Autobiographical Accounts of USAF-paid "3 ex-Terrorists" Challenged
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 01:09:22 PM EST
Walid Shoebat says there's a $10 million dollar contract out for his assassination, and he claims to have been a major terrorist working for the PLO. His associate Zachariah Anani says he has killed 223 people, many of them with daggers, and also survived a beheading attempt. The two are part of a trio making the rounds as the "Three ex-Terrorists" who purport to have great knowledge about Islamic terrorism (and what America should do about it).
Here's a two part recent 15 minutes television interview with Shoebat and his two "ex-terrorist" associates who were also just paid to appear at a conference, on terrorism, at the US Air Force Academy:

Shoebat and his two "ex-terrorist" associates are already booked, along with US Senator Joe Lieberman, as speakers at the 2008 "Christians United For Israel" conference in Washington DC this summer but a rising chorus of voices has begun to challenge the veracity of Shoebat's claims to having been a major PLO terrorist. Shoebat has recently managed to offend a Princeton pro-AIPAC group (PIPAC) through his use of the epithet "judenrat" and has also alienated a former fan, right wing blogger Debbie Schlussel who wrote in a comment attached to a post on her blog,

"AS FOR SHOEBAT, HE IS A COMPLETE CREEP AND AN APPARENT FRAUD, WHO IS IN THIS FOR THE BUSINESS ASPECT OF IT FOR HIMSELF. IN MY OWN PERSONAL ENCOUNTERS WITH HIM, HE COMPLETELY REPULSED ME AND ENTIRELY CHANGED MY VIEW ON HIM (I HAD PRAISED HIM, PREVIOUSLY, ON THIS SITE). HE STOLE A COLUMN I WROTE--WORD FOR WORD--ON IMAD HAMAD AND USED IT IN A PRESS RELEASE. WHEN I CAUGHT HIM AND PINNED HIM DOWN, HE ADMITTED TO IT, BUT STATED HE DOES NOT WANT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH CONSERVATIVES (WHO MAKE UP HIS WHOLE BASE) AND THAT'S WHY IT WAS OKAY TO STEAL FROM ME UNATTRIBUTED. HE PROMISED TO CORRECT, BUT WHEN HE DID NOT AND I CALLED HIM. HE SAID, "F-CK YOU, BITCH," AND HUNG UP."

Walid Shoebat has made a career for himself by painting Islam as a religion bent on world domination. Along with Brigitte Gabriel-- who I heard as a speaker, last summer at the Christians United For Israel conference where she proclaimed in  speech that "Arabs and Muslims "have no SOUL !" --Walid Shoebat and his "former terrorists", converts to fundamentalist Christian zionism Christianity (apocalyptic premillenniallist dispensational Christianity to be exact) have been traveling around the US, around for several years now, beating the drumbeat for a full-blown religious war between the United States and the entire Islamic world. Shoebat and his associates claim that, because of their alleged background as former terrorists in the PLO, Hamas, or Hezbollah, they knew what Islam is really about: killing Christian and Jews. Along with a large cohort of Christian Zionists and other speakers and publicists, NeoConservatives and Israelis tied to the Likud Party, Walid Shoebat has been part of an ongoing PR campaign seemingly bent on to whipping Americans into a frenzied panic about the alleged menace of militant Islam...

But a rising chorus has started to call out the veracity of claims Shoebat and his associates have made, on having been significant terrorist figures, and the issue seems to have come to a head recently as Shoebat and two of his "ex-terrorist" colleagues were just invited, for a paid appearance, as experts on terrorism, to a conference at the US Air Force Academy:

As the New York Times has reported yesterday, three men who spoke Wednesday at a US Air Force Academy conference on terrorism, who have been publicly billing themselves "ex-terrorists", made public speaking appearances vilifying Islam into a professional career and claim they know the real, secret and dark inner nature of Islam because they were once terrorists until they were redeemed by evangelical Christianity, may well have fabricated those "terrorist" backgrounds.

The Air Force Academy was criticized by Muslim and religious freedom organizations for playing host on Wednesday to three speakers who critics say are evangelical Christians falsely claiming to be former Muslim terrorists.

The three men were invited as part of a weeklong conference on terrorism organized by cadets at the academy's Colorado Springs campus under the auspices of the political science department.

The three will be paid a total of $13,000 for their appearance, some of it from private donors, said Maj. Brett Ashworth, a spokesman for the academy.

The three were invited because "they offered a unique perspective from inside terrorism," Major Ashworth said. The conference is to result in a report on methods to combat terrorism that will be sent to the Pentagon, members of Congress and other influential officials, he added.

The appearance of the three "ex-terrorists" at the United States Air Force Academy further raises the issue of what the nonprofit watchdog foundation MRFF charges is a pervasive pattern both of religious coercion and improper endorsement of religion in the US military. The NYT story noted that one of Shoebat's 'ex-terrorist' group members, Zak Anani, told students at the USAF Academy that "converting to Christianity from Islam saved his life". The operating assumption that Shoebat and his group present to audiences is that Islam is an inherently evil religion. As the New York Times quotes CAIR spokeperson Ibrahim Hooper, "Their entire world view is based on the idea that Islam is evil."

