(WTVO) — Countries and states across the world, including Illinois, were put on high alert last week after reports of Hamas allegedly calling for a “Global Day of Jihad” in response to the ongoing war in Israel surfaced.
The so-called “Global Day of Jihad” was set for Friday, October 13, with Hamas official Khaled Meshaal calling on Muslims to “head to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday.”
“This is a moment of truth and the borders are close to you, you all know your responsibilities,” Meshaal added.
Governor JB Pritzker placed Illinois law enforcement on high alert in response to the call. However, the state reported “no actionable intelligence regarding any credible threats in Illinois.”
Despite widespread media reports, it appears “Global Day of Jihad” was coined by the media and was not specifically said by any Hamas affiliates, nor did significant antisemitic violence occur, according to The Independent.
“Violent rhetoric surrounding the so-called “global day of jihad” followed a statement from former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who called for protests to support Palestinians and said that ‘to all scholars who teach jihad … to all who teach and learn, this is a moment for the application (of theories).”
The Independent also reported that the phrase “Global Day of Jihad” was spread by social media influencers, as well as on platforms like InfoWars and Babylon Bee.
“Many refer to Mashal’s statement as a call for a ‘global day of jihad.’ Jihad is a term often used by militants when referring to a holy war or religious struggle,” said the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), acknowledging the phrase came from outside the Palestinian organization.
The KBI added that no credible threats had been identified in Kansas. New York City officials also reported no credible threats, according to Fox News.
Islamophobic attacks have increased in the U.S. during the ongoing war. An 18-year-old Middle Eastern man was allegedly assaulted by one of three men waving Israeli flags last week, according to ABC News.
In Illinois, a 71-year-old man allegedly stabbed a Muslim boy to death due to the ongoing conflict.
President Joe Biden called the incident a “horrific act of hate,” in a statement addressing the killing.
“As Americans, we must come together and reject Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry and hatred. I have said repeatedly that I will not be silent in the face of hate. We must be unequivocal. There is no place in America for hate against anyone,” said Biden.