The radical Islamist group that gathered outside the Israeli Consulate on Saturday and chanted venomous slogans - such as "the mushroom cloud is on its way" and "the real Holocaust is on its way" - is a fringe political group with ideological ties to a London organization that celebrated the September 11, 2001, attacks, analysts said yesterday.
The group, which calls itself the Islamic Thinkers Society, says on its Web site that it is devoted to "bringing change through intellectual and political struggle," but members of the city's Muslim community and terrorism experts portrayed the group as far from intellectual and possibly dangerous.
"They are so out there, but sometimes the ones who are a little bit more out there don't have anything to lose," a senior research analyst with the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Tamar Tesler, said. "Any one of them could be problematic."
About eight of the society's members - possibly the entire roster of the group, according to Ms. Tesler - held the rally in response to the worst bombing in Tel Aviv in more than a year. The suicide bombing by a Palestinian Arab man killed nine people and was heralded as justified revenge by the Hamas government.
According to a translation provided by the Investigative Project, society members on Saturday also chanted "Zionists, Zionists, you will pay, the wrath of Allah is on its way" and "no wonder they call you sons of apes and pigs because that's what you are."
Members of the society didn't return phone calls or e-mails seeking comment yesterday.
The entire staff of the Israeli Consulate was away during the protest. The consul general, Arye Mekel, told The New York Sun the protesters were stepping beyond the realm of productive free speech.
"It seems to me incitement against the Jewish state and against Jews in general," he said. "I think these statements go beyond free speech and enter the realm of incitement and threats."
The consulate has had no previous encounters with the group, Mr. Mekel said.
The group's ideology is similar to that of the London-based Al-Muhajiroun, which called the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks "the Magnificent 19," Ms. Tesler said. During demonstrations, members of the group carry Khilafah flags, symbols of their commitment to revive the caliphate form of Islamic government - but not through existing political means, which they consider illegitimate, she said.
"It's hard for any legitimate Muslim organization to take them seriously," the civil rights director at the Council on Islamic-American Relations, Nadia Mohammed, said. "They are very destructive in their thinking, which can be really frustrating for other Muslims who want to be more constructive."
The group is known for its highly public and inflammatory demonstrations around the city against Israel and Jews, the United Nations, homosexuality, and the American government. They often set up a booth on a street in Jackson Heights, Queens, where they hand out fliers and give political speeches. On its Web site, the society maintains that it has "NO CONNECTIONS with any foreign organizations whatsoever. ... We are a non-violent/peaceful intellectual and political organization."
A message was posted on the Web site for a period of time calling for "painful torment" to be sent to the founder of Jihadwatch.org, Robert Spencer, who posted on his Web log a video from a password-protected part of the society's site that showed people stomping on an American flag.
"That's a request for somebody to take action," Mr. Spencer said. "I think they are a dangerous group."
At least two videos made by the group have appeared on Queens Public Television in the last several years. One of the videos showed footage of Iraqis and Palestinian Arabs who had been shot, according to an article in the New York Times.
"We see it as young people who are lacking guidance and they are not turning to the adults or the leaders of the community for guidance," the assistant secretary general of the Islamic Circle of North America, Azeem Khan, said. "They are doing this on their own. ... They take some sentiments in the Muslim community of alienation and they harp on it and use for their own purposes."
The New York Police Department and the FBI refused to comment on the group or confirm whether they have investigated it.
"With issues concerning terrorism we generally have a policy of not saying anything," an FBI spokeswoman, Christine Monaco, said.
The imam at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York on 96th Street, Omar Abu-Namous, said many Muslims were wary of publicly protesting or denouncing the fringe group because of the tense atmosphere caused by strife in the Middle East.
"People would prefer not to demonstrate," he said. "Little good is going to come out of it, and they are also afraid of misinterpretation of this activity."