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Anchorage Assembly Member Amy Demboski Targets Wasilla Man with Fake News Alleging ‘Islamic Compound’

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Friday night, Anchorage Assembly member Amy Demboski (Eagle River) — who also hosts a local conservative talk show on KVNT — posted a salacious and misleading link to her radio show’s Facebook page.

The link directed viewers to a post penned by Anneta Griffee, published on former Newsmax host Dennis Michael Lynch’s blog. Lynch is a film documentarian specializing in anti-immigration flicks. The article, entitled “Report: Why Islamic Compounds Across the US Are Stockpiling Arms,” asserts that radical Muslims are collecting weapons in several U.S. states with the intention of committing terrorist attacks.

“With the election of Donald Trump, they believe that their end times prophecies that they believe in are now being fulfilled, Donald Trump is part of a Satanic Jewish conspiracy, and they are preparing for the camps to be raided and to fight back,” Anti-Muslim extremist and conspiracy theorist Ryan Mauro explained to Fox Business channel’s Stuart Varney, accompanied by an infographic showing nine states with alleged compounds.

Mauro (misidentified as Ryan Morrow in the article) is a national security analyst for the Clarion Project — a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to “exposing the dangers of Islamic extremism while providing a platform for the voices of moderation and promoting grassroots activism.” Clarion was listed in a 2013 report published by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as an organization “designed to vilify Islamic religious practices.” The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Clarion as an anti-Muslim group.

Griffee’s article echoed Mauro’s sentiment:

“[M]ultiple sources have confirmed that the people living within the Islamic compounds believe that, with the election of Donald Trump, the ‘end-times’ prophecies they believe in are now being fulfilled. They think that Donald Trump is part of a ‘Satanic Jewish conspiracy’ and they are preparing for their camps to be raided.”

One of the nine states Mauro reported as hosting an “Islamic compound” was Alaska, but Griffee and Mauro only identified a single name to substantiate the claim: Gregory Jones, a Democratic Party delegate, who supported Bernie Sanders in this year’s primary and went on to unsuccessfully challenge State Rep. Mark Neuman (R-Big Lake) in the November election.

“The Clarion Project has learned that a delegate for Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention is a member of Muslims of the Americas, which is a rebranding of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, a cultish Islamist group that is led by an extremist cleric in Pakistan and has a history of terrorism and criminal activity,” Mauro wrote for Clarion. “The individual is also running for the Alaska State House.”

“I know Gregory Jones,” my Alaska Commons colleague and friend, Kokayi Nosakhere, mentioned when I showed him the article. I asked if he was a terrorist. Nosakhere responded, “I think he’s an electrician.”

“I ran for House District 8, and so I appeared on [Demboski’s] show twice, actually. I was featured on her show for about an hour,” Jones told me on Sunday afternoon. We spoke over the phone. “It’s almost like a witch hunt. These people are out painting a picture. They’re doing a lot of lying. There’s a lot of lying and fabrication going on; a lot of deception.”

Jones, 50 years old, is a resident of Big Lake in the Mat-Su Valley, a political activist, a 16-year journeyman electrician and member of the IBEW Local 26, who also has worked as a security and investigations professional for ADT Security Services. He is married to his wife, Maleika, with children and ten grandchildren.

He said that Demboski quoted the Clarion Project when he appeared on the show, as well as quoting anti-Muslim activists like Pamela Geller. And he said the radio segments did not end the conversation, which spilled over to the Eagle River representative’s personal Facebook page.

“They’re talking about ‘Where is the Muslim training camp?’ and they’re trying to find it. There are people on there that are saying they want to go out and find the place. So, they’re gathering supporters to go out and find the Muslim,” he said. “She’s endangering me and my wife and my children.”

From Assembly woman Amy Demboski's Facebook page.
From Assembly woman Amy Demboski’s Facebook page.

“By no means is Greg any type, way, shape, or form a terrorist, plain and simple,” incoming Anchorage NAACP president Kevin McGee told me. McGee said that Jones was currently working with the organization on policy issues. “Hell no. He’s no damn terrorist.”

