Islamophobia Academy: A Timeline

Reno, NV

Understanding the Threat presents at expo sponsored by National Sheriffs’ Association

Understanding the Threat (UTT), the anti-Muslim consulting firm run by John Guandolo, was invited by the National Sheriffs’ Association to give a presentation at its 2017 Annual Educational & Technology Expo in Reno, Nevada in June. UTT’s event took place on June 28, 2017 and was slated to focus on “Understanding and Investigating the Jihadi Network in […]

Mesa, AZ

Understanding the Threat trains in Mesa, Arizona

John Guandolo and his anti-Muslim consulting firm Understanding the Threat (UTT) are scheduled to once again travel to Mesa, Arizona at the invitation of the Arizona Police Association (APA). This will be the second time this year the APA has hosted Guandolo and his group in Mesa.

Hattiesburg, MS

Understanding the Threat appears in Mississippi for three-day law enforcement training

John Guandolo’s consulting firm Understanding the Threat is scheduled to give a three-day law enforcement training in Meridian, Mississippi on April 3 – 5. If past trainings are of any indication, this one will peddle conspiracy theories that the Muslim Brotherhood is infiltrating the United States.

Glendale, AZ

Understanding the Threat trains officers in Glendale, Arizona

John Guandolo’s anti-Muslim consulting outfit Understanding the Threat (UTT) has publicized a training in Glendale, Arizona. The training is scheduled to be sponsored by the Arizona Tactical Officers Association (ATOA), which hosted a previous UTT training just a couple months prior, in January 2017.

Alexandria, LA

John Guandolo provides training at invitation of Louisiana DA’s office

John Guandolo’s anti-Muslim consulting outfit Understanding the Threat (UTT) has publicized a three-day training hosted by the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s office.

Hammond, LA

Understanding the Threat trains in Hammond, Louisiana

Understanding the Threat has publicized an upcoming training in Hammond, Louisiana.

Broadview Heights, OH

John Guandolo holds national security briefing for law enforcement, civilians

The Cleveland ACT for America chapter hosted John Guandolo for a virtual “National Security Briefing.” While the meeting’s core audience seemed to be comprised of civilians, the ACT chapter encouraged attendees to “please invite active & retired law enforcement to this meeting.” “Your Assignment: Bring along Law Enforcement Staff from your community,” read a flyer […]

Washington, DC

Guandolo, Gaubatz lecture at National Sheriffs’ Association conference

Understanding the Threat’s (UTT) John Guandolo and Chris Gaubatz gave a lecture at the National Sheriffs’ Association Winter Conference, a four-day law enforcement conference in Washington D.C. Guandolo and Gaubataz’s presentation, which took place February 4th, was titled “Understanding and Investigating the Jihadi Network in Your Home Town.”

Philadelphia, PA

Middle East Forum hires staff member for educational outreach to law enforcement

Daniel Pipes’ hawkish anti-Muslim think tank Middle East Forum (MEF) announced in a press release that it has hired Lieutenant Colonel Phillip Prescott as a “Jihad Intel Specialist responsible for educational outreach to law enforcement, the military, and other government agencies.” According to the release, Prescott has a military and intelligence background, and has also […]


Understanding the Threat hosts “Train the Trainer” event for law enforcement, civilians

John Guandolo’s Understanding the Threat outfit hosted a six-day “Train the Trainer” event at an unspecified location in Texas. The training was intended for law enforcement and civilians alike, and addressed the so-called “jihad threat” in the United States. According to an advertisement for the event sent via email, the program provided attendees with a supposed “understanding of the threat of the Jihadist Movement and the network in the United States.”

Glendale, AZ

John Guandolo leads three-day training in Arizona 

John Guandolo and his anti-Muslim consulting group Understanding the Threat led a three-day training in Glendale, Arizona. The training was sponsored by the Arizona Police Association and the Arizona Tactical Officers Association, and was titled “Understanding and Investigating the Jihadi Threat.” According to a flyer for the training, Guandolo was scheduled to provide “a detailed understanding of street violence emerging from the alliance among the Muslim Brotherhood and violent anarchist groups including Black Lives Matter.”

