Islamophobia Monitor

Steve Emerson is founder of the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), an anti-Muslim propaganda mouthpiece. The Investigative Project on Terrorism is part of the inner core of the U.S. Islamophobia network.

In 2010, Charity Navigator, an impartial evaluator of publicly reported financial information, issued a donor advisory regarding IPT. In the advisory, Charity Navigator reported, “During our analysis of this charity’s FYE 2010 Form 990, the document revealed that 100% of the organization's program expenses are being directed to the organization's CEO & Founder's for-profit management company, SAE Productions. Furthermore, the document also revealed that The Investigative Project on Terrorism, which does not have a separate EIN number, directs all donations on its website to the Investigative Project on Terrorism Foundation, which in turn directs all the money to SAE Productions.”

According to a January 6, 2014, Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) “special to IPT news guest column,” “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.”

IPT’s special guest, Dr. Reuven Berko, went 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 quotes from the article included:

  • “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.”

Key Individuals

SteveEmerson

Steve Emerson (Founder)

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.”

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 their way we appease them.”

Emerson has a history of not getting the facts correct.

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.'"

TomTrentoUnited West leader Tom Trento says the Florida-based group works, “to unite western countries, western civilizations, about 23, 24, 25 western countries, against the Ummah. Who knows what the Umaah is? The Ummah is the term for the family, the family of nations of Islam.” The United West is part of the inner core of the U.S. Islamophobia network.

According to the group’s website, “TheUnitedWest.org is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Organization.” However, no organization named “The United West” appears in Florida legal records or the IRS’s database of tax-exempt organizations.

The address that United West offers to potential donors is, however, the same as Security Research Associates, Inc. a registered non-profit headed by Tom Trento.  

In 2007, Trento renamed his Colorado-based Christian Research Associates as Security Research Associates, Inc. in Florida. For a time, Trento publicly said his organization was the Florida Security Council and more recently changed it to United West.

The purpose of the frequent name changes is obscure. In Security Research Associates tax-forms filed between 2010-2012 and signed by Trento the “doing business as” space is left blank.

However, given that Trento clearly violated 501(c)(3) restrictions on endorsing candidates for public office during an April 10, 2012 presentation to a Tea Party group in Florida, it may simply be an effort to end-run the laws governing non-profit organizations.

Key Individuals

Tom Trento (Founder)

Trento’s biography on the United West website identifies him as “one of the leading academic activists in the United States.” Trento is also listed as one of the “associates” on the Center for Security Policy’s “Sharia: the Threat to America,” report.

In text accompanying a video distributed on October 12, 2014, Trento asserts that, “mosques are NOT primarily ‘houses of worship’ but more so, bases of operation to launch a ‘Cultural Jihad’ against America!”

In his June 17, 2014 newsletter, Trento wrote a mocking letter to Muslims living in areas affected by ISIS. He said “Dear Muslims of the Levant, We Americans know you enjoy your oil-drenched lives of crass debauchery and fake religiosity.” The newsletter also asks that Muslims “…agree that Jerusalem… has nothing to do with Islam” and “divest ownership in American gas stations, or at least clean the bathrooms.”

During a 9/11 memorial in 2013, Trento spewed Islamophobic rhetoric in the presence of law enforcement authorities, public officials and schoolchildren. He told the audience: "I'm not talking about radical Islam or moderate Islam. I'm talking about all Islam. Their goal is to get every single one of us to convert to Islam. And they won't stop until we do."

In a clear example of fear mongering prior to the 2012 presidential election, Trento insinuated that if Barack Obama was re-elected to the presidency, “The West—western Europe, Israel, those countries—will probably all start to tumble, morally, economically and militarily and Islam and its irresistible force and its control of oil worldwide within ten years will indeed control the world.”

Presenting a “half-a-day briefing that we do for law enforcement, military intelligence people” Trento also alleged:

  • “The family of Islam is obligated to destroy the west, the infidel, the Jew and the Christian.”
  • “The caliphate, if it’s established in America, that branch will be most likely in Chicago. The home of whom by the way? [Crowd answers: Obama] It’s a huge Black Panther, Nation of Islam and  Islamic community there interestingly enough.”
  • One of the first slides of the “national security briefing” is an image of President Obama with the text “The most dangerous man FOR the world?” below it.

The Canadian Broadcasting Service in 2012 concluded that Trento “considers himself a soldier battling the Muslim menace in the U.S.” and that his group “opposes any project to build new mosques or expand existing ones.” Trento believes eighty percent of the mosques in the United States are teaching “sedition.”

In a 2011 blog post, Trento asserted that the Occupy Orlando movement was being controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood

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