He said that a lot of people have been “bamboozled” by the fearmongering elevated by this year’s presidential election, which has been promulgated and promoted by Fox News and a network of online faux-news websites. He noted the infamous quote from Joseph Goebbels: “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth,” which has been occasionally wrongfully attributed to Trump.

The quote holds water. There have been multiple online posts documenting the so-called terrorist training camp in Alaska. None offer anything remotely resembling concrete to substantiate the claim, yet Clarion went as far as to put someone’s name out there without a shred of legitimacy. And, yet, it was picked up by fake news sites, like Truth and Action, with hyperlinks that either take viewers no where or to error messages, but were nevertheless sanctioned (read: legitimized) on Fox News/Business repeatedly without mention of the fact that the claims are completely based in fantasy. Then, it continues on to Facebook posts, like Demboski’s, where people cite the sources echoing the same unsubstantiated claims.

“You don’t have proof of anything. You go on hearsay,” McGee said, audibly frustrated. “You go on assumptions. Simply because Greg and his wife believe in the Muslim faith? Okay, that’s their personal choice. That’s their First Amendment right. They’re both American citizens. So now you’re going to go and deny somebody’s First Amendment right just because you don’t accept it?”

Jones has been a follower of Islam since he was five years old, he said. He is a member of the Muslims of the Americas, but is not a spokesperson.

“I spoke with their attorney and they are fighting against Islamophobia. They are working with Federal, State, and local authorities,” he said. “These right wing vigilantes like to take matters into their own hands and investigate and confront Muslim organizations.”

Both McGee and Jones believe Demboski’s actions warrant action by her Assembly peers. (Demboski, when asked for comment, recommended I tune into the show, which does not offer podcasts.)

Jones says he’s contacted legal counsel as well as the ACLU, and he plans to attend the Anchorage Assembly meeting this Tuesday to register a formal complaint and ask for Demboski to be held accountable for disseminating propaganda that he views threatening.

“This needs to be exposed, because what’s really happening on that site is that people are out looking — I guess they’re looking for my house,” he said. “I can’t see how they can tolerate this. They might just discard her as, you know, a little eccentric or something, but she’s gone too far now.”

“Hold her accountable for defamation of character,” McGee agreed. “The Assembly should censure her for that.”

The Assembly has little power to censure her. The only redress is a recall, which would necessitate an application signed by ten registered voters. If the grounds for recall were to be approved by the municipal clerk, it would then need signatures equal to 25 percent of the votes cast in the last election for that Assembly seat.

For Jones’s part, he remains adamant in his objection to Demboski’s actions and defensive of his character. He said he ran for the House seat because Neuman was running unopposed.

“I have worked tirelessly in Alaska to promote peace between the faiths of Muslims and Christians and Jews,” he told me. “I have worked tirelessly to promote social order and justice for the vulnerable in our society. I worked with the NAACP, I’ve worked with various churches and organizations, I’ve hosted seminars, and that’s all I’ve done. That’s my record. These wild accusations that she’s making are very harmful and I hold the Assembly directly responsible for her actions.”

“Greg and his wife, Maleika, they’re some good human beings,” McGee agreed. “They’re some good people. Period.”

John Aronno is a co-founder, managing editor, and award winning political writer at Alaska Commons. Aronno has had his work featured in the Huffington Post, the Anchorage Press, the Alaska Dispatch, and the Rachel Maddow Show, and is listed among the state’s top reporters on the Washington Post’s “The Fix.” He writes the weekly column “On Politics” for Alaska Commons. Aronno lives in Anchorage, Alaska with his wife, Heather Aronno, and a lot of pets.

26 COMMENTS

  1. This article appears to me to be nothing more then media disinformation. As is generally the case now when somebody’s cleaning fake news they’re just using that term to discredit information that they did not want to become common knowledge. Due to the fact that this article provides no hard facts disproving Demboski’s claims I have to say any critical thinking reader would have to call a Pinocchio

    • There are 22 (as of 18 months ago) known Islamic “communes” in the United States, identified by the FBI. They provide paramilitary training and indoctrination to Islamic recruits. None of those 22 are located in Alaska. There may or may not be one in Alaska now.

