A Project of the Council on American-Islamic Relations

ISLAMOPHOBIC ORGANIZATIONS: Investigative Project on Terrorism

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Steve Emerson’ Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) is part of the U.S. Islamophobia network. Emerson has a lengthy history of factually inaccurate statements. After he asserted  that Birmingham, England was a Muslim-only city, then UK Prime Minister David Cameron called him a “complete idiot” and Fox News, where the allegation aired, was forced to apologize. Emerson claimed he had inside information that the 2013 Boston Marathon bomber was of Saudi origin, the terrorist turned out to be Chechen. IPT’s web site contains prejudiced content, such as an article decrying the “…pitiful Arab, whose inherent culture left him no shred of sincerity, creativity or courage.”

Steve Emerson is founder of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, an anti-Muslim propaganda mouthpiece.

In 2015, Emerson was ridiculed by then British Prime Minister David Cameron as “a complete idiot.” During an appearance on Fox News, the self-proclaimed terrorism expert had falsely claimed that Muslims in Europe set up so-called “no-go zones” that people of other faiths and police are not allowed to enter.  Fox News was forced to apologize for Emerson’s claim.

After terrorists bombed the Boston Marathon in 2013, Emerson alleged that based on “certain classified information” he was “privy to” he was confident that the bomber was a Saudi national who was at the time in custody. The bombers turned out to be of Chechen descent. The Saudi was cleared of any wrongdoing, but rumors circulated that he may have been deported. This too turned out to be untrue. Questioned about this later, Emerson alleged, “This is the way things are done with Saudi Arabia, you don’t arrest their citizens, you deport them, because [the Obama administration] don’t want them to be embarrassed and that’s the way we appease them.”

Emerson has a lengthy history of factual inaccuracy.

The New York Times Book Review said Emerson’s 1991 book Terrorist was “marred by factual errors…that betray an unfamiliarity with the Middle East and a pervasive anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian bias.”

Emerson said of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, “This [the bombing] was done with the intent to inflict as many casualties as possible. That is a Middle Eastern trait.” Timothy McVeigh, a Caucasian American, was later convicted for committing the terrorist act.

In 1996, after a plane exploded off the coast of New York, Emerson quickly asserted, “I have no doubt whatsoever, at this point, that it was a bomb that brought down TWA Flight 800 – not a missile, but a bomb…” The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the cause of the tragedy was vapor in a fuel tank, a tragic accident rather than a deliberate bombing.

Emerson’s credibility was further derailed in the late 1990s when Florida Weekly Planet newspaper Senior Editor John Sugg quoted two unnamed Associated Press reporters who said Emerson gave them a document on terrorism supposedly from FBI files: “One reporter thought he’d seen the material before, and in checking found a paper Emerson had supplied earlier containing his own unsupported allegations. The two documents were almost identical, except that Emerson’s authorship was deleted from the one purported to be from the FBI. ‘It was really his work,’ one reporter says. He sold it to us trying to make it look like a really interesting FBI document.'”

According to a January 6, 2014, IPT “special to IPT news guest column,” by Dr. Reuven Berko, “All the evil storms of history visited upon humanity did not expose to the people of Europe (who today host well-established enclaves of radical Islam in their midst) even the surface of the slaughter and injustice carried out by Muslims in the name of Islam, ‘the religion of peace,’ against Jews and Christians.”

Berko, goes on to report, “They know that the Arabs’ thirst for blood has a multitude of causes that are not even remotely related to ‘Palestine,’ but nevertheless they delude themselves into thinking that the chaos in the Middle East will somehow disappear if the Palestinian issue is ‘resolved.’”

Other prejudice statements in the article include:

  • “Europe is still. . .captivated by the specious charms of the Arabs and Islam.”
  • “. . .pitiful Arab, whose inherent culture left him no shred of sincerity, creativity or courage.”
  • “Those crimes accompanied the Arabs and Muslims from the rise of Islam and accompany them to this day.”

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