Man in viral video brandishing guns speaks out

Published: Apr. 18, 2017 at 6:58 PM CDT
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A week ago-- a large group gathered outside the Hilton Garden Inn South in Sioux Falls to protest two speakers who were labeled "Anti-Muslim."

A man who was asked to leave that protest by security for having a gun posted a video to Facebook in the parking lot showing off several guns and voicing his displeasure with the number of people at the event.

As all of that was going on, law enforcement caught wind of the video, ensuring that safety of those at the event. Then the video caught the attention of social media and conservative news outlets, including one of the speakers, Brannon Howse.

But the man who made the video, Ehab Jaber, said he was merely upset with the number of people who showed up at the event, that he never intended to actually hurt anyone, and was merely mocking them for being afraid of him walking in openly carrying a gun.

"I did what I did because I was actually really heartbroken to see that many people in that place," Jaber said.

Jaber believes people were misled by several local media who reported on the event and said the speakers capitalized on the notion that it was an anti-Muslim rally, causing ticket sales to surge.

"They [the ticketholders] didn't show up for a Christian conference, they showed up for an anti-Muslim rally," Jaber said.

He said he bought a ticket around 6:30 p.m. that night, not arriving at the event until 7.

"It was standing room only," he said. "It wasn't even standing room -- there was no room. There were four or 500 people there."

Jaber said he wasn't there for more than a couple minutes when he realized the true intention of what the event was all about.

"That [anti-Muslim rally] was just a ploy to play on people's fears to sell a book," he said. "Which I realized a minute after I got into that building."

Jaber said he was listening into what was happening when he was approached by a security guard who told him guns were not allowed inside the facility. Jaber was openly carrying a pistol on his waist, which he has a permit for, as a well as a concealed pistol on his ankle, which police said, he also is permitted for.

Jaber said he politely agreed to leave, something police said the security guard who asked him to leave also confirmed. That's when he went outside to his car and made a video that's garnering national attention.

"'Do you have your weapons with you?'" he asks in the video, mocking the security guard.

Then he says, "And now if you want to be really scared ... be scared ... be scared ... be scared ... be (expletive) terrified, be (expletive) terrified," as he shows off multiple handguns, and then finally, an assault rifle.

Jaber continues his rant, then brandishing hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

"Why did I have the guns? Actually, that's how i travel all the time," Jaber said. "I have my pistol on me and the AR is in the car because I have a kid at home."

Jaber said he naturalized to the United States several years ago and has been living in Sioux Falls for 24 years.

"You know what the sad thing is? I'm a republican," he said. "I'm a republican for one reason: the Second Amendment."

Law enforcement said they were aware of the video while the event was still going on inside.

"Information was sent to the Lincoln County State's Attorney, but no charges have been filed at this point," said Officer Sam Clemens of the Sioux Falls Police Department. "He wasn't threatening to harm anybody, he didn't break any laws, so that's why he wasn't arrested."

Jaber also said that he wasn't threatening anyone in particular.

"I'm not armed against the regular citizen," he said. "I'm not armed against Christians or Jews or against women or children. I'm just armed against stupidity and oppression."

Despite all of the negative attention, criticism and even death threats, he said he's received ...

"I did it, I'll do it again and again just like any American," he said. "I didn't go to a conference, I went to an anti-Muslim rally."

Pastor Shahram Hadian, who was a guest speaker at the event, said he and Brannon Howse were totally unaware of the video until afterward.

"[We were] deeply disturbed when we saw it," Hadian said.

Hadian said he was subsequently worried for the rest of the night when he stayed at the hotel, despite the fact that he was told by law enforcement police had identified Jaber and that the FBI was at his apartment.

Jaber said the FBI visited him later that week to talk to him about the video.

Hadian said in the next city he and Howse visited, the FBI was waiting for them at their event location to make sure the pair knew about the video and "forced" them to hire off-duty police officers at their event, in addition to the security and police who were already going to be there.

KSFY News was not able to confirm the FBI's involvement in Sioux Falls or Madison, Wisconsin at the time this story aired.