there have already been Islamist attacks in France and China.

Official precautions

When pressed on whether the Biden administration is doing anything to "fortify" Americans at home and abroad against possible attacks on the "Day of Jihad," national security spokesman John Kirby said, "Absolutely. We are constantly in touch with local law enforcement, state and — state and federal officials across the country to — to make sure that we are as — as vigilant as we can be to be able to identify and disrupt any threats to the American people. We’re absolutely going to stay focused on that."

Law enforcement agencies in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and other major cities aren't taking Meshaal's imploration and the prospect of Islamist violence lightly.

Rebecca Weiner, the New York Police Department's deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, told WNYW-TV that the city would be taking an "enhanced security posture" such that residents will see officers from the NYPD's critical response command along with counterterrorism officers on patrol.

"These deployments are about two things: they're about deterrence and reassurance. We want New Yorkers to feel safe and we want people to stay calm," added Weiner.

The New York Post reported that police have advised religious centers to "limit access to buildings, ensure doors are locked at all times, double check their security cameras and alarms are working properly, conduct perimeter sweeps, and screen any mail and packages."

Police in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles have followed suit, reported Newsweek.

"We are enhancing security throughout the Capitol Complex," the U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement. "Some of what we are doing will be visible, but for safety reasons, we cannot provide the public details about all of the resources that we are putting into protecting the Congress."

"The Los Angeles Police Department is aware of recent statements made calling for action as it relates to the conflict in the Middle East," said the LAPD. "We have no information of any specific or credible threats to the City of Los Angeles but we are continuing to assess the situation for any potential impact to our communities. We are closely monitoring these events and are coordinating with federal, state, and local partners on information sharing

Police in Oregon, Ohio, and elsewhere across the country are also taking precautions.

Individual readiness and 'extra ammo'

Some conservatives have made clear that they are not going to let the threat of jihad ruin their Fridays and that they will not live in fear.

Actor James Woods noted Thursday evening, "I'm reading a lot of well-meaning advice about 'sheltering in place' tomorrow because some dip**** halfway across the globe has declared a Day of Jihad. This is the United States of America, so I'll just be enjoying my day as usual. Outside. In my hood. With extra ammo."

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) wrote "FAFO," which stands for "f*** around and find out," adding, "Floridians are armed[.] We won't be intimidated."

Republican Rep. Anthony D'Esposito (N.Y.) tweeted, "We will not be intimidated by Hamas or any forms of evil. They all must be eliminated, destroyed. Stay vigilant. Stay safe."

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene indicated she'd take time Friday to "buy ammo."

This defiant verve here evidenced, specifically as it pertains to the threat of Islamist violence, is reminiscent of the 2015 "First Annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest." The event, held in Garland, Texas, was organized by Jihad Watch and the American Freedom Defense Initiative after 12 people involved with a French satirical newspaper that had previously caricatured Mohammed were massacred by Islamic terrorists.

As some had anticipated, two Islamic terrorists drove up to the event as it was finishing up and opened fire. They were swiftly blown away, reported NBC News.

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News. He lives in a small town with his wife and son, moonlighting as an author of science fiction.
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