Aside

REFERENCE: CNN Coresspondence‏ with Shoebat Foundation

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Keith Davies
To: [email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 6:33 PM
Subject: Mr Shoebat report

Dear Ms. Johnston ,

I am glad that you requested documentation that collaborates Shoebat’s story. I am also glad to see that you intend to do proper due-diligence in this matter as well. As you know we believe that such due-diligence was absent in articles that intended to smear Mr. Shoebat in the past and would hope that your efforts will add to ours in order to provide evidence that the public deserves.

I am currently awaiting a report from Mr. Shoebat which he will provide to you upon his return next week since he is overseas. I have three desk top computers and the one that has the address book with the contact information of some of our advisory members is at the Geek squad at local Best Buy being serviced. I will have the computer back in a couple of days and can provide the information then. This also applyies for the other names and numbers you requested.

The question regarding Rauol Wallenberg. I called the office and and spoke to the receptionist I never took her name. The number I called was 212-737-3275. The only reason to call was to check if the name was copyright protected, because the work we do to save Christians in Pakistan is of a similar nature what Raoul Wallenberg did to save Jews in Hungary in WW2, being Jewish myself and a great admirer of his courage I thought this a great way to honor him by trying to emulate his example. The person we work with in Pakistan does the actual work in helping Christians we just raise the money to provide him the ability to do it as well as the advice and expertise to be as effective as possible. The man doing the work is not a diplomat like Raoul Wallenberg so he has no protection so as much as I would like to give you his name and contact information, if his name were made public would be a death sentence.

In the meanwhile, and while we wait, I would like to add to his report your findings as of late. I am sure that you are aware that you have stated on camera to Walid that you spoke to Bank Leumi in which you stated that they cannot confirm a bombing took place. This cannot be the case since Walid is certain that a bombing did indeed take place in Manger Square atop the Bank building. We would like the phone number, name of the official, and date you called, as to give us a chance to call that person so we can perhaps direct them to the correct incident since it is likely that you missed certain details and Walid knows best the operation he carried out.

Please write back to me with this information so we might proceed to rectify this problem.

Sincerely,

Keith Davies

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Keith Davies
To: [email protected]
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2011 12:29 AM
Subject: Shoebat investigation

Dear Ms. Johnston,

Thanks for your reply.

I apologize but I was not aware that your verbal requests in South Dakota needed our immediate reply. Walid stated that he asked you to jot him an email and he will respond. I had been awaiting your email, which I finally got just before yesterday. Why did you hesitate for an entire week to send it?

I am also glad to refer to your verbal requests, which I recall quite well. We shall address then—and since you insist—both (your verbal) and your written questions, to the best of Walid’s and my recollection of the facts:

1—Mr. Griffin asked on Camera to give the amount that was being paid for Mr. Shoebat’s services to speak at the South Dakota DHS conference, which you stated that you have checked your “trusted sources” and confirmed “for certain” that we “got paid $13,000”.

Unfortunately, the source you used was CAIR which was circulated by them in their internet slurs and attacks on Mr. Shoebat was wrong. The accurate amount is $5000 plus $1000 for travel expenses for both of us, not sucha huge sum and tiny drop in the bucket of DHS budget. I would like to urge CNN to be careful of shoddy journalism and gossip that circulates on the Internet, which we proved here that you, did. Since Council for American Islam Relations (CAIR) provides very inaccurate information, as they regard Mr. Shoebat as their enemy; you should be very careful in relying on any of their claims as they were the only source you could have got the erroneous figure of $13,000.

This is why we are so glad you contacted us directly. I am sure that CNN does not want to repeat the past mistakes, in which false information was circulated and used. Dan Rather lost his credibility as a result of not checking. We also have Deir Yassin alleged massacres and the infamous Al-Dura case which were proven to have had extreme exaggerations.

2—Mr. Griffin verbally asked on camera: “What are the names of the Christian individuals you are currently helping in Pakistan?”