The USAF Academy appearance was not an anomaly, and one of Shoebat's associates, who professes considerable knowledge of terrorism for having grown up in Southern Lebanon, Brigitte Gabriel, spoke at the Joint Command Center in Norfolk VA last summer, in 2007, and described a struggle against what she termed "Islamofascism".

Shoebat and his fellows are a staple of right wing conferences and Christian Zionist events, as speakers, and they're constantly on not only dedicated radio and TV broadcast outlets of the American Christian right but also Fox and CNN, and their consistent message to Americans could be summed up as the following:

"Two or three hundred Muslims want to kill you, they want to destroy America and they'll do it if they have to swim over here, bombs strapped to their backs, to do it. So you'd better get them before they get you. And, by the way, they're over here too. Any American Muslim you see might be one of them, you never know."

A few weeks ago however, Canada's top terrorism expert suggested that autobiographical details provided by one of Shoebat's three "ex-terrorists", Zachariah Anani, didn't add up:

Last January 20th, 2007, the Windsor Star featured the reaction of Tom Quiggen to self--described "terrorism expert" Zachariah Anani, who had made some speaking appearances in Canada. Tom Quiggen is "Canada's only court-qualified expert on global jihadism and a former RCMP intelligence and national security expert" and Quiggen stated that in his studied, polite but unequivocal opinion self-proclaimed "former terrrorist" Zachariah Anani's story, about his alleged terrorist background, just isn't credible. In short, Quiggen pegged his professional reputation on the likelihood that Zachariah Anani has been lying about his background. As Quiggen said in the Windsor Star article,

"It appears to be that Mr. Anani is nothing more than an extremist who is trying to create an imaginative history from a contemporary set of fears and stories," said Quiggin. "Mr. Anani's myths that he has built up around himself lack validity on a number of key points...

"His story of having made kills shortly after he joined and having made 223 kills overall is preposterous, given the lack of fighting during most of the time period he claims to have been a fighter," Quiggin said. "He also states he left Lebanon to go to Al-Azhar University at the age of 18, which would mean he went to Egypt in 1976. In other words, according to himself, he left Lebanon within a year of when the fighting actually started.". . .

Quiggin said Anani's description of himself as a Muslim terrorist also "defies logic" based on the time frame.

"Most the groups involved in the fighting in Lebanon were secular and tended to be extreme leftists or Marxists," he said.

Quiggin said religious-based terrorism as part of the warring in Lebanon didn't begin until after 1979, following the revolution in Iran, the Soviet attack on Afghanistan and the attack on the Grand Mosque in Mecca by Sunni Muslim extremists.

Anani's claim to have survived a beheading attempt is also questionable, said Quiggin.

"This was not a common practice in Lebanon at any time and again it appears as though he is attempting to build up his past mythology by playing on current Iraqi-based fears," Quiggin said.

Now, a woman who says she has tracked down and talked to one of Walid Shoebat's Palestinian-American relatives- who supposedly has said Walid Shoebat's story is fraudulent -has now called Shoebat out to the extent of refusing to retract her story, which contradicts Shoebat's story of having been a major PLO terrorist, despite a lawsuit threat from Shoebat's agent.

As reported by Eileen Fleming, on her blog, a relative of Shoebat's told Fleming that:

"The biggest act of 'terror' he ever committed was to glue Palestinian flags on street posts. But, when he was in jail he met someone who invited him to join a group against Israel. In 1977 Walid and his friends put packages behind a bank, but there were no explosives in it. That year he also met some Jehovah Witnesses and joined them for a while."

As Fleming's account, of this alternative and somewhat drab alternate chronicle of Shoebat's past, continues it descends to a sad, tawdry level:

"Walid came to the U.S. in 1978 and met an Afghani friend and they went into business together, but it didn't work out, so he moved to Chicago in 1981 where many cousins live and asked for help. He went to Loop College [now Harold Washington College] and was appointed as a foreign student advisor; a position offered him so he could pay his tuition."

"The repo man took Walid's truck and after that he went back to California. He met a Palestinian girl there and they got married and had a son. But, he beat his wife and that marriage broke up."

Following Fleming's account of Shoebat's past, depicting his 'terrorist' pedigree as marginal and mainly invented, Walid Shoebat-- who has appeared multiple times on television, for CNN and Fox as a supposed expert on Islamic terrorism --has issued a long rebuttal on Op-Ed News [note: this story originally mistakingly stated that Shoebat's rebuttal ran on World Net Daily] which only seems to have further degraded his credibility. Walid Shoebat has repeatedly said his name is assumed because there is a ten million dollar price tag on his head but, in his rebuttal to Eileen Fleming, Shoebat contradicted that story and said that 'Walid Shoebat' is actually his real name and that's an apparent pattern; several Internet critics have charged that details Shoebat has provided, at different media appearances, on the same purported incidents from his alleged "PLO terrorist" are self-contradictory.

