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Group Swamps Swing States With Movie on Radical Islam
Ross called the film "educational" and said its release was scheduled to coincide with the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, not the elections.
"It was done in order to commemorate and remind people of the tragedy of 9/11 and that the threat still remains in America for terrorist activity," Ross said.
Ross also said that Peter Mier, who is listed as the executive producer in the opening credits, and Brett Halperin, who is listed as the production manager, are aliases. He said both men wish to remain anonymous. "They are afraid of lawsuits being filed against them personally," Ross said. "They are afraid of radical Islamists."
"Obsession" was produced by Israeli filmmaker Raphael Shore, who is one of three officers of the Clarion Fund. He and the other officers, Rabbi Henry Harris and Rebecca Kabat, are also employees of Aish HaTorah International, a Jerusalem-based organization that focuses on national security issues in Israel.
The Clarion Fund and Aish HaTorah shared the same New York City address in incorporation documents. Calls to Aish HaTorah's offices in Jerusalem were not returned. Ross said Harris and Kabat are no longer with the organization. The names of new officers will not be disclosed until Nov. 15, the IRS deadline for the nonprofit group to file a mandatory annual information form.
Screenings of both films have been organized by a variety of groups and individuals, including members of Congress. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) has showed the films, most recently at the Mary Pickford Theater in the Library of Congress Madison Building, with about 50 people in attendance.
Franks said he was unaware of the mass mailing of "Obsession" or the complaints filed against Clarion. But he said that it is important for people to see both films and that he continues to support their message. The films warn of a terrorism threat by radical Islamist groups, the first focusing on international concerns and the latest on the United States.
"The coincidence of jihadist ideology and nuclear proliferation represents the greatest danger to human peace in the world," Franks said in an interview. "We also have to recognize that if that ideology is to be defeated."
The Obama campaign declined to comment on the Clarion Fund and the distribution of the films.
Brian Rogers, a McCain campaign spokesman, said there is no coordinated effort between the campaign and the Clarion Fund but added, "It's not surprising, however, that people who are concerned about radical Islamic extremists would tend to find in John McCain someone who fundamentally understands that threat and is best prepared to take it on."
Research editor Alice Crites contributed to this report.