Answer: Since CNN is quite interested about the persecution of Pakistani Christians which is validated by many very credible institutions and our government, we will be glad to have our trusted rep in Pakistan accompany your investigative crew in Pakistan to meet and examine the veracity of the victims stories and claims. Our Rep. will give you a guided tour first hand, with the opportunity to interview the individuals and newspaper articles that calls for their killing as well as the case histories of imprisonment for blasphemy. I am sure that you will be glad to have your viewers get a first hand account on what happens in Pakistan to the Christian community. We will also be glad to disclose to you in private the financial aid that we have done so far with direct aid to the families. Please let us know when you intend to embark on such a noble endeavor and may the Lord richly bless you for your interest.

3—Regarding your search at Bank Leumi, we requested your contact name, or phone number or the date you contacted Bank Leumi. Mr. Griffin stated verbally “I called Bank Leumi”. He never stated that he “contacted a source in Bank Leumi”. Can you please clarify these seemingly contradictory statements? Also, and since you stated that you cannot give out your source, can you at least provide a date and time you called? I am sure as journalists you keep a notebook. Don’t you? Fact finding prior to any case mandates an exchange of information, which you refuse to do.

So here is the question we all should consider seriously. The story of Walid Shoebat, as many claim, rests upon supposed evidence obtained by CNN regarding records that were checked in Bank Leumi, and CNN cannot collaborate this claim to the public? I hope you understand that we will diligently pursue the truth of this matter, here’s why:

A—It is impossible for any logical person to believe that such contacts were confidential since there are no records in Bank Leumi that keep details on bombing activities during 1976-1977. This whole claim is fictitious. Neither can CNN provide a date and a time when such records were checked.

B—Further, Bank Leumi branch in Bethlehem Manger Square has been long gone after the transfer of power between Israel and the P.A. How could such records be checked from that branch?

C—Since your source on the “$13,000 paycheck” was wrong and the Bank Leumi source you contacted was also wrong; how can the public trust your report?

May we direct you to the proper facility to inquire on such records, which you can obtain from records that were at the Bethlehem Police station including names of arrested individuals, they questioned one of which was Muhammad Mari Al-Atrash Shoebat arrested on the spot after the explosion.

D—Such records have been transferred to Israel after the transfer to the P.A. CNN is simply using shoddy journalism done by Chris Hedges, former Middle East Bureau Chief for the New York Times portraying our story as “fraudulent”. Hedges checked no records. Indeed, we urge you to contact Mr. Hedges and ask him of any sources he checked. This will confirm that beyond any doubt that Mr. Hedges used his bias and nothing more.

E—We also like to ask you to contact Mr. Jorg Luyken of the Jerusalem Post, whom CNN is using as a source claiming that Shoebat’s story was “rejected by members of his family who still live in the area” Hedges and Luyken and now CNN is using inaccurate reports to push a false narrative without doing proper due diligence. We would like to prevent CNN of doing the same shoddy research, since like you, neither provided names of any official from Bank Leumi. Yet, Luyken provided names and contacts when he called to check on our 501c3. Why would he provide one public source, yet ignore another?

F— It is impossible for someone to miss such an explosion. Manger Square is a tiny parking lot with only one Israeli facility—Bank Leumi. Detractors always attempt to poke holes and even point that there was no Israeli bank in Manger Square. No serious individual can deny that ‘decades’ ago, Bank Leumi sat there in front of the Mosque, which housed the Sharia court in Manger Square in fact part of Dr. Dave Klein who was governor of the Bank of Israel 2000 -2204 earlier in his carrier was a manager of the Bethlehem branch of Bank Leumi which proves that the Branch existed as Mr Shoebat stated. Luyken refused to examine the testimony of witnesses we provided to him for the story he did in Jerusalem article which was used not to produce facts but a smear. There is a journalist currently working to evaluate Mr. shoebat’s story. He has interviewed two eyewitnesses. One is Mr. Al-Yateem, a native of Bethlehem, also former IDF officer under Moshe Ya’alon (prior to becoming chief of staff). Both corroborated Mr. Shoebat’s account regarding the near lynching of an Israeli officer. Mr. Al Yateem can also confirm the Bank Leumi in Bethlehem’s Manger Square bomb explosion. Please let us know if you would like to contact this journalist.