In an OP Ed News post following Shoebat's rebuttal, Eileen Fleming wrote that Shoebat's agent, Keith Davies, has threatened her with a lawsuit unless she retracts her story challenging Shoebat's account of his supposed terrorist past. But Fleming, in her post, has refuses to retract her account.

At 1 AM on Fat Tuesday morn, Keith Davies, Walid's handler sent me an email threat of a lawsuit unless I issued "a full apology and retraction"

Walid's OP followed his threat, which OPN has published in full and from which I only excerpt. Before I reply to Walid's epistle, I begin with my email reply to his handler:

Hi Keith,

No apology and no retraction will come from me.




Display:
to me as an Air Force Academy grad, that my Alma Mater continues to pull these sorts of stunts. Are these the same guys Focus on the Family have been featuring?

by SharonB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:11:22 PM EST
Meanwhile, Walid Shoebat (not the FoF employee) has been an activist promoting apocalyptic Christian Zionism and co-founded "Abrahamic-Faith.com", with Mohammad (now Simon) Altaf, in 2001.

by Bruce Wilson on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:04:36 AM EST
Parent


has definitely been an employee of Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs until about 5 months ago, under an entirely different name.

by Irrevelations on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:26:54 PM EST

Since i published my article on Walid, the US Military has hovered around 10th place [out of 65+ countries] that hit on my site daily........ Before the Walid article, the US Military was 20 to 27th place for weeks........ ...This is good news to me, for who knows who in the Military is reading and maybe THINKING??? ........RE: Senator Lieberman and CUFI cult events. ...I attended one on in Miami last November and I offer an excerpt from WAWA Blog November 9, 2007: Zion's Zealots....... [Miami, Fl. November 6, 2007] The James L. Knight Center was packed to the rafters with John Hagee's tribe of Christian Zionists and south Florida's right wing Jewish community. Zion's Fire Banners, dancers, singers and a band whipped the crowd into a frenzy of spinning, jumping, clapping, twirling and moved the rotund Hagee to link arms with men in skull caps and dance the Hora-not to Hava Nagila, but to repeated choruses of: .......Shout for joy and victory! Bat Yerushalyim....... From one end of the stage to the other, the largest American and Israeli flags I have ever seen were draped side by side and by the end of the evening I imagined every star on the red-white-and blue had morphed into the Star of David............. [Photo on homepage WAWA: http://www.wearewideawake.org/ ] ............Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe Martinez pointed to the flags and exclaimed: "Isn't that beautiful up there together? I get goose bumps! All nations have been created by an act of man, except Israel was created by an act of God." ...........multitudes of misled and misinformed Christian's celebrated military occupation, violence, power and control and ignored the gospel Jesus preached: "It is the peacemakers who shall be called the children of God." -Matthew 5:9 ..............Hagee invoked the "Torah Way" but neglected what the Torah commands: "From Moses to Jeremiah and Isaiah, the Prophets taught...that the Jewish claim on the land of Israel was totally contingent on the moral and spiritual life of the Jews who lived there, and that the land would, as the Torah tells us, 'vomit you out' if people did not live according to the highest moral vision of Torah. Over and over again, the Torah repeated its most frequently stated mitzvah [command]: ..........."When you enter your land, do not oppress the stranger; the other, the one who is an outsider of your society, the powerless one and then not only 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself' but also 'you shall love the other.'" [Rabbi Lerner, TIKKUN Magazine, page 35, Sept./Oct. 2007 ] ............Walid and his buddies will be speaking again in my home state at the end of Feb. ...I will attend, hope for a one on one with Walid and will keep you posted. ........PS-I never heard another word from Walid's handler about suing me. e

by eileen fleming on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 02:32:09 PM EST

supposedly has a Board of Advisors made up of senior military-type people.  Odd thing is, in the incorporation papers, there is no mention of anyone except Davies and Shoebat.

I have been scouring the internet for weeks, and while I find mention of the so-called advisory board, it is only in the context of regurgitating Shoebat's initial claim that it/they exist.

Nowhere can I find a single reference of anyone who claims to actually be ON the board of advisors.  I find that very interesting, as I do the fact that all references use virtually the same language over and over, and that's odd considering that most writers will at least switch up some words now and again even if taking material from a press release or bio.

Does this Board even exist?  Can someone please step forward and claim to be on it?  Someone who fills the descripton of highly ranking or senior military?

Additionally, the Shoebat Foundation was incorporated as a non-profit, and takes donations.  But the donations do not appear to be tax deductible?  Not listed on the IRS list of organizations showing which portion of donations are deductible for the donor.  Which I guess means he doesn't have to give a public accounting of donations received and how they are spent?

Finally, if you go to the Internet Wayback Machine and look at archived snapshots of the Foundation's website, you'll find references to a University Outreach program, with three proposed speakers, for a fee of $13,500.  That fee has remained relatively stable, as has the concept of three speakers, given the recent appearance at the Academy of the 3 Ex Terrorists.  Previously the two others were women, whose stories had more to do with growing up in areas where terrorism was present, and one of them I believe has had her story challenged on a regular basis.

The whole thing screams "shady" -- but that's only my own two cents.

by Irrevelations on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:59:47 AM EST



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