News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to MinneKota@gmail.com

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

South Dakota Homeland Security conference falls for phony

Walid Shoebat
 At a Homeland Security Conference in Sioux Falls,  South Dakota, in 2010, a featured speaker was liked by the attendees so much that he was invited back to speak at a conference May 11, 2011 in Rapid City.   

The speaker, Walid Shoebat, claims to be an ex-Islamic-terrorist who found the Christian god and reformed.  He now goes around telling American audiences, including at many colleges, about the threat of terrorism.

Among his claims is that most Muslims are devoted to Al Qaeda  and that President Obama is a Muslim. 

The only hitch in his last appearance in Rapid City came when the Rapid City Journal asked the conference sponsors how much they were paying to the speakers at the conference and was refused that information. The Journal filed a Freedom of Information Act request and the information was released. Shoebat was paid $5,000 for his appearance.  The money for speakers is supplied by the federal Department of Homeland Security.

Reporter David Montgomery covered his speech, and reported that former U.S. Senator James Abourezk said of Shoebat,   “He’s a scam artist and he’s a liar.  He doesn’t have any credibility when he claims he was a PLO terrorist.”  Abourezk is a Christian of Lebanese descent. 

Shoebat's background has been investigated by a number of news media.  CNN is currently running a story for which its bureaus in the Middle East have checked out Shoebat's claims.  Its researchers were unable to find substantiating material, but found much disputing those claims.  The CNN piece can be read at this link

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States

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