Rush Limbaugh stated on the Rush Limbaugh show that ISIS and Al Qaeda sent out a memo to their people saying to not attack minorities, only white people. Their reasoning? If they kill minorities, Democrats will think Republicans where responsible for the attack, and they won't get credit:

  • Is it true that ISIS and Al Qaeda sent out a memo saying not to attack white people?
  • Is there any grain of truth to "their reasoning"? (Although there is no way ISIS or Al Qaeda could be so naive as to think our political system is that broken, I could see them making a politically charged memo to mess with our heads (and the head of Rush Limbaugh) or something.)

EDIT: Apparently Rush does publish transcripts. His his exact quote:

You know, ISIS, there was a memo that went out, sort of like a rah-rah memo, the leaders of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, actually, sent a memo out, "From now on, acts of terror, make sure you hit white people. Do not attack people of color, do not attack minorities, because in America the media will blame the Tea Party for it, and you won't get credit."

No, no, no. Folks, I'm not making this up. Al-Qaeda actually sent out an operational memo to its jihadist groups urging them in further acts of terror, do not kill, do not hit minorities. Because if you hit minorities they're gonna blame conservatives, Second Amendment, guns, and the terrorists won't get their due credit.


He does put a link to a source, as you can see in the quote, but that is literally just to another one his posts saying the same thing (self-plagiarism?)

  • 7
    That would mean no more attacks in Darfur, Nigeria, Kenya! Awesome! Does Mr. Limbaugh know where those places are?
    – gerrit
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 0:29
  • @gerrit I guess they limited it to USA and does not apply to other countries they are threatening Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 5:10
  • @gerrit Do they attack random people in those countries? The thing is, these fanatics manage to thrive in authoritarian regimes. Let me give you an example: In 2005, groups linked to Al Qaeda launched bomb attacks in all district courts in Bangladesh. But they were beaten like cockroaches with a year. But now they have starting to expand and there expansion correlates with the rise of Authoritarian in Bangladesh (criticizing the PM is rewarded with jail here). Government is trying and trying to beat them but are failing which I assume is due to lack of support from the general population. Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 13:05

1 Answer 1


Limbaugh goes into a bit more depth, and also mentions the source for his claims:

They're all for it at Al-Qaeda. Wiping out gays? A bunch of attaboys for doing that. However, the [Inspire Guide: Orlando Operation] "suggests to 'avoid targeting places and crowds where minorities are generally found in America,' because 'the federal government will be the one taking full responsibility,'" meaning if you guys go out and you attack a bunch of minorities, we won't get credit for it. The American government will blame Republicans and conservatives and the Tea Party, and we won't get credit. source

Here is the full quote from the guide:

The executer specifically chose a homosexual nightclub, and even though the killing of such people is the most binding duty and closer to human nature, but better than this is to avoid targeting areas where minorities are found. This is in order not to deviate the essence of the operation and letting it be termed as a small issue as the American media is trying to portray in the case of Mateen. The Western media focused on the testimony by Mateen›s father who said that his son hates homosexuals and that terrorist ideas had no place in his motives. The media reiterated this, saying that Umar saw some homosexuals kissing each other and that such a scene offended him. The media tried to portray the operation motives to be against a particular group of people in order to turn the American public away from the real motives of the operation.

Most of the individuals present at pulse nightclub were Latino. We recommend – And Allah knows best - that it is better to avoid targeting places and crowds where minorities are generally found in America. knowingly that the federal government will be the one taking full responsibility. Therefore we advise targeting areas where the Anglo-Saxon community is generally concentrated. This class of the American community is the majority and it is the one that is in the American leadership source

So if we assume that the document is genuine[*], and if we assume that the Lone Jihad Guide Team belongs to Al-Qaeda[**], then yes, there has been a suggestion to avoid targeting areas where "minorities are found".

But the reason isn't that the "American government finds nothing wrong with [killing whites]", or that "Democrats will think Republicans where responsible for the attack", but that it distracts from the main message.

It also doesn't appear that ISIS had anything to do with the document. The document also did not say to not attack or kill minorities, but to not target them specifically. The document also does not mention the second amendment, gun rights, or conservatives.

The ADL summarizes the reason for avoiding targeting minorities like this:

[T]he pam­phlet sug­gested that it would be best for future per­pe­tra­tors not to tar­get spe­cific groups in soci­ety, such as Lati­nos or the LGBT com­mu­nity, because the focus of news cov­er­age would then be on the group tar­geted, rather than on the over­all ter­ror­ist ele­ment of the attack. source

[*] The document contains the logo of Al Mala­hem media, which according to the ADL did release the document, and is indeed associated with AQAP. At the moment, the blog post by the ADL is the most reputable source I could find referencing the document.

[**] The first google hit for Lone Jihad Guide Team is the linked document, and no reputable source links it to Al-Qaeda, but as mentioned above, the media that released the document is tied to Al-Qaeda.

  • Oh, I think I may have deleted your source from the question by accident. (I was editing at about the same time as you and I thought I had accidently inserted it myself twice.) Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 20:21
  • 18
    Also Limbaugh says "ISIS and al-Qaeda sent out a memo" as though they are the same group, or at least working togeher. In fact they have been in a state of warfare with each other since October 2015, so the chance of them issuing a joint "operational memo" seems slim.
    – PhillS
    Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 20:44
  • 7
    @PhillS Yes, Limbaugh does seem a bit confused about the relation between ISIS and Al-Qaeda. And that's also how I interpreted his statement. But I think especially this part: the leaders of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, actually could also be seen as Limbaugh correcting himself.
    – tim
    Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 20:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .