It’s a strange thing to find yourself being relentlessly pursued by a motley crew of Qatari agents, a reformist Imam, random journalists and lefty activists, especially if, like me, you mostly live a modest and pleasantly anonymous life.
I’m not sure I’ve quite gotten over the experience yet. For a start it appears to have turned me into a 9/11 truther (horror of horrors), but at least I’ve gone back to leaving my front door unlocked, and am no longer spending more hours than is strictly healthy pondering who, precisely, would do the best job of playing me in the movie version.
Like all these things it began innocently enough: I was at work (at the Jerusalem Post) when a senior colleague asked me to write up an Al Arabiya report on Ilan Omar. A wealthy Canadian businessman with ‘connections’ had testified in a Florida court that she’s is a Qatari asset. I think I actually guffawed as I set about the job with gusto: if anyone in the West is a sure-fire bet for being a Qatari asset, it’s gotta be Omar.
I posted and thought little more of it… until the following day, when I returned to the office to find it had gone viral. This made me a little nervous. I hadn’t actually seen the deposition at this point. What if the Al Arabiya report wasn’t accurate? So I set about tracking down a copy myself, baiting 4Chan into providing me with a link by pretending to be a rabid antisemite (should have been a hint there that this was about to get weird).
Once I had it in hand, I tracked down the Canadian who’d given the testimony and the lawyer in the case to verify it, and wrote a follow-up article based on the content of the deposition.
Jared Kushner was named as having taken money from the Qataris. My eyebrow may have raised a little.
Moreover, the Canadian, Alan Bender, was clearly a little… off. His testimony rested upon the idea that he’d done a bit of work with – not for – the Saudis, had been wooed by the Qataris, had been flown to Doha where they spilled every state secret under the sun, and then returned home, whereupon he sat upon all this information until some random lawyer called him up and asked him nicely to testify.
To say that this account seems somewhat non-credible is an understatement.
Why would the Qataris tell someone who wasn’t on their payroll their most valuable secrets? Why hadn’t he gone straight to the FBI with the information? Was there any hard evidence regarding Omar? Bender’s whole testimony was hearsay: the Qataris had told him, and now he was telling the court. Why? Because it was the right thing to do, he said.
Meanwhile, a character by the name of Imam Tawhidi, who tweets under @ImamofPeace, was getting involved. Tawhidi has made himself well known within right wing politics by being a) Muslim and yet b) pro-Israel and anti-Islamic radicalism. He’s taken interviews with Tommy Robinson and Dave Rubin.
Tawhidi tweeted back in July that Omar was a Qatari asset, and that the whole story would soon come out. He seemed oddly reluctant to break it himself, merely telling followers to keep an eye on updates.
In the following days I reached out to both Bender and Tawhidi, to ask whether they could offer up any hard evidence of Omar’s links to the Arab state.
Bender was more than happy to talk at length, telling me in detail how the Qataris had lured him to Doha under false pretences of wanting to do business in Canada, only to offer him a position running an office for them in the US once they were safely behind locked doors in the Emir’s palace. He sent me multiple screenshots and photos proving that he had travelled to Doha on 18-21st July 2019, and met with senior officials at the Palace.
How about evidence on to Omar, could he give me anything at all? Not at the moment, he said, but he was willing to talk further after he’d given an exclusive to Dinesh D’Souza. I should speak to Tawhidi, he said.
So I did. Tawhidi swore blind that the testimony was 100% true, based on the fact that he was being pursued through legal channels by the Qataris, exactly as Bender outlined in his deposition. His logic was essentially that if the parts pertaining to him were true, the whole thing must have been true.
But could he give me solid evidence linking Omar to Qatar? Given that he was tweeting about her back in July, months before the deposition was given, he must have some. “Speak to Alan,” he said.
I’d reached a dead end of circular logic, and by now my phone was pinging continuously with messages from both Tawhidi and Bender, who were determined I should write a follow-up story backing up their claims.
Meanwhile something strange was happening. Following the publication of my original two articles, a number of Conservative news sites started to release articles dismissing the allegations. The Washington Examiner pointed to Bender’s Saudi links.
The Daily Caller called his claims “dubious.” I ripped the article apart on Twitter as fake news; everything about it screams click-bait trash.
