Ad attacks Spanberger for teaching at Islamic school

Published: Sep. 7, 2018 at 3:22 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2018 at 7:10 AM EDT
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The race between Dave Brat and Abigail Spanberger in the 7th Congressional District is getting even more heated.

Spanberger's campaign is crying foul over a new attack ad just released that uses information that wasn't supposed to be made public.

The television ad against Democratic Congressional candidate Abigail Spanberger does not come from Brat's campaign. Instead, it comes from a conservative super PAC that used information from Spanberger's postal service and CIA security clearance - information that was not supposed to be released.

The ad begins, "What is Abigail Spanberger hiding? Spanberger doesn't want us to know she taught at an Islamic school nicknamed, 'Terror High.'"

Spanberger was a substitute English teacher at the Islamic Saudi Academy in northern Virginia in 2002 and 2003, while awaiting her security clearance.

A few years later the school was dubbed "Terror High" because some graduates were found to support al Qaeda, including one who plotted to kill former President George W. Bush.

The PAC said it obtained the information through a Freedom of Information Act request, which the U.S. Postal Service now says was released in error. Spanberger had disclosed the information on a confidential questionnaire while applying to be a postal inspector.

Spanberger issued a statement in response to the ad, saying:

"For a Republican Super PAC to question my national security credentials and integrity based on the time I spent as a long-term substitute, teaching English to children at an embassy school in Northern Virginia, is desperate and weak, and it shows just how terrified they are of having an independent voice representing this community in Congress."

Her opponent, Republican Congressman Dave Brat, did not respond to our request for comment. But in a radio interview on the John Fredericks Show Thursday, Brat criticized Spanberger for teaching at the school.

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