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

Sponsor: ACT for America

johnIn 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.

The website appears to encourage racial and religious profiling. In one section, it describes how to identify “jihadis” during traffic stops. It reads, “If you take the simple approach to note an accent (if they have one) and ask where they are from in a comfortable non-threatening tone. Share that you have never traveled overseas and are interested in their homeland. They will likely talk to you. If you can learn the region where they are from that could be important to identify them further.”

The website’s featured “Radicalization Locator Map” publicized the names and addresses of prominent Muslim civil liberties leaders and Muslim community organizations. It also lists close to every Muslim Student Association in the country, an organization Guandolo continually claims exists only to “recruit jihadis.”

In another section, the Thin Blue Line Project addresses“Hiring Practices for Law Enforcement Agencies.” This part encourages law enforcement agencies to be wary of “Muslim Brotherhood” “operatives” who have “penetrated” law enforcement agencies or who will attempt to do so. The resource claims that “[e]vidence exists” of Muslim Brotherhood operatives attempting to infiltrate law enforcement agencies, but it provides none. It similarly offers no other additional guidance regarding how to identify an operative other than based on their religion.

It also peddles anti-Muslim tropes such as Islam condoning pedophilia. In one section, it suggests officers responding to a Muslim household “should be aware of any minors in the home who are not a part of the immediate family. In some cultures … having young males around the household who are used sexually by the men in the home, is common.” It adds officers should seek out “young males who are non-family members or identified as ‘cousins’ living in the household” and determine if “further questioning is warranted for the protection of the child.”

Though ACT intends the website for law enforcement officers, its vetting process is very weak. ACT appears to be aware that individuals outside of law enforcement have access to the tool. In a 2014 radio interview, ACT’s former executive director Guy Rodgers noted that some accounts created to access the website do not belong to law enforcement officers. This raises the prospect of vigilante violence given the publication of individuals’ home addresses alongside anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.

Prominent civil rights organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League have echoed the Center for New Community’s concerns about the website.

Thin Blue Line Project. Screenshot taken 1/18/17.

Thin Blue Line Project. Screenshot taken 1/18/17.

Thin Blue Line “Radicalization Locator Map." Screenshot taken 1/17/17.

Thin Blue Line “Radicalization Locator Map.” Screenshot taken 1/17/17.

Additional reading:

Imagine 2050: ACT for America’s New “Anti-Terrorism” Tool Publishes Home Addresses of Muslim American Leaders 

Imagine 2050: ACT! for America to Launch Anti-Muslim Website for Law Enforcement

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