  2. Never trust a woman who hyphenates her last name. Especially a liberal one. A Muslim could be chopping her head off and Rebecca would think he’s merely giving her massage. Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  3. How ironic the term “fake news” is now the new “go to” phrase for liberal idiots right after their candidate lost. Let’s consider who is responsible for fake news. The bought and sold mainstream media who’s been shoving propaganda down our throats ever since Obama bought 8 years of favorable media coverage by giving the owners of NBC 181 billion dollars in stimulus money. GENERAL ELECTRIC. How fascinating that GE sold off nbc right after to help cover its tracks. Funny, I didn’t realize one of the largest corporations in the world needed bailing out? Did you Rebecca? Fake news IS the democrat party which are nothing more then socialists.

    • A) Ad hominem attack. B) We’ve never taken a dime from GE. C) I’m not a Democrat. D) Make a point or stop.

    • I notice you don’t bother to address the issue of the actual danger Mr. Jones and his family are facing because of a story without basis. Whether you object to discussion of “fake news” in general should have no bearing on whether the underlying story is true or not. People could have been killed for simply eating at Comet Pizza yesterday. Mr. Jones or a member of his family could be killed because of a malicious false story. Let’s talk about that.

  4. There’s quite a few terrorist encampments down on the peninsula. Norm Olson has his gang of thugs down there and Franklin Graham has his little shop of terrors right next to it. These reprobates are down there screaming LOOK AT US, threatening everyone in sight and stockpiling monstrous amounts of weapons and ammo. There’s no difference between the groups except one actually EXISTS and is a threat to everyone, while the other only exists in the minds of paranoid, psychotic simpletons

    • “There’s quite a few terrorist encampments down on the peninsula… These reprobates are down there screaming LOOK AT US, threatening everyone in sight and stockpiling monstrous amounts of weapons and ammo. ”
      Really, are you serious? These assertions are ridiculous, stupid and way worse than anything Demboski insinuated… and that is how liberals roll. Hypocrisy.

  5. This behavior is dangerous and deplorable. Obviously, some of you believe this is true. If you feel compelled to act on it, someone could get killed. I stand with Mr. Jones and his family, and I will stand with him Tuesday night, and demand accountability. Disseminating falsehoods for propaganda purposes is not illegal, obviously. But targeting innocent people for political propaganda is Evil – and I will ALWAYS stand against Evil.

  6. The psychopathic right wing conservative Christians scare the crap out of me, meeting up in their little covens and plotting how to control the lives of the rest of us according to their own warped view of reality.
    The irrational fear land loathing of one such coven of hate in Wasilla showed up in force to make sure Wasilla residents were denied access to the safest medicine known to mankind.

  7. John:

    i was unable to locatae mr jones anywheres online and i don’t want to track him down in real life.

    Please tell him he has my support and that not all alaskans have islamaphobia.

  8. Anchorage Assembly member Amy Demboski will never have to worry about being targeted by a Muslim extremist. The malevolent Islamophobia she perpetrates gives rise to terrorism and encourages it. The more of that she spews out, the worse it gets. Muslims are not the enemy, just like Jews weren’t in the 1930s. Hatred is the enemy and Amy Demboski like to feed it.

  9. The more I thought about the situation with Amy Demboski and Muslim terrorist Alaskan compounds (where are the facts to support this?), the more I realized what strength and intestinal fortitude it took for Muslim Greg Jones and his Muslim wife,Maleika, to appear at the Ancorage Assembly meeting and directly con front an Assembly member. Greg and his wife support the Muslim religion and they had the “gall” to confront a Christian bully in her “work place”…good for them..I have testified in front of the Anchorage Assembly several times and it is a very intimidating experience each and every time…I can only imagine the stress felt by Greg and his wife felt…
    I wish some Christian American whites with opposing views and so-called “fake news” info also had the strength to come in out of darkness and be confronted with the facts

What do you think?