Last Friday, a bomb attack and a shooting rampage ended with at least 76 people dead. The Norwegian suspect appears to have been inspired by a prominent anti-Muslim crusader who claims he was trained in Chicago.
As authorities in Norway trace the attacker's inspiration, one man's name and philosophy runs throughout a personal manifesto written by the suspect, Walid Shoebat. Shoebat claims to have been trained in a Chicago classroom as a Muslim terrorist, and then eventually turned against his faith and converted to Christianity. He now encourages followers to view Islam as America's public enemy No. 1.
Shoebat is a self-styled "terrorism expert" who travels the U.S. speaking at churches and to law enforcement groups about what he portrays as the evils of Islam and the danger of radicalized Muslims.
After almost 80 men, women and children were slaughtered in the Norway siege last week, the accused attacker, Anders Behring Breivik, was found to have prepared this manifesto outlining his beliefs that Norway is being ruined by Muslims.
"He said it was necessary to start a war here in Europe and throughout the Western world," said Breivik's lawyer Geir Lippestad. "So he's sorry that it was necessary, but it was necessary, he says."
In the suspect's papers, Shoebat is frequently cited, more than 15 times in lengthy quotes that conclude Islam is a violent religion.
On Shoebat's personal website, his bio states that while attending "Loop College in Chicago," now Harold Washington College, he was "recruited at a hotel terror conference by Jamal Said."
Said is an imam and director of the Mosque Foundation in southwest suburban Bridgeview.
Shoebat claims that he once bombed an Israeli bank before having a change of heart and converting to Christianity in 1994. He now rails against Islam, many times during paid speeches at law enforcement conferences, paid as much as $5,000 per appearance by Homeland Security funds.
A Senate committee is now looking into the government's hiring of Shoebat and other so-called terrorism experts who have anti-Islam positions.
A CNN report questions whether Shoebat is a fraud altogether, challenging his background as false, and suggesting he is making a fortune by riding an anti-Muslim tide.
Shoebat denies fabricating his credentials as a one-time terrorist, although there appears to be no record of the bombing incident or his imprisonment as he claims.
Shoebat's business partner in several foundations and websites told the I-Team Wednesday that they recently appeared at a church in Indiana. The I-Team left messages for Imam Jamal Said Wednesday concerning Shoebat's claims. Said has not returned those calls.