Editor's note: This story originally was published in The Dallas Morning News on Nov. 11, 1994.
Muslim leaders and a terrorism expert attacked as biased a PBS documentary broadcast Monday night that painted the activities of Islamic militants in this country as a growing threat.
But the former head of the Dallas FBI office, Oliver "Buck" Revell, defended the program.
"There's an infrastructure in the U.S. that supports Hamas and Hezbollah," he said.
The heated exchange occurred on a live panel show after the broadcast of Jihad in America on KERA-TV (Channel 13).
Like the program itself, Mr. Revell - a counterterrorism expert who is featured in Jihad - asserted that radical Islamic groups have established a support network for fund raising and recruiting in this country.
The other four members of the panel, moderated by journalist Bob Ray Sanders and assembled in the wake of Muslim groups' protests against Jihad, unleashed a torrent of vitriol aimed primarily at the program's executive producer, journalist and author Steven Emerson.
The panel included Mohammad Al-Hassan, a representative of the Richardson-based Islamic Association for Palestine, who denied accusations leveled in the show that his group is a front for the militant group Hamas.
Jihad in America has been under protest for weeks by American Muslims, who say it portrays all Muslims as terrorists. Mr. Emerson and PBS have dismissed those charges.
On the panel show, Dallas Muslim and community organizer Thomas Muhammad called the program a "cut and paste job" and shoddy journalism that makes blanket accusations against all Muslims. He accused Mr. Emerson of working for the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, and called him racist.
Ihsan Bagby, a professor of Islamic Studies at Shaw University in North Carolina, called the program "a gross misrepresentation of Muslims."
Dr. Tony Cooper, a lecturer on international terrorism at the University of Texas at Dallas, called the program a "patent distortion" and "pernicious propaganda" worthy of Nazis.
Mr. Emerson, appearing by phone for the first third of the half-hour panel show, denied that he distorted anything - until Mr. Sanders electronically ejected him from the panel, saying he had already had an hour to give his point of view.
Jihad paints a disturbing picture of the growing domestic activities of militant Muslims - punctuated by the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York.
Mr. Revell and other former U.S. officials say in the documentary that money raised ostensibly for charity is often diverted for terrorism.
The program shows videotape of radical Muslim leaders speaking at conferences in this country in the last several years.
Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric accused of directing the World Trade Center attack and suspected of ordering the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, is shown at a 1991 conference in Detroit advocating jihad, or holy war.
A Hamas founder, Abdullah Azzam, is shown speaking in Brooklyn in 1989; he was assassinated a year later in Pakistan. "The jihad, the fighting, is obligatory on you, wherever you can perform it," Mr. Azzam says.
Perhaps the most chilling sound bite comes from his cousin, shown at a 1990 conference in Atlanta.
"Allah's religion, be he praised, must offer scouts, must offer martyrs," Fayiz Azzam says through a translator. "Blood must flow. There must be widows. There must be orphans. Hands and limbs must be cut and blood must be spread in order that Allah's religion stand on its feet."
Other clips show an Islamic Association for Palestine conference held in November 1993, in New Jersey. Men carrying Palestinian flags sing lyrics translated in the documentary as "We buy paradise with the blood of the Jews."
On Friday, The Dallas Morning News reported that a State Department official, speaking anonymously, said the FBI is investigating fund-raising efforts in this country by Muslim extremist groups.
Last month, CBS News reported that the IAP and another Richardson-based group, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, help finance Hamas. Both groups dispute the report.