CNN reported Wednesday that a so-called terrorism expert that is paid with tax dollars and has even appeared on their own network may be a fraud.
Walid Shoebat claims he converted to Christianity after years as a Palestinian Liberation Organization terrorist who once helped firebomb an Israeli bank in Bethlehem. But CNN’s Jerusalem bureau could find no proof that that his story was true. The Israeli police and the bank had no evidence that a firebombing ever took place.
Even members of his family doubt his story.
“I have never heard anything about Walid being a mujahedeen or a terrorist,” Walid Shoebat’s fourth cousin Daood Shoebat said. “He claims this for his own personal reasons.”
Other relatives told CNN that Shoebat had been “regular kid” who eventually became a computer programmer in the United States.
CNN’s Drew Griffin caught up with Shoebat at a conference in South Dakota where he spoke to about 300 law enforcement officials about the dangers of radicalized Muslims.
Shoebat’s message to the law enforcement, churches and universities that pay him to speak is to trust no Muslims, especially the ones that organize.
“All Islamic organizations in America should be the No. 1 enemy. All of them,” he said at the South Dakota conference.
Tax records indicated that Shoebat’s anti-Muslim speeches, books and videos brought in $500,000 in 2009.
Watch this video from CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, broadcast July 13, 2011.