Stanardsville, VA

Chris Gaubatz training sponsored by VA sheriff

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office sponsored a public seminar featuring Chris Gaubatz of Understanding the Threat, the anti-Muslim consulting group run by John Guandolo. Despite criticism from civil rights groups and the local Muslim community, Sheriff Steve Smith stood by the seminar, titled “Understanding the Jihadi Threat.”

Orlando, FL

Ryan Mauro speaks at Homeland Security Professionals Conference and Expo 

Ryan Mauro was a featured speaker at a “homeland security professionals” conference and expo being put on by Security Solutions International, which publishes The Counter Terrorist magazine. The event, titled “One World – many threats,” was co-sponsored by a number of national security and law enforcement vendors.

Hoffman Estates, IL

Sebastian Gorka at IL police training and weapons expo

Dr. Sebastian Gorka, a far-right national security “expert” who has expressed anti-Muslim sentiments, was a featured speaker at a five-day training and weapons expo sponsored by the the Illinois Tactical Officers Association (ITOA). Gorka was scheduled to speak on “Terrorist Threat—Trends and Predictions.”

Culpeper, VA

John Guandolo returns to VA at request of local sheriff 

Virginia’s Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins invited John Guandolo back to hold a civilian-focused training. “This is a one-day (8 hour) program tailored for civilian audiences to detail the threat from the global Islamic Movement and the jihadi threat to their particular area/state,” read a statement issued by the sheriff’s office.


John Guandolo training co-hosted by Louisiana sheriff’s office, DEA

John Guandolo held a training in Louisiana on September 13-15 titled “Understanding and Investigating the Jihadi Network.” The event was co-hosted by the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Loudoun, VA

Frank Gaffney presentation at Crime Commission luncheon

The Loudoun Crime Commission, a non-profit “anti-crime” organization has been criticized for hosting various anti-Muslim speakers over the years. On September 9, 2016, the commission hosted a luncheon featuring Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy. Gaffney presented on “Why There Can Be No Substitute for Victory Over Jihad.”

San Diego, CA

Ryan Mauro trains at San Diego law enforcement symposium

The California Association of Tactical Officers (CATO) partnered with Ryan Mauro for a two-day law enforcement symposium on “Islamic terrorism.” The event, which took place at an undisclosed location in San Diego, was exclusive to law enforcement personnel. Promotional materials say the training seminar was meant to equip law enforcement officials with the skills to “identify, prepare, prevent, or respond to incidents involving Islamic Terrorism.”

Phoenix, AZ

John Guandolo holds training in Arizona

John Guandolo was advertised to be in Phoenix, Arizona on August 10 – 12 to host one of his training seminars tailored to law enforcement officials. A correspondence from Guandolo’s consulting outfit Understanding the Threat reads, “UTT 3-Day Understanding & Investigation [sic] the Jihadi Network Coming to Arizona.”

Virginia Beach, VA

Brig Barker, former FBI agent with law enforcement ties, becomes ACT for America fellow

ACT for America published an article on August 2, 2016 from its fellow Brig Barker, a retired FBI counterterrorism agent. In it, Barker suggests reallocating military funds to local law enforcement and border patrol as well as well as “exponentially” increasing the “education and awareness” of law enforcement and prosecutors about the “jihadist” threat.

Washington, D.C.

Chris Gaubatz testifies at congressional hearing

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) provided a Congressional platform to anti-Muslim activist Chris Gaubatz, an employee at John Guandolo’s consulting group Understanding the Threat. Gaubatz testified a 2016 senate subcommittee hearing entitled “Willful Blindness: Consequences of Agency Efforts To Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism,” over which Cruz presided. During his testimony, Gaubatz promoted UTT’s biased […]

Dallas, TX

John Guandolo law enforcement training rejected by community college following pressure

John Guandolo was scheduled to host an all-day training seminar for “law enforcement officials and community leaders” at Cedar Valley College in Lancaster, Texas. After pressure from advocacy organizations, Cedar Valley College canceled the event. Guandolo claimed it was the work of “suit wearing jihadis.” The event was moved to Fair Park Bible Fellowship, a Dallas-based church headed by Tea Party Pastor Stephen Broden.

