I understand that my opinion of the Ergun Caner controversy isn’t boding well with friends I have over in the Non Calvinist camp, but I can not apologize for the facts I have studied that have led me to a clear and convincing conclusion that Caner’s consistently changing stories are so bewildering that I could not in good conscience recommend such character as an example to be followed by students eager to learn God’s ways in their Christian walk.
As a former paralegal and intelligence analyst, of the many inconsistencies I’ve discovered in my own research of Caner’s claims was Caner’s claims to have been raised a Jihadist until he was 17 years old (although this video says he was 15 when he converted) : and the lack of the US intelligence agencies’ responses to that claim. Certainly, if Caner would have been interrogated by agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agencies (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA) or Homeland Security, INTERPOL, or in Israel, Mossad, this would have been an incredible boost to his resume, and added credibility to his claim that he had in fact, been raised a Jihadist.
Since Caner claimed to have been raised Jihadist, this means that the sentiment would have been a familial goal. That being the case, every intelligence agency worth its salt would have wanted to question Ergun, and know the extent of his father’s involvement, if any, and if such intention still exists. They would have wanted to know who his trainers were, the locations of the Madrasas in Beirut (especially Beirut, since Hezbollah has many operations in Lebanon and is funded with millions of dollars by Iran), the identities of the leaders of any particular cell operations and where they were located, how many contacts did his father have, etc. If Caner was “raised” a Jihadist, then his father in coming to America would no doubt have had a specific plan, possible targets, and many Jihadists wait several years in order to implement such schemes at opportune times. Thus any information that could have been gleaned from not only Caner, but his brothers, mother, father, and friends, would have been of extreme relevance, value and importance to intelligence agencies. Just because Caner converted, does not mean his past would cease to be relevant to intelligence agencies. On the contrary, it would become even more relevant because there’s always a possibility that the conversion could be a way to hide in plain site.
However, not once has Caner ever mentioned being detained or interrogated by any intelligence agencies, nor has he ever mentioned that anyone in his family has ever undergone the same. This would be HIGHLY unlikely and contrary to every known protocol among intelligence agencies not to thoroughly interrogate the Caners once Ergun declared publicly (even once to a group of United States military troops) that he was raised a Jihadist.
Furthermore, although most terrorist cells operate in small groups, once a cell has been compromised, those at the top of the food chain of that cell go to extremes to “tie up loose ends”. And because Jihadists use various intimidation tactics, they would have wanted Caner to know that his actions in converting cost the lives of those whom he was trained with; yea they would have bragged about it, and used it as an example of what happens to those who defect. None of this is ever mentioned by Caner.
It also begs the question as to what extent any threats still exist. If Caner was raised a Jihadist, he was not raised in it alone. Now I affirm that Christ can save anyone (Heb 7:25), and I don’t want to cast doubt on Ergun or Emir’s conversions, but being converted does not eliminate the potential threat that could still exist. Even though Caner’s conversion was long ago, it is not uncommon for terrorist plots to take several years to come to fruition. As such, Ergun and Emir Caner would owe it to the citizens of America to cooperate with intelligence agencies in confirming their Jihadist plots and connections because the plot (if any) may have changed players, but that doesn’t mean the plot itself has changed, and the fact that Caner has been completely dishonest about his testimony should raise great alarm as to whether or not there may be a remaining threat if he was truly raised a Jihadist.
I don’t know why this issue has not been raised by those defending Caner, and even seems to be a matter that has been unnoticed by his opponents. I believe that Ergun Caner owes it to the American citizens and the intelligence communities to confirm whether or not any potential threats still exist. I’m sure that Lebanon would also appreciate knowing where these training centers are located so they could determine if they are still in use, and if the same people are still involved. That would also certainly be valuable information to US and Israeli intelligence. If the Caner’s father was building mosques inside America, and was an admitted Jihadist, where did the funds come from for the building projects? and did the Imams of those Mosques share the same sentiments as the Caners?
Ergun Caner has opened a can of worms with this side of his testimony and I believe there are several important issues that need to be resolved so that the citizens of America (and wherever else he trained for these Jihadist purposes) can feel safe in knowing that Caner has done all he can to insure that there will be no collateral damage as a result of his defecting from his childhood purpose, or that whatever crowd he was involved with is no longer a threat. But the fact that, as far as I have researched, Ergun has been completely silent about intelligence efforts to determine the extent of his involvement and whether or not there are any remaining potential threats is a very odd omission in his testimony.
Perhaps those reading this will yet believe Caner’s testimony. But in light of the afore mentioned factors, are you willing to take the chance that you could be wrong?
One additional note on Caner’s claim is that he stated to have been shocked at the 911 attacks. If he was trained to do exactly what was done on 911, converted or not, why would he be shocked? The 911 attacks should have come as no surprise to him.
*The claim that Caner was trained as a Sunni terrorist in Beirut is an odd claim in that the only known Sunni terrorist camps in that area are at that time were Al Qaeda, the rest are Shiite Muslims, Hezbollah in particular.