A Muslim man entered a private gathering of Christians in a hotel ballroom in South Dakota, started cursing and livestreaming video on Facebook of the event and then, after he was ushered out, displayed multiple firearms and issued statements the speakers say were a direct threat to their safety.
The man, wearing a t-shirt that said, "I'm American, I'm a Muslim, I open carry, I conceal carry, and I'm dangerous only if you're stupid," was approached by a security guard and told to leave.
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Once back in his car, he brandished an arsenal of weapons, including two military-style rifles with loaded magazines and three handguns, and made several threats of "Be scared, be F---ing scared. Be terrified." Again, it was all livestreamed on Facebook while parked in the conference-center parking lot.
To the surprise of the conference organizers in Sioux Falls, after reviewing the videos, police chose not to charge the man with any crime. The state's attorney says he's still investigating but didn't see anything criminal in nature on the videos.
The Muslim man, Ehab Jaber, a self-described former resident of Saudi Arabia who works as a server at a local steakhouse in Sioux Falls, was questioned by police and the FBI following his bizarre behavior at the April 9 Christian Worldview conference. And now two of the speakers at the event are saying if the security guard had not noticed Jaber's strange activity and escorted him out, something "bad" could have happened to roughly 500 Christians, including women, children and at least two state legislators who were in attendance.
"It was a ticketed event but we didn't have enough volunteers to be checking everyone coming in throughout the event," said Shahram Hadian, a former Muslim turned Christian pastor and one of the speakers. "This guy came in after the event started so the way the hotel was set up, there were just too many ways to get in. This was a private event, a closed event for Christians, but that's how he got in, because we just didn't have the manpower to be checking everyone."
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"I do believe the off-duty police officer who noticed what was going on is a hero who may have stopped a potential attack," said Brannon Howse, who was on the podium speaking when Jaber was asked to leave.
Watch video streamed live on Facebook:
Jaber entered the Worldview Weekend Conference at the Hilton Garden Inn on Palm Sunday, April 9, where several hundred people gathered to hear speakers address Islamic persecution of Christians worldwide. Jaber's first action was to film the cover of his Quran, then he began panning the audience.
Jaber was approached by a retired police officer who was working security at the event, where it was announced beforehand that no videos were allowed to be taken. He told the officer he was a Muslim and gave a false name.
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"My name is John Smith," he said, as he is shown on the video being ushered out. "The Muslim John Smith."
After the security guard escorted Jaber out of the conference he made a second video from his car, parked in the hotel parking lot, in which he displayed two military-style rifles and three handguns, as well as dozens of rounds of ammunition loaded into magazines.
"There's about, probably 400 people in there, if not maybe 500. And now if you want to be really scared. Be scared," he said, as he held up five different weapons in the second video. "Be scared. Be terrified."
The speakers at the event, Hadian and radio talk-show host Brannon Howse, spoke with local law enforcement afterward and also contacted the FBI.
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But Jaber was not arrested nor charged with any crime.
"In America, there is now a separate set of laws for Muslims and non-Muslims," wrote activist/author Pamela Geller in her blog Monday. "Sharia in America. If a non-Muslim was armed to the teeth obscenely threatening Muslims with massive firepower at a mosque in their parking lot, he would be arrested, his face smeared across every newspaper and nightly news program across the country. This Muslim was not arrested."
The strange story of the unwelcome guest was prefaced, Hadian points out, by important background leading up to the event.
Earlier this year the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center added Hadian's ministry, Truth in Love Ministries of Spokane, Washington, to its list of "hate groups." Since that happened, wherever Hadian speaks he encounters protests from Muslims and liberal activist groups. The local mosque in Sioux Falls was tipped off to Hadian's impending visit to Sioux Falls by an article in the local newspaper, the Argus Leader, which cited the "hate group" designation by SPLC.
The Sioux Falls Police Department notified the speakers that the Islamic Center of Sioux Falls filed a permit to protest the Worldview Weekend Rally because they viewed the event as bigoted and "Islamophobic."
The property for the Islamic Center of Sioux Falls is owned by the North American Islamic Trust, or NAIT, meaning it is a part of the Muslim Brotherhood's network of American mosques waging "Civilization Jihad," said John Guandolo, a former FBI counter-terrorism specialist who now consults law enforcement agencies nationwide.
"The Muslim Brotherhood threatened, a Muslim showed up in what was a possible thwarted attack, and local officials did nothing," Guandolo wrote in a blog at Understanding the Threat.
"This is how America will lose this war if it does not change course immediately at the local level."
"The media trashed on Shahram and myself a week before we got there," Howse told WND. "I believe the police administration saw that, and they didn't want their department to be labeled as we were. The politicians have a political career to be worried about. They're self-serving people who do not care about the American people and their safety, just their own politically correct careers."