The Caller relied heavily for its story upon a Facebook post made by Brian and Ed Krassenstein on November 26, in which they said that they had good evidence that the deposition was a fake.
The Krassensteins are where this whole episode gets really sketchy. The brothers made a name for themselves on Twitter by trolling Donald Trump before getting thrown off the platform. They now tweet under ‘Ms Krassenstein,’ pretending to be Brian’s wife.
They’ve released a children’s book in which a shirtless Robert Mueller defeats Trump, titled How the people trumped Ronald Plump. It’s weird, to say the least. There are signs that they’ve had assets removed by court order thanks to indictment for fraud, a charge they deny.
In short, these are not the sort of people you would expect to be involved in a dispute over whether Ilhan Omar is a Qatari agent, let alone characters that any credible right-wing media outlet would quote as evidence that she isn’t.
The Krassensteins insisted that Tawhidi was a Saudi agent. But the July Twitter thread by Tawhidi predicted this. In that thread he wrote: “This Congresswoman, along with a Palestinian female activist from Brooklyn, NYC, agreed on diverting the attention by planning to seek the assistance of @theintercept , Al-Jazeera, and The Middle Easy Eye, to fabricate the following scandal:
“They want to claim, that all of those criticizing this particular Congresswoman, are paid by Saudis and The UAE. And that it is a collusion against the Congresswoman. They are planning on separating me and @AdelleNaz in one case, and @DonaldJTrumpJr and the UAE in another.”
They contacted me (cue panic attacks as I wondered whether I’d been hacked, before realising that they’d been mentioned in the Caller article I’d taken down on Twitter. This is when the fantasies of a movie version started to become A Thing), and passed me screenshots of messages sent to them by Bender, in which he and Tawhidi discussed setting Omar up.
I passed the screenshots on to Tawhidi. He explained that the texts the Krassensteins saw were decoys, designed to expose their own links to Qatar. By now my head was spinning. I had no idea who to believe.
Also, as far as the Krassensteins were concerned, Bender had appeared to ‘flip’ on them, going from insisting that Omar was being smeared, to appearing in court to testify that she was a Qatari asset. They had no explanation for why he would do this, making Tawhidi’s account the more credible – or at least, the more logical.
“Me and Alan gave an agreement to feed them false information,” Tawhidi told me, “to feed the Qataris false information to then see where it would end up in America and who would have it. The information landed with Brian Krassenstein, and that’s how Alan knew that Brian Krassenstein was Qatar’s activist. Not a lobbyist, just someone who gathers information.”
Once Krassenstein was identified, information was passed directly to him.
“Now that we knew Brian was their guy, who would speak to (CNN journalist) Vicky Wood, who would speak to Linda Sarsour, who would speak to Ilhan’s close circle, we started to feed him information just to derail them.
“When Alan Bender was speaking to Brian, telling him that there was a huge conspiracy, that’s when Brian suggested that Alan tricked me into saying that I worked for either the UAE or Saudi Arabia when I don’t work for them,” Tawhidi said.
“So we knew they had a plan, and we had a plan to expose their plan, and we continued on that path.”
The plan, effectively, was that Tawhidi would write something apparently incriminating, such as a (he says false) claim that he was going to falsify documents ‘proving’ Omar’s links to Qatar, and send it to Bender, who would forward it on to Brian. They would then send it back to their contact in Qatar, who would funnel it back through Bender to Tawhidi, thus proving the Krassensteins were working with Qatar.
There is some evidence of this: on November 26 the Krassensteins posted (again to Facebook) “For those of you who don’t believe me, Mohamad Tawhidi claims that a second person will be coming forward to collaborate what Bender claims about Ilhan Omar. I can tell you all who it is: Dr. Abdullah Al-Saleh @abdullahalsaleh.
Later that day, Al-Saleh tweeted: “My name is Dr. Abdullah al-Saleh and I was the guest of the Qatari government and Prime Minister for 6 months. I learned of their operations in the West and can testify and confirm that everything Alan Bender said in his deposition regarding Rep. Ilhan Omar and Qatar is true.”
The following day, the Krassensteins Tweeted: To those perpetrating the Ilhan Omar/Qatar lie, please note that Brian and Ed are in possession of multiple recordings and nearly 200 texts from those involved in these allegations against Omar. This includes @AlanBender1965, @ImamofPeace and Abdulla [sic] Al-Saleh.”
