John Guandolo, who the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as a “Muslim-bashing bigot” and “disgraced ex-FBI agent” conducted a state-approved training session for Texas police this month. Last year around the same time, he was paid many thousands in taxpayer money to host a three-day seminar for the Arizona Mesa Police Department.
Although the outcry took him off the invite list in Arizona, he was still invited to Texas for the daylong training session.
He claims that he met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
“I was speaking three or four times a week with Jeff Sessions up to the election and after the election before the inauguration, ” said Guandolo.
Police officers in Texas can take Guandolo’s seminars for continuing education credit. The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement signed off on the seminars, the first of which was titled, “Understanding the Jihadi Threat to America,” which would focus on putting “terrorist attacks into perspective” and would “identify specific jihadi threats in Texas.”
Muslim advocacy groups say his appearances promote racial and ethnic profiling.
John Guandolo has called Islam "barbaric and evil." He said Muslims "do not have a First Amendment right to do anything."
— Southern Poverty Law Center (@splcenter) May 14, 2018
According to the Huffington Post:
“The class, held in San Angelo, was officially approved by the state commission for Texas law enforcement officers who are expected to take 40 credits of continuing education and training every two years.”
SPLC called Guandolo’s training an “Islamophobic carny act” and have demanded that the state Commission on Law Enforcement rescind approval for future seminars.
He refers to Islam as a whole as “barbaric and evil,” stoking fears that all Muslims want to overthrow the U.S. government, establish Sharia law, and enslave all non-Muslims.
He has promoted a conspiracy theory that TSA agents who have beards are terrorists or jihadis, and Tweeted that he thought the school shooting in Parkland, Florida was the work of a jihadi.
He regularly shares islamophobic comments on Twitter.
I am not even discussing individual Muslims. Islam is a barbaric and evil system. Sharia commands the enslavement or killing of non-Muslims
— John Guandolo (@JohnGuandolo) August 27, 2017
Guandolo is a “widely condemned conspiracy theorist” who founded a consulting company “Understanding the Threat” to spread his extremist views about Muslims. Or, as they put it, “National Security Consulting on Islamic threat.”
The mission statement reads:
“…To identify jihadis and jihadi networks in their area, and provide them tools to disrupt and dismantle them.”
Reports say The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement sent a staffer to observe Guandolo’s seminar, and they reported that they:
“…Observed no concerning material that would cause reason to deny continuing education hours for law enforcement attendees.”
However, another report from Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy and educational organization, reported that Texas has now rescinded the police training from Guandolo.
A staffer from The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement sent to Guandolo’s seminar found:
“[…] not only was the material presented concerning in its overly broad characterization of an entire subset of the population, but it provided no training value for law enforcement attendees. As such, TCOLE has rejected the training submitted for law enforcement attendees for this seminar, and no continuing education credit will be awarded.”
BREAKING NEWS: Texas has rescinded police training accreditation for the anti-Muslim seminar marketed by conspiracy theorist John Guandolo. Agency head calls it "concerning" with "no training value." https://t.co/pAsVcnAHH3
— Muslim Advocates (@MuslimAdvocates) May 16, 2018
See more in the video from AJ+ below:
Former FBI officer John Guandolo has shared a stage with Pamella Geller. Now he's giving counter-terrorism training to police. pic.twitter.com/o7Ap25cL0F
— AJ+ (@ajplus) May 17, 2018
Featured image: Screenshot via Twitter video.