Frank Gaffney Attacks Refugee Agency at Center of  Pittsburgh Killer’s Conspiracy Theories

Frank Gaffney speaks at Voters Value Summit 2017. (Photo: Jared Holt for Right Wing Watch)

Anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney used his “Secure Freedom Minute” radio platform today to attack the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, a refugee assistance program that was at the center of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter’s anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

At the same time, Gaffney attacked philanthropist George Soros, a frequent target of right-wing activists and Republican Party campaign ads, which demonize Soros and place him at the center of conspiracy theories in ways that the Anti-Defamation League recently said “essentially validate the same hateful myths propagated by anti-Semites.” Earlier this month Gaffney asked on his Secure Freedom Minute whether Soros is the Antichrist, saying that “he must at a minimum be considered the Antichrist’s right-hand man.”

In today’s broadcast, Gaffney unironically referred to his charges as a “fact-check,” saying that “the Left has promoted the false narrative that the purported pipe-bomb plot and the actual, murderous attack on the Pittsburgh synagogue were basically President Trump’s fault.”

The rest of Gaffney’s statement managed to simultaneously promote his relentless Islamophobia while also mimicking white supremacist narratives about Jews using immigration to undermine the U.S.:

Billionaire George Soros’ security detail got one of the so-called pipe-bombs and we’re told now he’s a ‘victim of anti-Semitism.’ In fact, for years his funding has promoted hostility towards Israel and enabled the world’s most aggressive anti-Semites: rabid leftists and their Sharia-supremacist allies.

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society was an object of the Pittsburgh shooter’s enmity. But this organization, another putative ‘victim’ of anti-Semitism, has long brought here inadequately vetted and potentially Jew-hating Muslim refugees – and savaged President Trump for opposing such practices.

Gaffney heads the Center for Security Policy, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was once considered too extreme to participate at the Conservative Political Action Conference, but in the Trump era, he has been welcomed back to CPAC and embraced by Republican Party leaders. In 2016 then-presidential candidate Ted Cruz named Gaffney one of his advisers on national security issues. At this year’s CPAC, a CSP-sponsored panel discussed ways to get Muslims to leave the U.S. by making it “not a comfortable place to live as a total Muslim.” Last month, Gaffney used his Secure Freedom Minute to smear Muslim American political candidates as “unassimiliated, Sharia-supremacist dominated political forces.”

HISA’s Mark Hetfield recently told Vox that the group’s mission had shifted from being an agency specifically aimed at helping Jewish immigrants in the U.S. to one trying to engage Americans to support refugees from around the world. “Now we welcome refugees not because they’re Jewish, but because we’re Jewish,” he said.