A Fox News contributor has accused Qatar-based news organization Al Jazeera of attempting to “infiltrate” the United States and collaborating with supposed Muslim sleeper cells.
On Wednesday, Fox News host Megyn Kelly made assertions that Al Jazeera, which recently purchased Al Gore's Current TV, had a “real anti-American bias” and was planning to somehow “infiltrate” the United States. Fox contributor Lisa Daftari then chimed in, speculating that perhaps the network’s expansion of Al Jazeera America into Detroit was part of a plan to activate Muslim “sleeper cells.”
“The point is they want to differentiate themselves from their sister network, but at the same time, it’s the same thing,” Daftari stated, according to Think Progress. “They’re having the same type of coverage. They’re apparently expanding to eight cities, including Detroit, Michigan.”
“Detroit, Michigan, is a large ex-pat community of Muslim-Americans, and sleeper cells have been detected. You can Google this, you can find out all this information,” she continued. “So if you’re trying to set yourself apart the Qatari petrodollars are backing this, you’re still developing in this area where the sleeper cells have been detected. They’re going to have do much more to prove to me that they’re different from their sister network.”
Daftari offered no proof of the claims beyond her statement that, "You can Google this."
The “sleeper cells” Daftari mentioned are most likely a reference to a failed Justice Apartment attempt to target terrorist cells in Detroit in the wake of 9/11. The Washington Post notes that the case against the “Detroit sleeper cells” specifically targeted four Muslim men and fell apart due to lack of evidence that any of them had ties to terrorist organizations. The prosecutor on the case was ultimately dismissed for hiding evidence that the men were innocent.
Think Progress also notes that the suburbs of Detroit, most notably Dearborn, are home to many Arab and Muslim Americans. One former Dearborn resident was convicted of “providing material support to Hezbollah” in 2008, but no further arrests have been made in the area tying any residents to terrorist cells.
Watch a video of Megyn Kelly and Lisa Daftari’s statements below, courtesy of Think Progress.