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Video gives evidence of CNN's 'gotcha' reporting

A recent report on CNN’s AC360 program accused terrorist-turned-Christian Walid Shoebat of being a fake, and now a video response has been posted that essentially tells the network: You’re a fake news organization.

WND reported last week on CNN’s “gotcha” hatchet-job on the terrorism fighter, in which he was accused of telling a story that was not supported by CNN’s “facts.”

The Anderson Cooper program had Andrew Griffin travel to Rapid City, S.D., where Shoebat was speaking to a conference, to confront him. He publicly accused a Shoebat associate of running a “scam.”

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“I gotta ask you, because I do a lot of this type of reporting on charities, organizations that collect money. … Everything is not very transparent. Are you running a scam?” Griffin asked.

But the video reveals the holes appear to be not in Shoebat’s narrative of his life, but in CNN’s reporting:

A report from the Shoebat organization said he offered to provide CNN his real name, since for security purposes he uses a pseudonym, along with passport records and a “virtual treasure trove” of data to support his life story.

“Inexplicably, CNN chose not to accept that information. Instead, they proceeded with a pseudo-investigation witch hunt,” the organization reported.

“[Reporter] Drew Griffin … never released any interviews with any official agency; no interviews with any police official, government officials or any recorded calls or any memos or any e-mail correspondence that validate any investigation took place with anyone,” the organization said.

The video documents a number of issues with the CNN report:

The confrontation came in Rapid City, S.D., where Shoebat had been invited by the state office of the Department of Homeland Security to speak about the dangers of Islamic groups in America. Shoebat spoke of the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America as examples, both unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial.

Shoebat was born in Bethlehem and joined the Palestinian Liberation Organization and participated in acts of terror and violence against Israel. He spent about two weeks in Jerusalem’s central prison for enticement of violence. He later moved to the U.S. and worked as a counselor for the Arab Student Organization in Chicago. Later he was active with the Muslim Brotherhood in 1980 and 1981 in Chicago.

His conversion to Christianity came in 1993. Driven by a deep passion to shed his former life, he set out to combat terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism worldwide, speaking at churches and synagogues, and before civic groups, government leaders and media.

Walid has written several books, including “For God or For Tyranny,” “God’s War on Terror,” “Why We Want to Kill You” and “Why I Left Jihad.”

There were three segments to the Anderson Cooper show, a short introduction posted on YouTube, a first segment also posted on YouTube and then a second segment available on the CNN site.

WND contacted CNN twice by email, requesting comment, and got only an automated response: “Thank you for the e-mail you sent to Anderson Cooper 360°. This auto reply is your notification that we have received your e-mail. While we are unable to personally reply to every e-mail, your comments are important to us, and we do read each and every one. Comments become part of the viewer response report that is prepared and made available each day to our producers and senior management.”