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A Disappointing Faux “Investigative Report”

Posted By Douglas J. Hagmann On February 21, 2006 @ 10:08 pm In Domestic Terrorism,Jamaat ul Fuqra,Special Reports | Comments Disabled

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21 February 2006: Last evening, FOX5 from New York aired a much-publicized follow-up “investigative report” of Islamberg, the Muslim compound based in the western Catskills of New York and previously documented to have ties to the Pakistani-based terrorist organization Jamaat ul-Fuqra. Their “investigative report” was heavily advertised during the airing of the popular television program “24,” an innovative, fictional series that features Kiefer Sutherland as government agent Jack Bauer fighting terrorists and thwarting terrorist attacks inside the U.S. The build-up to the special report by the Fox News station throughout the program was engaging, and featured visual graphics like the graphic shown above. Their “investigation” was prompted by the original investigative report published by the Northeast Intelligence Network and co-authored by Internet reporter “CP.” Following the publication of our findings, which was the result of a covert investigation performed by our professional investigators, they sent a reporter and camera person to the compound to conduct inquiries of their own.

Despite the intensive build-up to the Fox News 5 story during the crisis-laden episode of “24,” the FOX5 reporter hardly arrived at the same conclusions that we detailed in our report. The disparity should surprise no one, as people tend to behave differently when a news team shows up to conduct an “investigation” in the wake of a fully-sourced and much publicized investigative report. Absent from the news footage were the armed compound “guards,” who apparently opted not to be featured on the Ten O’clock news. Also predictably absent in their report were the residents interviewed by our investigators who privately offered details of the unusual activity at that compound, only when assured of anonymity as they must continue to reside in the area. Logically enough, they feared potential reprisals for providing any information about their controversial “neighbors.” After all, they must continue to live in the area long after the camera lights are shut off and the reporter is safely back at his station.

The FOX News 5 reporter did manage to engage in a dialogue with two older, black Muslim residents of the compound, one who identified himself as the “Mayor of Islamberg.” How convenient that the reporter was met by “his honor” himself during his unannounced visit, who all but presented the FOX News 5 reporter with the ceremonial keys to his city.

The “mayor,” however, had some rather harsh things to say about our original report, 9/11, and the President of the United States, George W. Bush. Apparently, the “mayor” of Islamberg took issue with our investigative findings, and stated that we are “Jews” simply trying to stir up trouble. He also stated that he does not believe Islamic terrorists perpetrated the murderous 9/11 attacks, calling George Bush the “real terrorist.” One has to wonder whether the FOX News 5 reporter actually [i]believed[/i] that the purported “mayor” of Islamberg would actually shed any light on any questionable activities, past or present, taking place in his “city.”

Yet another elected official interviewed on camera by the Fox News 5 reporter was the county sheriff, who called the citizens of Islamberg: “God fearing, law abiding citizens who behave themselves when they come into town,” adding that they do not come into town very often. The curious yet unexplored nature of the latter comment aside, it is important to remember that the sheriff is an elected official as well as a law enforcement officer, and to admit anything other than “business as usual” within his jurisdiction would raise both safety and political concerns. It is also important to remember that law enforcement at this level is more reactive than proactive, and trained to respond to incidents rather than engage in covert intelligence operations.

In a very literal sense, however, the “investigative reporter” largely “missed the bus” during his visit to the enchanting “city” of Islamberg: the school bus that was depicted in the Fox News 5 television footage shown here:

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This specific bus, or perhaps it could be more accurately described as “evidence,” was plainly visible to the news crew and the film footage. This school bus was present within the compound, which is rather odd for a “city” whose school-aged children are reportedly taught within the compound and accordingly have no need for such transportation. By the “investigative reporter’s” standards, the bus warranted nothing more than a brief pan of the camera, providing only a passing glimpse of it’s blown out windows and what appear to be bullet holes in the body of the bus. Why was this not of any interest to the FOX News 5 crew?

School buses (and the children inside them) have been referenced by Islamic terrorists in their jihad writings, and further confirmed by our government as future targets for terror. Recently, a new program funded by the Department of Homeland Security was established. This program trains school bus drivers to watch for suspicious activity potentially relating to terrorism, and educates the drivers on their role in keeping the children safe in the event of a terrorist takeover of their vehicle. Possible bullet holes and blown out windows apparently did not warrant further scrutiny by the “investigative reporter.”

We have seen this “meet and greet” tactic before in other areas of the country, whereby Islamic compounds under suspicion, attempt to “put on a friendly face” for a news channel’s “investigative reporter”. After drawing attention to a similar situation in Buffalo, New York, the Imam of an Islamic “school” arranged for a “tour” of a site under suspicion. That “tour” was not complete, but was a narrow, guided walkthrough of a small portion of the facility. Following that tour, and despite a documented public invitation for “anyone, at any time” to tour the facility, additional media and political requests for a more complete tour were denied. Those denials continue to this day.

When FOX News 5’s findings are examined through this filter, it is not surprising that their “investigative reporter” was shown something quite different than our less overt, initial investigation found.

Perhaps the most important thing missing from Fox News 5’s “investigative report” was the reporter’s own mea culpa, mimicking the apologies of Kiefer Sutherland, the star of Fox’s own “24” during a recent episode:

“Hi. My name is Kiefer Sutherland. And I play counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer on Fox’s ‘24’. I would like to take a moment to talk to you about something that I think is very important. Now, while terrorism is obviously one of the most critical challenges facing our nation and the world, it is important to recognize that the American Muslim community stands firmly beside their fellow Americans in denouncing and resisting all forms of terrorism. So in watching 24, please, bear that in mind.”

The Northeast Intelligence Network stands by its report and investigative findings. Meanwhile, those who find comfort in the reports by the major media can do so, perhaps at their own peril.

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