4—In reference to your question in South Dakota, you stated that Walid bills himself as an x-terrorist on the basis of a bombing activity of Bank Leumi.

Answer: We rarely bill Mr. Shoebat as an x-terrorist on the basis of bombing Bank Leumi. Mr. Shoebat’s story is billed on the basis of several proven accounts:

A—He was recruited into the PLO by prison cellmate Mahmoud Al-Mughrabi – which led to the former’s involvement in a bomb plot that targeted Bank Leumi branches (which Hedges and Luyken said was manufactured).

B—Close family ties to high as well as low-ranking terrorists, which can be reasonably proven (see #6).

C—Walid’s violent acts included street violence and hand-to-hand confrontations with Israeli forces. On one occasion Walid nearly lynched an Israeli soldier, which also can be confirmed by accessing Israeli news archives on March 18th as well as March 30th 1976. The news broadcaster was Karam Zarour who broadcast the news item on 8 PM news on the Arabic station on Israeli TV. You could access the archives and collaborate the story.

D—Walid’s experience in Chicago being active with the PLO as well as the Muslim Brotherhood prior to the inception of the I.A.P (Islamic Association of Palestine) which later gave birth to CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations).

We are not sure why CNN is following CAIR’s complaints? I am sure that it helps the public to understand the root causes of terrorism. I am sure you understand that police use X-Drug addicts to expose the mindset of drug addicts. It is why we started our quest to expose the truth in order to help troubled Muslims, as well as train Americans what to watch for.

5—You asked how we could collaborate billing Walid as an x-terrorist?

Answer: First, I must remind you not to repeat the same mistakes made by Hedges and Jerusalem Post’s Jorge Luyken’s inadequate research in which Walid’s whole history was portrayed as fraudulent. Additionally, a records search that Luyken and Hedges failed to check yielded evidence in Shoebat’s favor that contradict such claims:

A—Walid’s partner in crime and prison cell mate Mahmoud Al-Mughrabi was notorious, very real and quite dangerous. He was a secret correspondent for the British Sunday Times – hired to report alleged tortures in the Russian Compound (Jerusalem Central Prison) that were published by the United Nations while privately conducting terror plots. Al-Mughrabi was finally assassinated on October 1, 1985 in the secret Israeli operation – ‘Wooden leg’ – that targeted PLO Yasser Arafat’s Tunisian headquarters. Keep in mind, that you can research interviews by another research done by a blogger Eileen Flemming in which she stated that my family confirmed I was in prison in 1976, when Mr Shoebat first went public with his story the very same people denied Walid even existed. Mr. Shoebat’s story remains consistent for 8 years since he went public and well documented in his book “Why I Left Jihad.”

B—It is important that when we examine evidence to avoid character assassinations due to political affiliation. Luyken at the Jerusalem Post had an liberal agenda and we are conservative in our affiliation. Let us put our affiliations aside and pursue the facts. Will CNN be willing to pursue the facts or is there an agenda in line with CAIR’s?

6—Walid was well connected to several terrorist members of his own family whom the Jerusalem Post’s freelance Journalist Luyken ostensibly interviewed—preferring to use these—to collaborate a false claim. Yet such connections only add to his credibility:

A—His cousin was – Areen Ahmad Shoebat – the renowned mastermind of the dual Operation Reshon Letzion in which Issa Bdeir detonated a bomb, killing him along with innocent Jewish civilians. Areen survived, hesitating to kill children, a similar account to that of Walid’s, who published his story years prior to Areen’s activity.

B—Walid fled to the United States and was mentored under Jamal Said an associate of Abdullah Azzam, the godfather of Al-Qaeda.

