We've been following Gaubatz ever since his book was embraced by several congressional Republicans alleging that Muslim intern "spies" may have infiltrated Capitol Hill. After the Fort Hood killings, Gaubatz made, then retracted, a call for a backlash against the Muslim community.
The blog post on the North Carolina research said that the project would begin Dec. 5, and that one lucky donor could tag along as a member of the investigative team. We even interviewed Gaubatz over e-mail, and he told us that his "Muslim researchers [would be] attending prayer and lectures."
But not so fast. As Gaubatz now tells it, the blog post, which was pulled after it went up, was an elaborate ruse:
I would like to end Jamie by asking Americans to be careful who and what 'self described' investigative journalists they take as being true journalists. An example is TPMmuckraker's Justin Elliot. TPMMuckraker is simply a group of tabloid liberals who have no clue how to conduct investigative journalism. Recently I 'toyed' with Elliot to prove this point. For years I have informed people in my various writings that my blog articles are primary [sic] used to 'bait' people like CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper and poor journalists like Elliot.
Last week I put a small article on my blog about conducting field research in NC and describing the resources required. Elliot took the bait and ran. ...
While Elliot and like terrorist supporters were focused on my 'alleged' research in NC, I was hundreds of miles away conducting research in other locations. On the other hand I am thankful for the Elliot's and Ibrahim Hopers because they make my research much easier.
Got that? Gaubatz put up a blog post announcing research to begin Dec. 5 in order to distract terrorist supporters while he was conducting separate research in November. So is the North Carolina Winnebago project still on? Only time will tell.
He also accuses us of ignoring underlying issues about CAIR, which, as we've noted, has been defended by an 87-member Congressional caucus that described CAIR as a "civil rights group."