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NRA speaker says he has proof that Islamic extremists are invading American cities

Spoiler: He doesn't

Scott Eric Kaufman
April 14, 2015 11:54PM (UTC)

At the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Nashville, TN, over the weekend, a man who claims to have 25 years of experience in law enforcement at the local, state, and federal levels said that he has firsthand knowledge of so-called Muslim "no-go zones" in the United States -- the existence of which even Fox News confessed was a "serious factual error."

According to Kira Lerner at ThinkProgress, Steve Tarani told the audience that he once was allowed to shadow a Detroit Metro SWAT team as they drove through Dearborn, MI. At a certain point he said that the street signs stopped being in English and were, instead, in Arabic:


There wasn’t a single English word on any shop or any street sign. And in fact, these little yellow signs were posted all along the edges. Jeremy said to me, "this is it. We don’t go past this line."

And I said to Jeremy, "what do you mean? You guys are Detroit Metro. You’re the SWAT team. You can go anywhere you want. What if you get a call over there?" He said "this is it, it’s hazardous for our team if we go past this line."

On his website, Tarani claims to have been contracted by the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Needless to say, even if he has, that doesn't mean his uncorroborated account of a SWAT team refusing to enter a section of Dearborn is grounded in reality.

The city does possess a large Muslim community, but every resident of the city is beholden to the same local, state and federal laws. As Mayor Jack O'Reilly told The Daily Beast, the people who perpetuate the myth of the city containing "no-go zones" do so "for their own gain."

"There are certain sites and individuals who like to perpetuate fear of Muslims," O'Reilly continued, "the people who like to suggest Muslims shouldn’t remain in the U.S."

Tarani seems to be just such a person, as he told the audience -- many of whom he hoped to recruit to his "protective agent courses" -- that in addition to Dearborn, there are many other "no-go zones" currently in the United States, but that the more dangerous threats to Americans safety and American sovereignty are the over "5,000 known terrorist cells" and the "homegrown violent extremists" currently operating in country -- made possible by porous American borders.

"It’s possible that at least 20 percent of what comes over that border -- that’s a big number, guys -- is Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ethiopian al shabaab, known gang members and supports of the cartel," he explained.

For a price. Tarani can teach interested parties "what it takes to get yourself and your loved ones out of trouble and immediately to safety" using techniques "applicable at home, at school, at work, in your car, and while on vacation."


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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