As I Was Saying in 2012, 'No Person Like Ali Should Be Even Near Politics'
Groomers gonna groom
Ali Alexander, born Ali Abdul Razaq Akbar, has become “one of the most dangerous men in America,” according to #resistance grifter Seth Abramson. This is of course hyperbole. Ali is a bottom-dwelling catfish of a man, a petty thief who learned to fleece right wing donors instead of breaking into vehicles.
During his time in reactionary politics, Ali has managed to insinuate himself with Karl Rove, Steve Bannon, Ginni Thomas, and a host of fringe Republican candidates, ultimately landing on Donald Trump fandom as his vehicle for grift. Ali was always all about the money, you see. Heartfelt as his political journey has been, it was always accidental to his avarice. He is only “dangerous” to the wallets of the rubes who want to be fleeced.
Oh, and also he is a danger to boys. Young conservative men, aged 15-17, are definitely not safe around Ali Akbar/Alexander. He is indeed quite dangerous to their well-being, future reputations, “innocence,” or whatever you want to call it, because he is the sort of 30-something man who coaxes teenagers to send him nude photos and meet him for hookup sex. As Lance Johnston, recipient of Ali’s grooming behavior, told The Daily Beast in an article published yesterday, “no person like Ali should be even near politics,” regardless of the party.
Those were almost exactly my words more than a decade ago, which I repeated in 2015, when I was the first blogger to write about Ali’s predatory breadcrumbs. I stand vindicated in my reporting. Calling Ali ‘dangerous’ does not quite deliver verbal justice: ‘disgusting’ is a better word to describe him. Resistance to the threat he represents ought to be universal and nonpartisan. That he has managed to get this far, for this long, is testament to the deranging power of political heuristics, us versus them, and the social capital of social media stardom.
Akbar/Alexander has always been an early adopter. His online presence began in partnership with Eric Odom’s 2008 Dont Go “movement,” which objected to Congress leaving Washington. He was Chairman of Odom’s American Liberty Alliance, which helped promulgate the Tea Party theme online in 2009. ALA’s business model was monetizing other Tea Party websites, a scheme which inspired backlash. Despite claiming to have applied for 501(c) 4 status in August 2009, ALA was eventually embarrassed into posting a caveat on their website (though not their donation page, for some reason): “The American Liberty Alliance is not a 501c3, 501c4 or a PAC. We are not registered as a non-profit and we do not raise funds as such.” Yet they still incorporated under the name “American Liberty Alliance — A Non-Profit Corporation.” Odom later rolled the organization up into his own PAC and Ali was free to pursue new ventures.
Fast forward to 1/6, and Ali Alexander at Capitol Hill, and all the conspiracy theories surrounding that day and its events. His “Stop the Steal” campaign is not worth revisiting, much less debunking in detail here. In fact, that is what Ali would like us all to do, is get bogged down in contentious details. Instead, just consider that tens of millions of dollars of slush money were flying around amid all that fundraising hullabaloo, and picture Ali Akbar/Alexander snapping up a tiny percentage of that money for maintaining his lifestyle. This completely describes his career since his days at the conservative Leadership Institute, where he learned how to stay one step ahead of the IRS nonprofit reporting system. Ali was still doing the same scam on 1/6 that he always has done.
Now fast forward to closed-door congressional hearings and the paranoid intrigue surrounding FBI confidential informants in the Capitol Hill crowd, and not just among the Proud Boys. Even Ali’s recent partner in slime, Nick Fuentes, has come under suspicion as a potential federal informant related to 1/6.
More recently, Fuentes tried to pressure Johnston into fabricating evidence against himself after a screenshot of Ali asking Johnston to send a photo of his penis in a text message made the rounds in conservative online groups. “Basically they wanted me to lie, apologize to Ali, and then they said they would try to get me a job,” Johnston tells the Daily Beast. Attempts to cover up misdeeds are evidence for consciousness of guilt.
More to the point, Fuentes is just the latest in a long line of individuals who came to regret their association with Ali — and Fuentes would not be the first known or suspected FBI confidential informant in his collaborative circle, either.
