Update: August 12, 2015
Guandolo’s training will take place at the Centennial Gun Club in Centennial, Colorado, tomorrow through Saturday. It is being co-sponsored by both the aforementioned gun club and the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. Each day the seminars will be tailored to a different set of audiences aside from law enforcement including legislators,“church security teams,” and the general public. However, the underlying theme of all the seminars will be the alleged threat Muslims pose to “the Republic and the West.”
The times and dates are as follows:
August 13 – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Law Enforcement Training
August 14 – 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. Legislators, Pastors, Church Security Teams and General Public
August 15 – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. General Public
Original post: August 4, 2015
John Guandolo, the former FBI agent turned anti-Muslim conspiracist, is taking his three-day law enforcement training seminar to Denver, Colorado, next week.
Guandolo is the same former FBI agent who claimed the CIA director is a secret Muslim operative and said in 2011 that Muslims in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, “do not have a First Amendment right to do anything.”
Guandolo promises his training, “Understanding and Investigating the Jihadi Threat,” will equip participants with knowledge about “jihadi operations” in the U.S. and an understanding of “the broad scope of the [Muslim] threat, how it directly affects them in their daily duties, and how they can combat this threat at the local level.”
According to his website, the August 12-14 event is exclusively for “Law Enforcement/Military/Intelligence Professionals.”
Tensions are high around police abuse and accountability. The last thing law enforcement leaders should want is a local force trained to profile people and foster mistrust.
This will not be the first time Guandolo has courted law enforcement officials, but his trainings are usually met with fierce criticism and are either canceled or discredited—and rightfully so. For example, last year, a criminal justice academy withdrew accreditation for one of Guandolo’s trainings in Culpepper County, Virginia, hosted by the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office. Even in the face of the lost credential and Guandolo’s conspiracy-guided approach, Culpeper Sheriff Scott Jenkins defended the seminar.
More recently, several Arizona police departments announced they would not take part in another one of Guandolo’s trainings, which was sponsored by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
So what makes Guandolo unfit to be training law enforcement officers?
Since disgracefully resigning from the FBI amid allegations of inappropriate conduct, he has become a full-time anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist, marketing himself as a counter-terrorism expert and consultant. When his trainings for actual law enforcement agents don’t fly, he is happy to train everyday Americans on how to spot the “jihadi” in their own backyard.
Guandolo has partners in trying to convince people that Muslims—especially the Muslim Brotherhood—have infiltrated the U.S. government in hopes of overthrowing it and establishing an Islamic state. Guandolo discusses this at length during his trainings and in public speeches. It wouldn’t be surprising if he said the same thing at his specialty firearms courses as well.
Guandolo works closely with ACT! for America and other groups and individuals that comprise the organized Islamophobia movement. In 2013, Guandolo collaborated with ACT! to launch The Thin Blue Line project, an online resource that claims to assist law enforcement agencies fighting extremism and rid training materials of “suffocating political correctness” and pro-Muslim bias. The website would simply be a distraction but for the fact that it has published the home addresses of leaders of American Muslim religious institutions and advocacy groups on its “radicalization locator map.”
Guandolo also collaborates with Frank Gaffney, an anti-Muslim mainstay. Last month, Guandolo spoke alongside several 2016 Republican presidential candidates during a “national security” summit in New Hampshire sponsored by Gaffney’s organization the Center for Security Policy.
Local sheriffs and police chiefs should take firm steps to make sure their officers are not participating in Guandolo’s biased and misguided instruction. In this age of heightened concerned over police abuse and accountability, the last thing law enforcement leaders should want is a local force trained to profile and foster mistrust. There is just too much at stake.