Yesterday, anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller posted a report from the website “SuperStation95” about a group of armed Muslim campers “shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’” and “open[ing] fire on hikers,” lamenting that “of course there has been no reporting from the enemedia on this.”
Geller’s fans at WorldNetDaily and BareNakedIslam also ran with the story, as did radio host Michael Savage, who told his listeners that the media is refusing to report on the “twenty Mooslims with guns in the hills above San Bernardino in one of California’s forests who were doing a little target practice while chanting ‘Allahu Akbar.’” Savage claimed that the campers were only released by law enforcement agents “because they hadn’t yet killed Jewish children.”
However, as the myth-busting website Snopes pointed out, there is no evidence that the campers were firing at anybody or shouting “Allahu Akbar,” noting that the “sources” for these conservative pundits were nothing but fringe conspiracy outlets.
As the official incident report stated, no one in the area questioned by police said they had witnessed guns being fired nor reported having been fired upon. Police found and interviewed the group of men in question and discovered that their possession of firearms was in compliance with the law and that none of them had any outstanding warrants or criminal histories. While the caller who reported the men to police claimed five to seven of the men wore turbans and fired assault rifles, police didn’t mention turbans or other headwear, and they noted that the men were in possession of “handguns, a rifle, and a shotgun” (but no “assault rifles”). No credible news reports made any mention of the “Allahu Akbar” claim, and no witnesses stated they had been “shot at” by the men while hiking or camping. Also, the police report described the men only as “males,” not “Middle Eastern males” or “Muslim males.”
The web site that started this rumor was Superstation95, which is not a “superstation” at all but rather a repository of misinformation from Hal Turner, who in 2010 was sentenced to 33 months in prison for making death threats against three federal judges. (The name listed in the site’s Contact page is Turner’s criminal lawyer.)
That same site similarly (and baselessly) claimed that a woman who crashed into pedestrians on the Las Vegas strip in December 2015 had shouted “Allahu Akbar” and was subsequently rebuked by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for spreading false information:
Superstation95 also falsely claimed that the December 2015 San Bernardino mass shooting occurred because the shooter was offended that pork was served at a Christmas party, that all cargo ships ceased transporting goods in January 2016, and that seafood was contaminated with “cancerous tumors” following the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Secondary reporting claiming that Muslim men fired upon hikers (and that the media covered it up) appeared on a site that had previously inaccurately claimed Illinois had applied Sharia law to driver’s licenses, that Target introduced “Sharia-compliant” checkout lanes, and that Muslims successfully banned Halloween at a New Jersey school.