A confidential informant often operates with remarkable freedom to do crimes in order to generate information for three-letter agencies. Put simply, I perceive a potential Whitey Bulger issue in the events of 1/6.
When Ali first popped up on my radar, I knew nothing about him. He was operating a conservative “National Bloggers Club” that turned out to be just one of his fraduluent nonprofits. The state of Texas took the unusual step of shutting down some of his nonprofits in 2014. However, none of his activities have ever run afoul of any executive branch agency, as far as I know.
And when I first became aware of him, he already had at least one federal informant and provacateur in his orbit, Brandon Darby.
Darby was an acolyte of the late Andrew Breitbart, a Fox News hero who had convinced two young radical anarchists to make Molotov cocktails during the 2008 Republican National Convention, then turned both men over to the FBI.
In 2012, with the founder of Breitbart.com only recently dead and buried, Darby took up his late crusade against Brett Kimberlin. Convicted in 1979 as the infamous “Speedway Bomber” and now living in Maryland, Kimberlin became the object of numerous conspiracy theories, including his alleged involvement in a series of “swattings” that tricked police into responding to the homes of conservative bloggers.
Erick Erickson of Red State was the most famous victim of this crime wave. The result of this bizarre affair, and the accusations aimed at Kimberlin, was the dumbest legal epic in American political history, a complex story of pro se litigation in which one idiot living in Maryland even tried to involve this writer as a defendant. (The judge quashed that suit without a single filing from me, which only ever happens when the bench knows a complainant is plum crazy.)
Acres of electrons have already been spilled about Mr. Kimberlin and the eye-watering legal disputes around him. Again, the people who made the most noise about him back in 2012 would love nothing more than to revisit every last little detail of their obsession now and air it all out again, piece by piece.
Strangely, however, they stopped calling for congressional hearings and federal investigations into those spoofed 911 calls shortly after I published this video starring Ali Akbar/Alexander’s buddy, right wing provocateur and federal informant Brandon Darby, remixed with audio of the mysterious SWAT caller. Weird, right?
Bear in mind that SWATing came from gamer/streamer culture, a world that had no connection at all to Brett Kimberlin or Brandon Darby, whose own background was radical activism. Ali Akbar/Alexander is a gamer, however. We know this because he has been spotted inviting conservative boys to “X-Box and chill” in his motel room.
Yet this absurd narrative had an effect. As late as 2017, the lead agent at the Washington, DC FBI Field Office confronted Kimberlin under false pretenses to ask him if he was the SWAT caller. According to the source who told me about this meeting, Kimberlin politely said no, pointing them to Brandon Darby and his friend, Ali Akbar/Alexander.
Associates of Darby from the broader political world have confirmed for me that he is prone to “doing stupid shit,” in the words of one operative. They agree his voice sounds consistent with the SWAT caller. To my knowledge, Darby has never directly denied responsibility.
No one except Brett Kimberlin has any interest in uncovering the truth of the matter, however, and of course no one cares what a convicted serial bomber wants. He was the perfect villain, with a convenient criminal record, whose most tenuous connections could be teased into blog-fodder for months at a time.
Every update contained another appeal for funds, since the writer was under attack, and forced to defend themselves from the monster Kimberlin in various courts of law over the fantastical things they wrote about him in their blogs.
For a brief moment in 2012, everyone claiming personal damage from the Sauronesque evil of Brett Kimberlin got together for a combined effort, producing a hysterical federal lawsuit that powerhouse DC lawyer Dan Backer anointed “the case of a lifetime” — until a federal judge granted Kimberlin’s motion for summary dismissal.
His enemies were not done, though. The attacks on his family redoubled. Kimberlin fought back. Litigation continued until at least 2019 and may still be going on today, for all I know or care, because it was always a stupid distraction for stupid people.
Given all of the above, some disambiguation is in order. At least one widespread story about Ali Alexander/Akbar deserves more than a measure of salt: his supposed sexual liaisons with Karl Rove.
