In January 2018, the self-described “satirical” web site ReaganWasRight.com published the inflammatory and false claim that a federal law enforcement raid on a mosque in Michigan had disrupted the “next 9-11” and led to the arrest of several ISIS combatants:
A mosque in a small town outside of Dearborn, Michigan has been raided by a joint task force from the FBI, Homeland Security and the ATF. According to preliminary reports from the scene, which is closed off for more than a mile, 11 “very dangerous men” who aren’t supposed to be in America at all have been apprehended plotting what would have been our next 9-11.
The article is a fabrication. We could find no corroboration for any recent raid on any mosque in the state of Michigan, least of all one disrupting a plot to launch a series of suicide attacks.
The article includes a fabricated quote from the “Department of Refugee Affairs,” an agency that does not exist in the United States at the federal level or in the state of Michigan. The hyperlinked source for that fabricated quote leads to a meme saying “Just a friendly reminder that YOU are a bag of douche.”
ReaganWasRight.com is affiliated with several fake news and “satire” sites run by Christopher Blair, who writes under a variety of pseudonyms (including “Flagg Eagleton,” the one used in this story). These web sites include the Last Line of Defense and As American as Apple Pie.
A disclaimer on ReaganWasRight.com makes it clear that the web site publishes exclusively fictional and false claims:
Reagan Was Right is a whimsical playland of conservative satire…Everything on this web site is fiction.
Despite the satirical ethos of the web site, this article plays into fears and misconceptions about the city of Dearborn, Michigan, and its relatively high Muslim population.
In recent years, fake news web sites have targeted the city’s Muslim community with false, outrageous and inflammatory stories, including claims that Dearborn had implemented Sharia law and banned alcohol, and that the city’s Muslims had marched in favor of ISIS (they had held an anti-ISIS rally).
WXYZ. “Exploring Dearborn, Michigan: Home to a Growing Muslim American Community.”
WXYZ. 29 September 2016.
Mikkelson, David. “Was a City in Michigan the First to Fully Implement Sharia Law?”
Snopes.com. 28 October 2013.
LaCapria, Kim. “Great Flakes.”
Snopes.com. 7 December 2015.
LaCapria, Kim. “Dry Dearbornistan.”
Snopes.com. 27 July 2015.