C—Then we have another cousin, exiled terrorist Jawad Younis who became Abu Zubaydah’s lawyer in absentia. Abu Zubaydah ended up in U.S. custody to later testify against 911 ‘mastermind’ Khalid Sheik Muhammad. Jawad is still an Islamist troublemaker in Jordan and an ardent supporter of Hezbollah:

“To His Excellency Mr. Nasrallah Secretary General of Hezbullah the Victorious by the will of Allah …We grip our hands with you, and all the Jihadists for the cause of Allah…as you lunge with your souls for the battle of the [Islamic] nation, to fight the demonic forces of America and Zionism, the sons of the great Satan.” Signed as #4 of this delegation Jawad Younis. (Letter of support to Nassrallah, dated 7/19/2006, published July 27th, 2006)

D—Another cousin is Raed Khalil Awadallah Shoebat, killed while attempting to plant a bomb at Ben Yehuda Street.

E—Another cousin is Mahmoud Khalil Awadallah Shoebat who was imprisoned for years for his terror activity to later be released in a plea bargain.

F—Another cousin Eiad Shoebat, has an arrest warrant by the FBI wanted to major financial fraud suspected to be terror related. This involved contra band, passport fraud and major financial embezzlements intended to aid and abet terrorism. You can call the FBI to confirm.

We hope in this that we have satisfied your request to prove Walid’s credentials. We are always doing research on Mr. Shoebat’s story so we can provide as much of a back ground as possible, within next few months we are following more lines of inquiry that will have more eye witnesses as well as media records that corroborates the events that Walid describes in his story.

Yours,

Keith Davies

—– Forwarded Message —-
From: “Johnston, Kathleen”
To: [email protected]
Cc: “Johnston, Kathleen”
Sent: Thu, May 26, 2011 1:05:30 PM
Subject: cnn request

Mr. Davies: Thank you for your response. We are certainly happy to review anything Mr. Shoebat wants to send us but we would need that information soon. We have deadlines to meet and as you know have already waited while other publications have reported on the conference.

We have asked for the documentation since meeting you in Rapid City May 18 and are still waiting for it.

In addition, we look forward to receiving as soon as possible the names of the board members. If their full details are a problem in the absence of your computer, please let me have their names and states of residence and we will endeavor to find them.

As for the names of officials at Bank Leumi, we suggest you contact the bank itself at its head office in Tel Aviv. Like most media organizations, we do not reveal the names of our contacts in the course of newsgathering. If Mr. Shoebat feels the Bank is misinformed, he should contact the bank directly to make his case. The names of their officials are easily obtainable through the bank’s website.

Thanks for your assistance and your understanding that time is of the essence in getting us the information you want us to have before we go to air.

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Keith Davies
To: [email protected]; [email protected]
Sent: Sunday, May 29, 2011 7:58 PM
Subject: Formal Complaint

Dear Mr Whitaker:

I am filing a formal complaint against two of your “investigative journalists” Drew Griffin and Kathy Johnston for lying to us when they were questioning Mr. Shoebat (my client) in Rapid City SD at a Department of Homeland Security event. Drew Griffin one of your journalists stated to Mr. Shoebat that he received information from a “trusted source” that Mr. Shoebat was paid $13,000 for his speech/lecture for the DHS in Rapid City (This was recorded on Camera ). This “trusted source” we believe was CAIR – Council for American Islamic Relations, which has shown many times in the past a biased hatred against Mr. Shoebat and they have made many false accusations against him in tghe past.

The second lie is more serious in which Drew Griffin as well Kathy Johnston would be undermining the integrity of CNN. In an email from Kathy Johnston she confirmed Drew Griffin’s statement that “CNN contacted Bank Leumi branch which Walid stated he had bombed in Bethlehem in 1976, stating that there was no record of any bombing.” CNN or your investigation team never called the bank but relied on a fraudulent article written by a freelance journalist Jorg Luyken, in his article stated he contacted THE BANK LEUMI, which was the bank Shoebat had bombed. This freelance journalist had an anti Shoebat agenda and his article was published only in the op ed column of the Jerusalem Post in which the Newspaper later printed a rebuttal. Further we hired our own investigator and the bank branch in question was closed in 1996 according to Bank Leumi. The article written by Jorg Luyken in the Jerusalem Post was written in 2008, 12 years later, so he could have never called the bank branch in question, he lied. Our investigator, also contacted Bank Leumi headquarters in Israel who stated they would never release information like this unless one was a customer of the bank, my investigator happens to live in Israel and is a customer of the Bank.

