Fake News: Woman Arrested At The NM Muslim Compound Was NOT On CNN Network

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fake News: Woman Arrested At The NM Muslim Compound Was NOT On CNN Network

A story trending on social platforms suggests that there is a link between one of the women arrested at an "extremist compound" in New Mexico and CNN, the international news organization. This Lead Stories writer -- a veteran of 25 years at CNN -- can assure you this story is not true. The story is based on a tweet that includes a photo showing a woman holding a CNN microphone on a CNN set. The story questions why CNN has not acknowledged its relationship with the woman.'

The image, however, is not from a broadcast as implied by the fake article. It is a photo taken of a woman along the tourist route at the CNN headquarters in Atlanta. Hundreds of tourists pay to take such a photo every day and they are not on the air.

The tweet and the story suggest the woman in the photo is Hujrah Wahhaj, one of the women arrested in New Mexico. While it does appear the woman in the CNN tour photo may be Wahhaj, we cannot confirm it. But even if she paid for a tour ticket, it does not connect her to CNN. But it was a good try by the fake news site "100percentfedup," good enough to make it a fast-moving, viral post.

The story originated from an article published on August 15, 2018 titled "HEY CNN!" Did You Know A Woman Arrested At The NM Muslim Compound Was On Your Network? * 100PercentFedUp.com" (archived here) which opened:

Why didn't they show her picture?

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

HEY CNN! Did You Know A Woman Arrested At The NM Muslim Compound Was On Your Network? * 100PercentFedUp.com

Why didn't they show her picture?

Here is the tweet that inspired the article. Note it does not say the woman was on the CNN network as the title of the fake article implied:

This seems to be the original tweet (archived here):


  • 2018-08-16T08:56:17Z 2018-08-16T08:56:17Z
    Added the tweet that the hoax article was based on + the source tweet. Headline rephrased.

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  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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