Hadian was also baffled.
"This is not good for us. We're going to have to have more security, probably see more protests. His videos are probably going to go viral. He's now getting hundreds of views on his pages, he's going to be glorified."
Hadian said about 40 to 50 protesters greeted him and Howse when they arrived at the hotel in Sioux Falls to speak.
He said he has no problem with the protesters, but when an armed man sneaks into the event and films it live on Facebook while uttering a profanity-laced tirade, that concerns him.
"We're now told by our legal counsel, that the prosecutor in that county, the prosecutor in Sioux Falls, they're going to do nothing," Hadian said. "Nothing, nothing, nothing. That's outrageous."
The message being sent by law enforcement is clear, says Howse: "If you are a Christian daring to speak out against Islamic violence, then prepare to be a martyr, because the elected prosecutors, which are really politicians, don't give a darn about you or your safety."
Howse, founder of Worldview Weekend Foundation and Worldview Radio, said he wonders what the response from law enforcement would be if an armed white Christian walked into a Muslim conference and made the same type of comments on a livestream video? He said he believes the outcome would have been different.
"He is armed to the hilt and he's parked outside the hotel where we are holding our conference and he shows his weapons on video and says, 'Be scared. Be terrified,' cursing all the while," Howse said. "We had to edit his profanity out of the video."
Howse said his organization kept the incident quiet for a week. They wanted to give law enforcement a chance to investigate and "see if they would do the right thing." Secondly, they had four more cities lined up on the speaking tour so they did not want to call more attention to themselves and stir up more protests and possible violence by intolerant leftist organizations like those who set fires on the campus of University of California at Berkeley earlier this year.
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After the event Sunday in Sioux Falls, they moved on to speak in the Wisconsin cities of LaCrosse, Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee. Five cities in five nights.
The FBI sent out a bulletin alerting the other four cities on the speaking tour to make sure security was beefed up for the Christian Worldview conferences.
"I believe that police officer who was off duty, who caught him filming with his Quran, I believe he stopped something from happening," Howse told WND. "One of the police officers told me 'I think we stopped something bad from happening.'"
Police say no law was broken
Lt. Mike Colwell of the Sioux Falls Police Department, confirmed for WND that no charges will be filed by his department.
"It is correct there was a gentlemen who arrived at the event and was livestreaming it was contacted by a hired security guard at the event," Colwell said. "And when officers did contact him they were able to check his social media, Facebook account, and found videos where he did display some guns and make some threats but the threats were not directed at any one specific individual or group. He was using speech that was aggressive but not necessarily saying it was threatening. The video was made in the parking lot outside the conference. We completed the investigation, which was reviewed by the state's attorney's office in Lincoln County, and at this time the state's attorney has decided not to charge him with anything related to the event or any of the language used that's being shown on that video."
Lincoln County State's Attorney Tom Wolman, told WND, however, that he is still investigating the incident, as is the FBI.
"It is an active, open investigation. That is not the case [that a decision has been made]," he said.
But Wolman said the fact that police did not make an arrest at the scene makes his job harder.
"They did not make an arrest. Since they did not make an arrest, obviously they didn’t believe there was probable cause that a crime was committed.
"I don't know that we'll have anything more in the near future on it but you're welcomed to check back," Wolman added.
'No double standard in South Dakota'
Wolman said Jaber was within his rights as a South Dakota resident to "open carry" weapons in his car or on his person or to conceal carry if he had a valid permit.
"The constitutional rights are there. Obviously law enforcement made the decisions that there wasn’t a violation of state gun laws," he said.
He said he did not agree with Howse that South Dakota had a "double standard" for applying the law, one for Muslims who are treated as an "oppressed minority" and another for non-Muslims who get the book thrown at them.
"Maybe that double standard exists in some parts of the country. I don't believe it exists in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, I don't think that was part of the story here," he told WND. "And, at any rate, we enforce the law across the board, whether it's a Christian offender or Muslim offender, we look at the facts that we have in front of us. And that's the standard we have."
Asked if he was afraid of Muslim civil rights groups suing the city, Wolman said he was not.
"Every day of the week on this job I am aware that there is evil in our community, and by the oath of office I took, I am also aware that I have to apply the law fairly… I am not afraid of anyone, certainly not Mr. Jaber."
He said he was "not aware" of any crimes on Jaber's record.
"I'm not aware of any record. He's a host and a server in a very high-end steak house here in Sioux Falls and everyone who works with him enjoys working with him. We can't run roughshod over people's First Amendment rights, or their Second Amendment rights," he said.
"We're taking this very, very seriously," Wolman told WND.