A Jan. 18 WorldNetDaily article by Brian Fitzpatrick tries to escalate one of its attacks on CPAC by pushing accusations that CPAC is "tied to terror" through board member Suhail Khan. Khan has responded to the accusation by issuing an email to "his fellow ACU directors." Fitzpatrick writes:
Khan denied that his family mosque in Santa Clara, Calif., hosted al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri during a 1990s fundraising tour, a charge raised by Sperry in a New York Post column last week.
"In the NY Post op-ed," wrote Khan, "Frank's [Frank Gaffney] colleague Paul Sperry falsely claims the Islamic center my family attends in Santa Clara hosted/raised money for al-Qaida. … The fact is, no individual connected to al-Qaida was ever hosted by the center in Santa Clara much less was there any connection to my late father."
However, Sperry told WND, "Khan's denial that his father's Santa Clara, Calif., mosque (An-Noor, owned by the Muslim Community Association) never hosted Zawahiri is verifiably false. There are several articles (San Francisco Chronicle, etc.) that reported these visits by Zawahiri, then with Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and they have never been retracted."
(Did Sperry really speak in italics? How does Fitzpatrick know?)
Missing from Fitzpatrick's article is any further quoting of Khan's email or any link to the compete message. There's a reason for that: It doesn't make Sperry look good.
First, Sperry and Fitzpatrick mislead about what Khan is denying. They claim that he's denying that Zawahiri was hosted by the mosque; in fact, nowhere in Khan's email -- posted by blogger Deborah Corey -- does he use Zawahiri's name but, instead, specifically says "no individual connected to al-Qaida was ever hosted by the center in Santa Clara." As Sperry admits, at the time of the alleged visit, Zawahiri was not with al-Qaeda, he was with Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which later merged with al-Qaeda. Yes, it's parsing, but WND should have acknowledged it instead of trying to put words in Khan's mouth.
Second, Sperry and Fitzpatrick offer no evidence that Khan or his father knew that Zawahiri was raising money for Islamic extremism. Indeed, Fitzpatrick writes that Zawahiri was raising money "under the pretense of raising money to support victims of the Afghan-Soviet war."
Third, Khan's quote has been edited by Fitzpatrick to eliminate embarrassing information about Sperry. The ellipsis in Fitzpatrick's quoting of Khan removed this statement:
This false assertion was proved untrue in 2006 when Sperry leveled the same false assertion on the pages of Investor’s Business Daily (IBD), and IBD, after an investigation, published two embarrassing retractions withdrawing these accusations as categorically untrue.
Whoops! That seems like relevant information, but Fitzpatrick and Sperry don't want you to know anything about it.