We would appreciate if you can ask these journalists their “trusted sources” internally so that you can determine whether you wish to expose facts to your audience or lies, egged on by the propaganda of CAIR whom seems that these journalists have an alliance or maybe CAIR itself has infiltrated CNN, which should be of great concern to you as an independent media organization.

We asked Kathy Johnston by email the source of the person at Bank Leumi but she was unwilling to provide based on “protecting sources.” I bcc’d you the email with this information. I can always send you another copy of that email. We fail to see how the so called source at the Bank Leumi could be in any danger or hurt for revealing a simple fact, unless Drew Griffin and Kathy Johnston are lying. If CNN is serious about the integrity of its news gathering, some questions need to be asked concerning the agenda regarding this story as well as verifying for yourself as leaders of CNN News, the integrity of these journalists. If they lie about us then how can they be trusted with other important stories.

I look forward to hearing your comments and findings? please indicate when I should receive a complete response?

Yours

Keith Davies
Executive Director Walid Shoebat Foundation

From: “Lister, Tim”
To: Keith Davies
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 6:58 PM
Subject: RE: Walid Shoebat story

Dear Mr Davies

Thank-you for your reply. It is my role at CNN to check all reporting for attribution and balance; and to follow up leads that would ensure the most complete coverage of any story.

As regards the incident in Bethlehem in 1978, I note that in 3 – F of your original e-mail, you offer contact details for a journalist who has interviewed eyewitnesses. We would be very grateful for those details so as to be able to make every check possible.

Sincerely

Tim Lister

From: Keith Davies [mailto:[email protected]] Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 4:26 PM
To: Lister, Tim
Subject: Walid Shoebat story

Dear Mr. Lister,

Thanks for your inquiry regarding the vetting process of Mr. Shoebat. I did not see your email of last Wedneaday till now. Thanks for following up.

When we were first contacted by CNN asking for evidence that corroborates Mr. Shoebat’s life account, we were glad, since we felt that you were serious in doing a joint effort in investigating the story and provided you with our initial detailed report. We also contacted our own sources in Israel to do some checking on what Mr. Drew Griffin erroneously claimed that he “personally contacted Bank Leumi” regarding the bombing which we had our contacts in Israel check to only find out that Mr. Griffin’s account was certainly false and that we believe Mr. Griffin had plagiarized his record.
We did not reflect this on the entire CNN team, so in our effort to iron this issue out we filed a complaint in which we referred to evidence as to why we believe that Mr. Griffin was being dishonest (see below). We summarized in our emailed letter that: “your investigators never called the bank but relied on a fraudulent article”.
We obtained a disappointing reply from Mr. Feder dated June 13, 2011, which stated that: “We stand by the reporting upon which Ms. Johnston and Mr. Griffin based their questioning. Your assumptions as to their sources have no basis in fact, and your allegations of lying are false and without basis”.
Although the response had no details to corroborate Mr. Griffin’s account, we concluded that you stand by your investigation and chose to provide your viewers with this false information since CNN was not able to corroborate Mr. Griffin’s claim.
The reason that we are at a loss is that after reading Mr. Feder’s response, which states that Mr. Griffin is being truthful, then Mr. Shoebat’s account must be according to you false.
And now we obtain an email that has valid inquiries from you, which if one reads can conclude that CNN is not fully convinced of Mr. Griffin’s account.
If you believe Mr. Griffin’s account, then why even continue this investigation? Why not simply make your story as it stands?
We are at a loss here since we still would like to presume our corroborated effort in obtaining the facts to provide your viewers.

Sincerely

Keith Davies,
The Shoebat Foundation

Sent: Monday, June 13, 2011 7:10 PM
Subject: Your e-mail

Dear Mr. Davies,

Your May 29 email to Christa Robinson and Mark Whitaker has been forwarded to me for a reply. We will take your concerns under advisement.

We stand by the reporting upon which Ms. Johnston and Mr. Griffin based their questioning. Your assumptions as to their sources have no basis in fact, and your allegations of lying are false and without basis. Your email has been forwarded to CNN’s attorneys.

