Va. state senator listed as enemy of ISIS in magazine

A Virginia state senator has found himself listed as an enemy of ISIS.

The surprising singling out of Loudoun County lawmaker Richard Black is found in the latest issue of an ISIS-published magazine.

If you were to think up a list of names that ISIS might put on its enemies list, you might come up with heads of state and foreign ministers around the world.

But the state senator who represents Virginia's 13th legislative district? Maybe not, but now this local lawmaker has wound up on the list for the Islamic extremist group.

In the new issue of Dabiq , the official magazine of ISIS, tucked between its glossy articles on waging jihad and destroying museums, you will find Virginia State Sen. Richard Black listed as an enemy of ISIS.

So we asked him if he is an enemy of ISIS.

"I am an enemy of ISIS," he told us. "There's no doubt about it."

So what is it about the 70-year-old Republican state lawmaker and former Marine that has ISIS so upset with him? He said it may have something to do with the interview he did on Russian television.

In 2014, the senator wrote a letter urging Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been accused of war crimes himself, to protect Christians in Damascus from ISIS forces. Sen. Black said that put him on ISIS's radar screen.

"I was surprised that they singled me out as one of their three worldwide enemies of ISIS," said Black.

Also listed on the ISIS enemies list are former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and former CIA official turned author Gary Berntsen.

Black said he was first alerted to the ISIS article by Capitol Police, but he is not concerned for his personal safety.

"I'm honestly more concerned about the hundred American servicemen who have been designated as targets of ISIS just like I have," he said.

For his part, Black said he believes ISIS's goal in naming him was two-fold: to get attention and to silence their American critics. But on that second point, ISIS may have come up empty. Sen. Black told us it would not stop him from speaking out against ISIS.

"No, we've got to do it," he said.

This is not the first time terrorist-affiliated publication has specifically named places or people in the D.C. area. Just last year, the al-Qaida-affiliated magazine Inspire drew similar attention when they directly named neighborhoods around the D.C. area such as Glover Park and parts of Arlington County as possible targets for terrorist attacks.