SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Former Congressman Duncan Hunter Sr. called his son’s opponent in the November election a threat to national security to his face on Tuesday.
Hunter Sr., the father of Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, held what he called a “security briefing” on Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar across from the U.S.S Midway Museum.
Campa-Najjar is running against Duncan D. Hunter for his seat in the 50th Congressional District. Congressman Hunter and his wife Margaret are currently facing 60 federal charges of wire fraud and conspiracy. Both have pleaded not guilty.
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Meanwhile, Congressman Hunter’s campaign has centered around attacking Campa-Najjar’s family history. The attacks calling Campa-Najjar's allegiance to the U.S. in question have been derided by some as racist and unAmerican. Hunter Sr. addressed that question Tuesday.
"Very simple, this has nothing to do with race, it has to do with terrorism," he said. "This is terrorism."
Hunter Sr. came to the waterfront without his son. He held poster boards laying out his case against Campa-Najjar.
Hunter Sr. pointed out that Campa-Najjar’s grandfather, Muhammad Youssef Al-Najjar, was a key player in the 1972 Munich massacre that killed 11 Israeli Olympic athletes. Hunter Sr. says he uncovered new information that Youssef Al-Najjar tried to assassinate Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir around the same time.
Israeli forces killed Youssef Al-Najjar 16 years before Campa-Najjar was born.
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But Hunter Sr. said there's evidence of an ongoing connection between Campa-Najjar and his father, a former member of the Palestine Liberation Organization. He cited a 2015 Campa-Najjar social media post about his dad.
“If you tell me that this guy (Campa-Najjar) isn't going to pass military information to this guy (His father, Yasser Najjar), my answer is, don't bet your life on it,” Hunter Sr. said. “And don't bet the lives of our troops on it.”
Campa-Najjar stood quietly as Hunter Sr. spoke. The two even shared a quick handshake before Campa-Najjar addressed the media in response.
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Campa-Najjar, who says he is a born-again Christian, disavowed his grandfather's actions and said he is all but estranged from his father. He also noted that the FBI knew about all of this and still gave him a security clearance in 2016.
Campa-Najjar called on Congressman Hunter to speak for himself, noting he has yet to attend a debate.
“Duncan Hunter Jr. can't stand on his own two feet like a grown man and fight his own battles,” Campa-Najjar said. “I’ve had 18 town halls. We had a debate in San Marcos last week. He can't stand next to me. He has 10 years of a record to run on.”
Hunter’s spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, money is pouring into Campa-Najjar’s campaign. He received $1.4 million in campaign contributions in the quarter ending Sept. 30. Hunter, meanwhile, took in about $130,000.