Verona, New York

Ryan Mauro presents at New York law enforcement expo

Mauro was scheduled to give two three-hour presentations on “The Global Threat of Islamic Extremism (ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Iran)” and “The Threat of Islamic Extremism in America/New York State.” Despite criticism and scrutiny from advocacy organizations, the New York Tactical Officers Association (NYTOA) publicly doubled down on Mauro’s appearance.

Pinal County, AZ

John Guandolo invited by Pinal County sheriff to give training

John Guandolo gave a three-day law enforcement training that was sponsored by then-Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. According to the Phoenix New Times, the event cost $10,050, which was paid for using RICO funds, or money obtained by law enforcement through asset forfeiture proceedings. A Pinal County Sheriff’s Office spokesman confirmed that Guandolo was both […]

Ocean County, NJ

Walid Shoebat paid thousands to train New Jersey police

Walid Shoebat was paid an estimated $6,000 to deliver a law enforcement training sponsored by the Ocean County Police Academy. According to the Asbury Park Press, 62 officers from the surrounding Jersey Shore area attended the seminar, titled “Know Your Enemy.”

Centennial, CO

John Guandolo takes training to Colorado police

Two Colorado-based associations for gun owners invited John Guandolo to conduct two day-long trainings for separate audiences. Day one of the event was advertised as being tailored to local law enforcement. Guandolo claimed the event was a “success” despite a Denver-area detective being dispatched to identify any officers in attendance.

Phoenix, AZ

Guandolo, Gaffney event hosted by Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office

John Guandolo, along with anti-Muslim figures Clare Lopez and Frank Gaffney, held a 7-hour briefing for Arizona law enforcement at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Training Facility in Phoenix. According to documents released in response to a public records request, the event was organized by Sentinel Intelligence Services, LLC, a private intelligence consulting outfit run by Lyle Rapacki, PhD. Rapacki is a member of other dubious intelligence organizations, including the U.S. Border Intelligence Group. He is also a member of the far-right, anti-government group Oath Keepers, according to a note from the editor of the Oath Keepers website, Elias Alias.

Philadelphia, PA

Middle East Forum launches online law enforcement resource

In 2015, the anti-Muslim think tank Middle East Forum launched Jihad Intel, a website claiming to aid law enforcement officials by providing intelligence on so-called Islamic terrorist organizations. Jihad Intel is billed as being a solution to the political correctness anti-Muslim actors say is preventing law enforcement from being able to identify threats from Islamic extremists. The website claims it helps law enforcement “distinguish Islamist violence from, say, drug deals gone bad.”

Mesa, AZ

John Guandolo consulting group Understanding the Threat conducts three-day training

John Guandolo, via his consulting group Understanding the Threat, led a three-day seminar for law enforcement officers in Mesa, Arizona at the invitation of the Arizona Police Association, a local police advocacy organization. The event, titled “Understanding the Threat to America,” was advertised as being “intended for individuals whose professional duties involve the Global War on Terror.” According to course materials, anti-Muslim conspiracy theories peddled by Guandolo were prevalent. The course was said to have covered so-called “Muslim Brotherhood organizations” in the United States and “how they operate within our system to subvert our laws and foundational systems.”

San Antonio, TX

John Guandolo originally scheduled to appear alongside FBI agent

The St. Mary’s University Center for Terrorism Law partnered with the anti-Muslim hate group ACT for America to host an all day training seminar at which John Guandolo spoke. A representative from the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia was originally slated to speak at the seminar, titled “Domestic Jihad and ISIS,” but later withdrew after pressure from Muslim civil rights organizations.

Tempe, AZ

John Guandolo hosts training in Arizona at invitation of county attorney’s office

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery hosted John Guandolo for a training seminar advertised to “cover threats posed to our local communities by Hamas, Hezbollah and Shariah Law.” Several Arizona police departments, including the Phoenix Police Department, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, and Peoria Police Department, declined to attend the event, according to the Phoenix News Times. The Tempe Police Department, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and the Scottsdale Police Department, however, did choose to send representatives. Three hundred 300 law enforcement officials are reported to have attended the event despite criticism from local chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Washington, DC

John Guandolo participation in investigation of prominent Muslim figures exposed

In a 2014 exposé, The Intercept revealed that during his time with the FBI, John Guandolo participated in investigations of five prominent Muslim-American individuals. The FBI monitored the email accounts of these five individuals, including a lawyer, two academics, a Republican candidate for public office, and the executive director of a leading national Muslim civil liberties organization. Guandolo’s interview with The Intercept revealed he viewed these individuals as “part of a vast Muslim conspiracy to infiltrate and topple the United States from within.”

