Conservative websites are promoting a thinly sourced conspiracy theory that suggests Islamic State terrorists targeted the Eagles of Death Metal frontman for insulting President Barack Obama and backing the anti-Muslim Donald Trump.
Britain’s Daily Mail tabloid reported the claims Monday, citing information from a judicial inquiry into the mass shootings that were allegedly leaked to the French newspaper La Figaro.
The reports claim one of the gunmen shouted, “Where’s the singer? Where are the Yanks?” as the California-based rock band fled the stage, and they also report that the terrorist then played a xylophone left behind as other gunmen searched for singer Jesse Hughes and his bandmates.
The frontman’s family, however, disputes the reports.
Relatives told WHNS-TV that Homeland Security officials had previously warned them that reports may surface that Hughes or his bandmates were the target — but they said federal authorities assured them they did not believe that was the case.
It’s not clear where the reports originated or why Homeland Security suspected they would surface.
Conservative websites picked up the Daily Mail‘s angle, which suggests the 43-year-old Hughes was targeted by Islamic militants for his outspoken Christian conservative views — including his support for Donald Trump and a belief that Obama is a foreign-born Muslim.
“Hughes, who is nicknamed ‘The Devil,’ is a passionate supporter of gun ownership in the U.S.A., and has controversial far right views on a range of subjects,” the British newspaper reports. “In (a) film called ‘The Redemption of the Devil’ released just before the attacks, the devout Christian threatens physical violence against anyone who opposes America’s Second Amendment, which protects the right to ‘keep and bear arms.'”
The documentary covers a period about three years ago when Hughes, who was raised Catholic, was ordained as a minister in the Universal One Church and started preaching sermons on his online radio show — even as he posed nude with his former porn actress girlfriend, Tuesday Cross.
Hughes harshly criticized American liberals and repeated his claim that Obama is a foreign-born Muslim in a radio program he hosted just three days before the attacks — although the program has since been deleted.
“Not only is (Obama) a foreign-born Muslim, he’s an enemy of the United States and an evil c*cksucker,” Hughes said on his Spreaker Radio Show. “I have a message for all my liberal friends out there: I love you but you are morons and idiots if you believe in Obama. F*ck you. You are children in adult’s bodies.”
Hughes gave a lengthy interview about a month before the Paris attacks, where he described Obama as “non-f*cking American-born” and explained his love affair with stimulants and admiration for George W. Bush.
“A dude who does blow and likes ZZ Top is my kind of motherf*cker,” said Hughes, who said during the same interview that he doesn’t do cocaine himself because it’s “lame.”
He also said only fools who believe in “magical talking monkeys” accept the theory of evolution, and he explained a little bit about his religious beliefs.
“God has always been and always will be — we can’t transcend that limit,” Hughes said. “I believe when you have a practical acceptance of this, it answers a lot of questions immediately and it really frees up the space for enjoyment.”