When that story emerged in the summer of 2012, I did not know what to make of it, and in the months that followed, only slight evidence emerged. Rove (or someone claiming to be Rove) took photos of Ali posing in a mask with fake money, which Rove (or Ali claiming to be Rove) then claimed as intellectual property in an attempt to scrub them from the internet. Interesting, and weird, but this failed to establish a clear relationship.
Then I interviewed one of the principal reporters, Carol Shuler. Knowing already from better-placed journalists that she and her husband Roger had only one source for the story in their “Legal Schnauzer” blog, and that the source is somewhere between problematic and unreliable, I watched her fabricate the existence of corroborating sources before my eyes.
I am generally good at spotting deceit and the person observing her with me is also an excellent judge of character who not only agreed that Carol was lying, but was first to say so after we left. Carol has since misidentified this third party present at the interview in her living room, providing further evidence of her sanity, sagacity, and journalistic savvy.
At the time, her husband Roger was being held in jail by an Alabama judge in a case that drew national attention. He had published scurrilous accusations about the son of a former governor and dodged legal process in the resulting lawsuit. Law enforcement had arrested him in his garage. Now he was the “only American journalist held in captivity” and I was watching Carol explain the background of the story to a podcaster on the phone with a sinking feeling in my gut.
Upon information and belief, I do not buy it. The Rove-Akbar love story comes from a vindictive person with an agenda, has been transmitted through two deeply unreliable sources with their own agenda, and remains unsupported by any other evidence.
Having said all that, it is uncanny just how much access to power Ali has enjoyed, even though he operates at the fringe. He has chosen that path on purpose. His technical skills and glib tongue have landed opportunities with the right wing “grassroots,” the outside-organizers who drive the Republican Party to the right. They wanted power before Donald Trump and enjoyed a measure of real power under his presidency. Ali was an early adopter of Trump, who fit his mold of candidate.
Although he never won an actual election before 2016, Ali had his successes. For example, he was the email list builder for Groundswell, a project of Ginni Thomas, activist wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, as well as Steve Bannon, then-CEO of Breitbart. Begun in 2013 as a “30-front war against the progressive left,” under the Trump administration Groundswell had become the Third Century Group, enjoying special access to the White House. Ginni Thomas and a faction of this cadre were involved in “Stop the Steal” and the events of 1/6.
I will be clear about my own opinions here. Physically storming Congress to overturn an election result is the very antithesis of democracy or transparency. Trump clearly played the central role in whipping up the crowd, wanted to go to the capitol with them, and resisted staff advice to calm the situation at first.
Nevertheless, whatever the reader thinks about the crowd that surrounded and entered the Capitol on that ridiculous day, it is striking that Ali Akbar/Alexander gave his congressional testimony about it all behind closed doors, as if there are complications of some sort preventing complete public transparency. One would expect committee Democrats to eagerly pursue disclosure of information that might implicate Ginni Thomas in an actual crime, or even just a scandal, yet they agreed to this condition.
If, like Whitey Bulger, Ali Alexander is an FBI confidential informant getting away with crimes, it would be an elegant explanation for this level of secrecy, as well as the bipartisanship thererof. But who even knows. Politics are beside the point, here, anyway.
Grooming is the point.
“Groomer” has become a trigger-word, but organizations get groomed all the time. So do whole movements, churches, corporations, and even governments. Jimmy Saville famously groomed the BBC and British hospitals to access children he could abuse. Jeffrey Epstein cultivated powerful friends and groomed them while Ghislaine Maxwell cultivated young girls and groomed them. Groomers groom. No place is groomer-immune. No one has invented a groomer-shield or grooming-jammer to make any location or gathering safe from groomers. They groom in schools and libraries and even, yes, drag queen story hours. Groomers groom everywhere, all the time. Why should we be surprised when it happens to a political party?
The trick is to spot, and stop, groomers by calling out groomer behavior. For whatever reason, Ali Akbar felt confident enough to leave social media breadcrumbs. An alert progressive saw them, saved them, and shared them with me.