Wichita, KS

John Guandolo training loses support from Sedgwick County Sheriff

After originally being slated to co-host a two-day training featuring John Guandolo, the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office backed out of the event, claiming it was too controversial. The sheriff’s office was initially scheduled to partner with a local citizen’s group to host the anti-Muslim trainer. The Wichita Eagle reported the sheriff’s office originally stood by the seminar, arguing that it was a “way to help officers distinguish between extremists and non-extremists.” However, it later withdrew support after local Muslim advocates raised concerns about the event.

Culpeper, VA

John Guandolo facilitates seminar for VA sheriff’s office

Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins invited Guandolo to host a three-day law enforcement training on the so-called “jihadi networks in America.” After advocacy groups raised concerns, the Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy announced it would withdraw accreditation for the training. Jenkins, however, doubled down and went ahead with it. According to reports, about 50 law enforcement officials from Culpeper County and surrounding areas were scheduled to attend. Registration per attendee was set at $225.

Orlando, FL

Steve Emerson is featured speaker at homeland security conference

Steve Emerson of the anti-Muslim think tank Investigative Project on Terrorism was a featured speaker at Security Solutions International’s 8th annual Homeland Security Conference. According to a press release, “[s]peakers will show how poised Islamic Radicals are to striking the US, and offer up methods for recognizing, confronting and responding to these threats.”

Oklahoma City, OK

Frank Gaffney invited to give training at Oklahoma House of Representatives

Oklahoma State Representative John Bennett, via his informal House Counterterrorism Caucus, invited anti-Muslim speakers Frank Gaffney and Clare Lopez of the Center for Security for Security policy and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry G. Boykin to train local law enforcement officers in Oklahoma City.


John Guandolo teams up with ACT for America to launch biased online law enforcement tool

In 2013, John Guandolo partnered with the anti-Muslim grassroots organization ACT for America to release the “Thin Blue Line Project,” intended as a one-stop internet resource for law enforcement on information concerning the perceived threat of Muslim infiltration and terrorism in the country. The website dangerously encouraged vigilante violence by publishing the addresses of Muslim leaders alongside anti-Muslim rhetoric in a format accessible to the public. ACT promised the project would combat the “suffocating political correctness” that has led to the removal of explicitly anti-Muslim materials in federal law enforcement trainings.

Lexington, NE

David Bores holds eight-hour law enforcement course on “Islamic Ideology”

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) David Bores taught an 8-hour course at the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Center in Nebraska. The course, titled “Islamist Ideology: Does it Conflict with Our Law Enforcement Mission?” was eligible for 8 credit hours as approved by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards And Training Council (POST). Bores, who is a certified POST instructor, has no formal training in Islamic theology. Yet the course focused primarily on the threat to law enforcement officers posed by Muslims and Islam.

Murfreesboro, TN

John Guandolo holds training at invitation of TN Sheriff

Rutherford Sheriff Robert Arnold invited well-known anti-Muslim activist John Guandolo to educate his law enforcement officers about Islam. Guandolo previously claimed mosques in neighboring Tennessee towns “do not have a First Amendment right to do anything.” Even though Arnold said the event was intended to teach officers about Muslim culture, he did not reach out to local Muslim organizations or spokespeople to participate in the training.

Columbus, OH

John Guandolo spreads falsehoods at law enforcement training in Columbus, Ohio

At a training in Ohio sponsored by the Columbus Police Department, Guandolo falsely accused a college professor of having ties to terrorism. The training was scheduled to last two and half days. However, the Columbus PD suspended the training after attendees reported the “presenters were making offensive statements” about the professor. The police department shut down the event and condemned Guandolo’s statements.

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