Hussain Abdul-Hussain

"Angry Arab" or CIA operative?

New evidence proves old rumors of AbuKhalil's involvement with the CIA


As'ad AbuKhalil has worked for the CIA. That's not a mischief nor is it something dishonorable; the agency is a huge bureaucracy and it often commissions different tasks from different experts, and AbuKhalil identifies as someone who knows about the Middle East.


Washington is a small town and these types of activities are difficult to conceal. Yet due to non-disclosure protocols, no one who has seen AbuKhalil at any CIA function can share this information publicly without risk of legal action.


Even so, many in Washington have long seen or heard rumors of AbuKhalil’s attendance at Langley-sponsored events. And AbuKhalil routinely posted about his trips to Washington on his frequently updated blog – but he rarely shared what kind of activity he was engaged in during these trips.


So whenever AbuKhalil lobbed accusations against anyone he disagreed with, those familiar with his activities in Washington knew he was a hypocrite. But only until today was evidence finally uncovered after Syrian activist Ahed al-Hendi, while perusing through public records on the Internet, discovered that AbuKhalil had been paid by the CIA.


Although AbuKhalil's position as a "host" may not be senior enough or even relevant to the work of the agency, the fact that he has been cleared to work at Langley, has actually done so, and has managed to hide it all these years, tells us something about his character.


AbuKhalil – the staunch anti-imperialist, anti-White Man freedom fighter – quickly realized that this revelation would be a damaging one. He swiftly contacted al-Hendi in an attempt to nip the problem in its bud.


"You are endangering my life with your distortions and lies. You can go to jail for something like that and I will sue you and drag you to court," AbuKhalil wrote via email. "I will give you till tomorrow otherwise I will notify my lawyer and Facebook […] My lawyer says you have an hour."


Notice AbuKhalil, who has long insisted that he is the most transparent man on the planet and would post anything that he would get his hands on, makes no effort to explain why public records indicate he was paid by the CIA.


Instead, AbuKhalil sounded scared for his life, perhaps because during the craze of the Global War on Terror, he was consulted on Islamist movements, judging by his book on the subject. Or perhaps AbuKhalil’s other employers, like pro-Hezbollah Beirut newspaper Al-Akhbar, knew of such links and were happy to see one of them bash their rivals at Langley.


As for what work AbuKhalil did for the CIA, no one can be sure due to non-disclosure protocol and the fear of legal suit. But thanks to al-Hendi, we now have proof that the Lebanese-American professor has worked with the CIA, no matter how small his involvement.


What AbuKhalil did for the CIA is his business. But what is our business is to show that the man who swears on his honor about his anti-Americanism, and continuously bashes others for being pro-America, clearly has a few skeletons in his closet.


If you are a US citizen, working for the government, including the CIA, is an honorable task. Indeed, Americans are required to recite the pledge of allegiance, and this entails doing whatever it takes to defend the homeland. But the problem with AbuKhalil is that his apparent insecurity about being an American citizen has led him on frequent anti-American crusades.


Maybe it is the Lebanese political culture that has forced AbuKhalil to perfect his trademark ad hominem attacks that blast people’s characters instead of their ideas. Perhaps the only way a man of AbuKhalil’s intellect to be heard is to propagate offensive and populist rhetoric while carrying out his punditry gigs.


AbuKhalil's academic credentials are weak anyways. The sheer amount of time he must spend away from his professorial duties on blogs, social media, and TV appearances make many wonder whether his scholarly work is even diligent or credible.


For those who meet him, AbuKhalil seems like a humble guy. Yet for someone with his background and position, he should know better. AbuKhalil should be more respectful when making his points, and he should do them without slandering others.


No one cares whether AbuKhalil actually worked, or still works, for the CIA. No one cares about his social background or preferences. No one cares who sends him his paychecks or why. What many care about is for him to stop his populism and stop spewing unsubstantiated claims about the character and integrity of those he disagrees with.


Hussain Abdul-Hussain is the Washington Bureau Chief of Kuwaiti newspaper Alrai. He tweets @hahussain

As'ad AbuKhalil, prominent academic known for his Angry Arab blog. (ziomania.com image)

"The problem with AbuKhalil is that his apparent insecurity about being an American citizen has led him on frequent anti-American crusades."

  • 786@

    CIA has millions of people employed and there are more than 10,000 Muslims working for CIA world wide. CIA has all sorts of work dirty and non dirty work. Even if one does not want s to work for CIA, CIA can force him or her any time usually blackmail, as CIA has access to all your Google , G mail, Face book, Twitter, Hotmail, anything Microsoft, anything in UK, Australia, Canada ,Germany etc as ALL electronic media in these plus many other countries is sniffed using sniffer software with capability to isolate one email from 1000 billion emails ( IBM made Super Computers are used with custom made sniffer software ) Also all cellular radio phone calls. YOU MAY BE SAFE IF use 256 bit encryption and till you are not on the Radar. Or it is only in your Cerebral Cortex of the brain.

    August 4, 2014

  • hayatte.abid

    I have the same proof that the gulf nations work in hand with the CIA and the Mossad. (...)

    February 16, 2014

  • bangpound

    Commenters are reporting that they are not allowed to post the link to an article that criticizes the "evidence" used in this one. If you want to find it, just use Google to search for "Debunked: the claim that As’ad AbuKhalil worked for the CIA" and click on The Electronic Intifada.

