Ammar Campa-Najjar is running for Congress in California’s 50th District and outpacing his Democrat rivals in fundraising. As the California Globe notes, Campa-Najjar received $1.972 million in the first quarter, while Democrats Alex Balkin and Marisa Calderon raised only a combined $150,000. Campa Najjar’s out-of-state funding of $462,816 nearly triples opponent Darrell Issa’s $167,730. The money gap is hardly the only unusual feature of the campaign.
In his 2018 race against Duncan Hunter, Campa-Najjar billed himself as a progressive “Latino Arab-American.” In a January interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Campa-Najjar proclaimed: “I will be the most conservative congressman in San Diego and I’d make no qualms about that.” His job will be “to honor the traditions and values of our founders to protect our freedoms. I own guns. I have a gun at home.” And as the newfound conservative explains, “I understand the need to secure the border.”
As the Democrat said, “obviously I was born in East County. I was raised by my working-class Christian mom. Dad left when I was young,” and so on. As the Union Tribune staffers should have known, nothing about the candidate is obvious.
His grandfather, Muhammad Abu Yousef al-Najjar, was a commander of Black September, the Palestinian terrorist cell that abducted, tortured and murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. A veteran of the Muslim Brotherhood, he coordinated the military arm of Fatah, served on the executive committee of the PLO, and was a member of the Palestinian National Congress.
In 1973, Israeli commandos killed Muhammad Yusuf al-Najjar and his wife in Beirut.
According to the official story, his son Yasser al-Najjar lived in Egypt until 1981. He moved to San Diego County and met his wife Abigail. How the son of a high-profile terrorist managed to enter the United States is a matter of some mystery.
In 2003, Linda Gradstein of National Public Radio interviewed Yasser al-Najjar at his office in Gaza. Al-Najjar was then serving as “the head of the European division in the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Planning and Cooperation.” He was married, with four children but his wife and children were not named. “I’ve lived in nine countries and I’ve visited so many countries I can’t remember how many,” al-Najjar told NPR.
Gradstein did not ask al-Najjar how or when he entered the United States, when he allegedly earned his MBA from San Diego State and operated three clothing boutiques. Al-Najjar did not volunteer the information, and none of it emerged in 2012 when Ammar Campa-Najjar served on POTUS 44’s reelection campaign and secured a position in the White House.
In a 2017 oped piece in The Hill, Campa-Najjar came billed as a “Mexican-Palestinian American and former Obama campaign and administration official.” He said his father “migrated from the Middle East to America on a student visa.” And as the son explained, “I grew up in the crosshairs of the Israeli-Palestinian war in Gaza,” but “I attended an Islamic school in San Diego as a child.”
The school was part of “a mosque called Masjid Abu Bakr,” and “I knew three men at that mosque, Khalid al-Mihdhar, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Hani Hanjour,” who were issued visas. “Those three men were among the 19 terrorist hijackers who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.” As the San Diego Reader explained, Mihdhar and Hamzi hijacked the airliner that crashed into the Pentagon, and as KPBS noted, the imam of the mosque helped one of the hijackers transfer funds. After the 2001 attacks, Ammar wrote, “I didn’t cry that week when the Islamic school I attended was vandalized and declared unsafe to study or pray in.”
The Islamic school and radical mosque proved no bar to recruitment by the Obama White House. Indeed, the Palestinian Mexican American, who supposedly became a devout Christian, readily compared himself to POTUS 44.
Of the Gaza sojourn, Campa-Najjar told Rolling Stone, “it was a very Obamaesque, Dreams of Your Father, situation.” MarketWatch headlined a story, “Meet the Hispanic-Arab-American running for Congress who’s giving off Barack Obama vibes.” Campa-Najjar described himself as an “Obama baby” and said of the president, “I don’t think God makes too many men like that.”
Like Dreams from My Father, which biographer David Garrow proclaimed a novel, and the author a “composite character,” Ammar Campa-Najjar’s story is full of trap doors and escape hatches. The Israeli Haaretz broke the story that “Grandson of Munich Massacre Terrorist is Running for Congress,” and American establishment media consider any fact-check of Campa-Najjar’s story a racist smear. The Islamic school alum knows he could claim to be a Vietnam veteran, like Richard Blumenthal, or a Cherokee, like Elizabeth Warren, with full impunity. And even if his falsehoods were exposed, he could still run for office.
Ammar Campa-Najjar “is a Rockstar Democratic candidate,” Rolling Stone proclaimed in 2018, “and not a secret Islamist infiltrator.” If anybody believed that the terrorist’s grandson is an Islamist infiltrator it would be hard to blame them, but Yasser al-Najjar’s son is no longer a secret.
The Munich candidate is again running for Congress and in the first quarter of 2020 alone, he raised nearly $2 million. The progressive Democrat now bills himself as a gun-owning conservative and advocate of strong borders. As the Democrat candidate explains, “You can vote for Trump and for me because it’s about putting country over party.” As President Trump says, we’ll have to see what happens.
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