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‘Politically incorrect’ 4chan members target Penn State exchange student who praised 9/11 and dead U.S. soldiers

A war of words between an exchange student at Penn State and controversial citizen journalist Laura Loomer continues to create fallout as members of 4chan recently peppered the campus with posters condemning the student.

4chan is an anonymous and uncensored message board, but some of its members who frequent the “politically incorrect” section, dubbed “/pol/,” used it to galvanize activism against Penn State after an exchange student enrolled at the school praised 9/11 and dead U.S. soldiers in his Twitter exchange with Loomer.

This is not their first case of activism. Members of /pol/ achieved widespread notoriety for stealing Hollywood actor Shia Labeouf’s anti-Trump “#HeWillNotDivideUs” flag in May, using flight patterns, jet contrails, and star charts to pinpoint the flag’s exact location.

“Penn State’s response, or more so their lack of one, is the reason for this op. We’ve seen our college campus’s be taken hostage by radical leftists in administration that are hypersensitive to the scent of conservatism but continuously turn a blind eye to extremists on the left,” a spokesman for /pol/ News Network told The College Fix.

To that end, some of its users hit the campus with posters as part of its so-called “#OpTerrorOnCampus.”

The posters targeted Kuwaiti exchange student Hussein Altarakmah, who has since apologized for his remarks, telling the Daily Caller he only made them to upset Loomer because he hates her. He said he regrets his comments and there is no excuse for them.

Loomer published his Twitter remarks to her, which included: “Hope Iran nukes your country,” “Death to America,” “Not all Yanks are bad of course, here are some good ones [accompanied by a picture of deceased service members in coffins],” and “Can’t wait for Trump to permanently cripple your country, 9/11 didn’t kill enough of you fuckers.”

Loomer stated on Twitter: “These are the pro-Islamic terror comments made by Hussein Altarakmah, one of @penn_state’s Islamic exchange students. Your taxpayer $ are paying for this dangerous anti-American student to endanger your children here in the US. Why is PSU REFUSING to address this?”

Some argued Penn State did not adequately condemn Altarakmah’s comments.

The 4chan members then announced their operation, saying in a Dec. 9 tweet that “a storm is brewing for Penn State. Ignoring terror on campus doesn’t sit well with /pol/, so we’ll be paying a visit soon. #OpTerrorOnCampus.”

Four days after that tweet, the posters showed up.

“ISIS SUPPORTER ON CAMPUS,” the posters declared, and urged students to report Altarakmah to the school’s president, listing his email address and a phone number.

The posters also stated: “Claims 9/11 ‘didn’t kill enough,’” “Praises Palestinian plane hijacker,” “Says dead Americans are good ones,” “Hopes Iran nukes America,” and “Poses as Osama Bin Laden at Starbucks.”

In a statement released Dec. 12, Penn State officials spoke out against their student’s comments and the poster campaign.

“The University found the hateful comments recently communicated by a student deeply disturbing, as intolerance and hate have no place at Penn State or anywhere in our society. We condemn hate language, which is contrary to our values,” the statement reads.

“The targeted vitriol, hateful comments and threats directed at this student from those outside of our community designed to create fear and unnerve individuals and our campus are also concerning,” the statement continued.

Penn State’s initial reactions to Altarakmah’s comments included its police department responding in a tweet that “there are no threats to our campus at this time.” The university itself echoed the police department in another tweet, writing, “The University responded immediately at the time of the incident and is not going to comment further. Any faculty or student matters are confidential.”

MORE: Professor: America more ‘brutal’ than ISIS

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About the Author
Mitchell Gunter -- Clemson University