    January 1, 2014

  • ruba.moghrabi

    i had posted the article from Electronic Intifada debunking the silly one here with serious accusations to Dr. Abukhalil, but my post was removed on the same day.

    January 5, 2014

  • حفيدُ الغساسنة

    MARIE R: Where is the “fact-free hate fest here”?? “fact-free”, with photos that the Syrian activist (al-Hendi) is insisting are authentic, and challenging your friend to sue? You boldly and childishly claim: “claims that Abu Khalil worked for the CIA have been thoroughly discredited”!!! WHERE? HOW?? If Abu Khalil himself is soliciting “donations for [his] legal defense fund” (and I very much doubt that he’d dare to sue), how/where/when would these “claims” be “thoroughly discredited”??? After I “Care[d] to comment”, would you?? PS: If you don’t read Arabic, you can just address me as ‘G’

    January 1, 2014

  • M9

    Big fail. Information coming from zoom info

    January 1, 2014

  • M9

    Big fail information coming from Zoom Info ahahaha

    January 1, 2014

  • Marie R.

    Um...Sorry to interrupt the fact-free hate fest here but your claims that Abu Khalil worked for the CIA have been thoroughly discredited: (...) The case made against you is compelling. Care to comment?

    December 31, 2013

  • حفيدُ الغساسنة

    Professors Magid Shihade and Sherifa D. Zuhur rush to defend ‘Ass –ad AbuKhalil’ and accuse the writer of all kinds of things, as if they have NOT checked the link he provided. The documented ‘uncovery’ is by US-resident, Syrian activist Ahed al-Hendi, who has CHALLENGED AbuKhalil to sue him – and now AbuKhalil is supposedly soliciting “donations for [his] legal defense fund.” Can’t you simply wait to see if your weird friend is actually going to sue or not, and whether he can win his case in court, before you throw all this non-academic BS – similar to all his writings in Arabic. Shame on both of you!

    December 31, 2013

  • robin.messing.52

    While his contradictory email may be amusing, it's quite possible that he never worked for the CIA after all. (...)

    December 30, 2013

  • robin.messing.52

    I never heard about the guy until today. Yet I noticed you wrote this: "AbuKhalil wrote via email. "I will give you till tomorrow otherwise I will notify my lawyer and Facebook […] My lawyer says you have an hour."" So,he's going to wait until tomorrow to contact his lawyer, yet he knows his lawyer will give Ahed al-Hendi only an hour before commencing legal action??? LOL! This proves that AbuKhalil is a liar, and not a very good one at that.

    December 30, 2013

  • DyingRami

    tarnish Assad's reputation? Are you joking? No one can tarnish his reputation...he is the worst mass murder of his generation or any generation since pol pot...you must a menhebakji to say stuff like that...shame on you!

    December 30, 2013

  • R3D

    Very interesting!

    December 30, 2013

  • Magid Shihade

    What a cheap attack coming from individuals and groups who are in bed with the U.S and Saudi Arabia in Syria now. You think you can tarnish Asad's reputation by these cheap shots? Did you learn that from the Zionists? Didn't they say that Abdel Naser was also supported by the CIA, so also Saddam Hussein that many even on the Left repeated the nonsense? You will be defeated in Lebanon, in Syria, the region, and you will go down in the drain of history with your other sell out Arabs, the Zionists, and the Americans. Your time is over, and the dollars you are getting from Qatar and Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, and the support you are getting in Europe and the U.S with Zionist approval will get you nowhere, no more. Get a life and do some thing more useful.

    December 30, 2013

  • jrocks

    hahaha, you're doing exactly what you accuse hussain of doing. so funny

    December 30, 2013

  • sherifa.zuhur

    This seems to be a malicious smear. I had an egregious falling-out with Asad about Syria, so I have no reason to defend him . But this is a stupid accusation. Abdul-Hussain takes issue with his "populism" (why?) and slanders his scholarship. Assad is a great scholar and a bibliophile whether I agree with him or not. Then the author says Asad was "cleared" to work for the CIA and pretends he is an employee. Baloney! There is no clearance process to speak for an audience organized by q subcontractor arranging an event which might include said subcontractor's employees in the audience. That is the only possible explanation I can think of, and if all similar speakers are "employees" then Democracy Now can accuse a long list of Middle East or political science scholars.

    December 30, 2013

  • Magid Shihade

    Agree with Sharifa. Regardless of one's political opinion, these smear campaigns should not be tolerated or entertained. If the writer has some disagreement with Abukahlil, he can do so, and should do that. Otherwise, these lazy accusations are reflective of the character for the writer. The main questions, why would Abdul-Hussain publish such a nonsense? Have hard time arguing with Abukhalil intellectually and politically? .

    December 31, 2013

  • ploni

    The same guy who tried to discredit Lebanese peace activist and social critic Mostafa Geha for accusing Mostafa of "having Jewish heritage" meaning that he is untrustworthy and has alternative agenda, both RACIST and a disgusting argument to use against someone to argue their politics! The same American professor who attacked the teenage Algerian blogger Omar Dakhane which put Omar's life in even more danger after he already was receiving death threats from 'Hamas in Algeria' while the good professor sits in the safety of his California university protected with the US justice system and the academic freedom, along with the monthly salary from the California State University system! The ad-hominems he used to attack peoples politics shows a lack of intelligence, but also a lack of respect for the fact that these Arab bloggers risk their lives in some of these countries! Now he claims *his* life is in danger because of what another person wrote about him? Oh the irony!

    December 29, 2013

  • jrocks


    December 30, 2013