It appears therefore that Al-Saleh was the middle-man in the text-circle passing from Tawhidi to Bender to Brian to Al Saleh back to Bender through him to Tawhidi.
Tawhidi further said that he was approached by people in the pay of Qatar who suggested he may wish to join them. In one email which I have seen, a person who has worked with the Department of Homeland security wrote to Tawhidi suggesting he “really think” about taking on the Qataris, and that if he opted not to he could make a lot of money. So that claim is credible at least.
Does any of this mean that Omar is necessarily an asset of Qatar? Not really. It could be that both Saudi and Qatar are moving against each other, using American politics as their battle-ground. Bender seems suspect to me, but he’s a clever guy, he’s not let anything concrete slip.
Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter – because this is where it gets really Twilight Zone-y.
In the midst of all of this I reached out to a lot of people, mostly conservative journos and right-wing security think tank bods, trying to get a grip on the situation by asking anyone in the know. They all insisted there was nothing to it. Some outright warned me to stay away, which of course got my curiosity up even more.
Then one morning I woke up to a message from Tawhidi, linking to a tweet that brought Israel into the picture. So I dropped the guy who’d tweeted it a line: ‘know anything about all of this?’
Sure he did, he said, and pinged back a 66-page document detailing the Muslim Brotherhood / deep state links of everyone from Clinton to Mueller to Obama. It details how Benghazi came about because Obama armed al-Qaida to provoke a war in Libya. It details how 9/11 was an inside job. It’s well researched and credible.
I am now a reluctant truther.
On one level, none of this actually surprises me. Anyone with an ounce of intellect cannot fail to have grasped that much of the west is now mired in a sort of soft-sell communism. My mother, who was born in the USSR, has said for some time now that life there was in many ways easier – at least people there knew that Lenin and his successors were ruthless dictators, whereas we in the west are being gaslit by the pretence of democracy, aided and abetted by the mainstream media.
But as we look around us and see our countries slowly eroding, our courts allowing murders and terrorists to walk free, our police returning abused girls to their abusers while arresting concerned fathers, our schools indoctrinating our children with false LGBT and climate change propaganda, it is blindingly obvious that something has been going on behind the scenes.
That ‘something’ is a nexus of liberal / Communist and Muslim brotherhood infiltration (for more on the communist angle, I heartily suggest watching this interview with Diane West who has detailed how communists were already in the White House during WWII, sending countless men to their deaths as they steered the Allied war efforts in a direction that primarily benefited the Kremlin).
Believe me, I know it sounds crazy. But think about it. The highlight of Trump’s electoral campaign came during his second debate with Clinton, during the following exchange.
“If I win,” Trump said, “I am going to instruct my Attorney General to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there has never been so many lies, so much deception…”
“Everything he just said is absolutely false but I’m not surprised. It’s awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” Clinton said.
“Because you’d be in jail,” Trump shot back.
The whole western world rocked back on its heels at that moment, the left because their gal was being threatened, the right – for much the same reason. No one on the right had dared take on the establishment in the way Trump was doing.
Yet three years on, where is that investigation? Why isn’t Clinton rotting in jail? She’s not even left the country. Meanwhile my FB feed has been wall-to-wall Epstein memes for weeks now. Yet the swamp remains resolutely undrained. For her to have that level of protection, there must be people working for her at every level of the state – and there are.
The people of Britain kicked the liberal establishment hard in the teeth in last week’s general election. Labour lost over two million votes, mostly in its historic heartlands, delivering the fewest number of seats the party has held since 1935. But this was no victory for the Conservatives, who picked up only a third of a million new voters.
The people of Britain aren’t stupid (despite what the people in the corridors of power think). They know that the Labour Party was enabled in its bid to push hard socialism through in the UK by a supine Tory party and a positively on-side media. In short, they too know that no-one in any position of power is to be trusted. For here too, just as in the USA, every level of public life, from the schools to the police to the church to Parliament has been infiltrated by people who do not have Britain’s interests at heart.
The Tory victory is marvelously entertaining and joyful, and oh, the schadenfreude engendered by Jess Philips spouting off, or Jo Swinson on the verge of tears is something to relish, but don’t get comfortable. There is still a hell of a long way to go before Britain is once again a land of hope and glory.