In 2013, Matthew @MosleyMosley2 was a freshman football player at a Florida High School. It is unclear just how he came into contact with Ali, though we can assume it was part of Ali’s political travels. Matthew may have created the account to communicate with Ali. Ali tweeted that Matthew was his “best friend,” and complained that the younger man “apparently wants to be a fatty or a muscle jock,” terms from gay culture.
Matthew later deleted his account. He and his family did not wish to comment when I found out in 2015. I withheld from reporting the matter right away.
A few months later, however, Ali was at the center of a new controversy when Coreco Ja’Quan “C.J.” Pearson, then 12 years old and a Fox News darling, lost his contract with a personality management company after the proprietor realized that his father’s signature was faked. A blog called Peach Pundit posted the termination letter, part of which I quoted at the time.
Your relationship with Ali Akbar was concerning to me from the beginning and as your presumptive business manager- I warned you that doing business with Ali would not be in your best interest. Despite these warnings, you were confident that Ali would only be managing your online presence however this has proven to be yet another fabrication.
Conservative podcaster Wayne Dupree tweeted about the story. Ali went after him. During the flame war that ensued, Dupree wrote that he was “definitely shocked by what you have done to a potentially untouched kid with dreams.” I posted an article about Matthew, and my suspicions, the very next day.
Two years later, conservative journalists began to approach me, having read what I wrote while they were picking up on the same trail, having heard of some other boy that Ali groomed. Meanwhile, Ali had changed his surname from Akbar to Alexander. Google search results for his name had always been bad, but now they implied ephebophilia, an improper interest in adolescent males.
Which brings us to the present.
“Alexander, who has described his ethnicity as half-Black and half-Arab and says he’s bisexual, might seem like an unusual ally for the avowedly racist and homophobic ‘America First’ movement led by Fuentes,” Will Sommer writes for Daily Beast.
But for anyone who followed Ali when he was riding across America in a used car with inveterate racist Robert Stacey McCain, this is not an unusual-seeming alliance at all. It is Ali’s normal, preferred type of partnership.
Nor was he always hesitant to acknowledge being flat-out homosexual. For example, he used to be friends with (now “ex-gay”) Milo Yiannopoulos, once, though not anymore.
In text messages reviewed by The Daily Beast, Yiannopoulos warned Fuentes in broad terms about his ally’s reputation.
“Alexander wants to come to your events to have sex with underage boys,” Yiannopoulos wrote in a January 2022 text to Fuentes. “Snap out of it. “
Ali dangled a meeting with Yiannopoulos as bait when he convinced Aidan Duncan, then 15 years old, to send him nude photos in 2017. “Alexander responded with the ‘face with heart eyes’ emoji and asking the teenager which app Alexander should use to send him money,” Sommer reports.
An undated series of screenshots purport to show Alexander laying out rules for his contact with the teenager, many of them stressing secrecy and a sort of quid pro quo relationship between sexual availability and career opportunities.
“Everything is secret and private,” one rule read. “We’re family.”
Another said that Duncan was “allowed to say no,” but that Alexander might “deprive” him of something unspecified in return.
“Boundaries are cool,” the message reads. “Allowed to say no. However, the less you deprive me of, the less I deprive you of. I’m a big sharing person unless it’s not even.”
Finally, according to the messages, Alexander asked Duncan to “be mindful of each other’s reputation.”
According to an interview Duncan gave last month, Akbar/Alexander tried to convince him to lie to his parents and come to Texas as an “intern,” complaining that “you don’t even send me videos anymore…No good jack off material. Don’t even wanna be my side piece.” Who knows what powers of extortion he still has over others, for his electronic devices are probably filled with damage.
Ignore the smokescreen, the chaff, the deliberate obfuscations, the purposeful confusions, the handy obstacles tossed in the way, the endless conspiracy-mongering — the politics — and the groomer becomes visible. Everyone should see him clearly, now, whatever name he wants to be called. Ali Alexander, born Ali Abdul Razaq Akbar, has always been a jumped-up petty crook and a sexual predator and a party monster. He will always be those things and he will always seek to complicate our vision of him as simply those things.
Even now, he seems to believe he will survive this scandal. No one in the Republican Party or the broader conservative movement has ever given him reason to imagine a different outcome.
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