Dear Mr Whitaker:

I am filing a formal complaint against two of your “investigative journalists” Drew Griffen and Kathy Johnston for lying to us when they were questioning Mr. Shoebat (my client) in Rapid City SD. Drew Griffin one of your journalists stated that he received information from a “trusted source” that Mr Shoebat was paid $13,000 for his speech/lecture for the DHS in Rapid City (This is on Camera )This “trusted source” was CAIR – Council for American Islamic Relations” which has shown many times in the past a biased hatred for Mr. Shoebat and have made many false accusations against him. Even CAIR in their latest release against Mr. Shoebat stated the correct amount which came day or two after the event in which somebody at the DHS told them the actual figure, which was $5000.

The second lie is more serious in which Drew Griffen as well Kathy Johnston in an email confirmed that “CNN contacted Bank Leumi branch which Walid stated he had bombed in Bethlehem in 1976.” CNN or your investigators never called the bank but relied on a fraudulent article written by a freelance journalist, in his article stated he contacted THE BANK LEUMI, which was the bank Shoebat had bombed. This freelance journalist had an anti Shoebat agenda and his article was published only in the Op Ed column of the Jeruslalem Post which the Newspaper later printed a rebuttal. Further we hired an investigator ourselves and the bank branch in question was closed in 1996. The article written by Jorge Luyken in the Jerusalem Post was written in 2008, 12 years later so he could have never called the bank branch in question. Our investigator also contacted Bank Leumi headquarters in Israel who stated they would never release information like this unless one was a customer of the bank.

We would appreciate if you can ask these journalists their “trusted sources” internally so that you can determine whether you wish to expose facts to your audiences or slanted bias, egged on by the propaganda of CAIR whom seems to have an alliance which should not be tolerated by any independent media.

We asked Kathy Johnston by email the source of the person at Bank Leumi but she was unwilling to provide based on “protecting sources.” We fail to see how the so called source at the Bank Leumi could be in any danger or hurt for revealing a simple fact. If CNN is serious about the integrity of its news gathering some questions need to be asked concerning the agenda regarding this story as well as verifying for yourself as leaders of CNN News, the integrity of these journalists. If they lie about us then how can they be trusted with other important stories.

I look forward to hearing your comments and findings? please indicate when I should receive a complete response?

From: “Lister, Tim”
To: [email protected]
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 11:25 AM
Subject: Walid Shoebat story
Dear Mr Davies

Checking that you received this e-mail. Very much hope that you can help with the questions below.

Sincerely

Tim Lister

From: Lister, Tim
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 12:35 PM
To: ‘[email protected]
Subject: Walid Shoebat story

Dear Mr Davies

I am involved in the vetting process for a story concerning Mr Walid Shoebat that has been shot by Drew Griffin. His producer Kathleen Johnston passed on to me your long and detailed e-mail of May 27th.

Thank-you for the information you have provided. We are still trying to find the answers to several questions.

Can I ask you to provide further details as follows?

We are having very little luck tracking down any of the Board members of the Forum for Middle East Understanding. If you have any contact information for board members, I would be very grateful for it. I note from IRS Form 990 from 2009 that Lance Silver is listed. Is he still a board member and are there any others?

As regards the incident in Bethlehem in 1978, I note that in 3 – F, you offer contact details for a journalist who has interviewed eyewitnesses. We would be very grateful for those details.

Do you have any contact details for James al-Yateem, who is referenced in your e-mail and Mr Shoebat’s blog posting of May 18th this year?

Similarly, in 4 – C, we have had no luck in accessing Israeli TV archives (which are very incomplete for that time) or in tracking down anyone by the name of Karam Zarour. Could that name be spelt differently?

Are you able to furnish us with any documentary evidence of Mr Shoebat’s convictions in Israeli court?

Can you tell us when Mr Shoebat entered the US ? Were US immigration authorities aware of his record of violence on behalf of the PLO?

Thank-you for your time – and for helping us pin down as many details as possible about Mr Shoebat’s experiences and background.

Sincerely

Tim Lister
Executive Editor, CNN

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