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). According to Guandolo, the intended audience was “law enforcement, prosecutors, analysts, national guard, military, and intelligence professionals in the New Orleans, Louisiana area.”
A Baton Rouge affiliate of the anti-Muslim grassroots group ACT for America helped promote the event.
The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a public records request filed by the Center for New Community pertaining to the training, saying it would not disclose “[r]ecords containing security procedures, investigative training information or aids, investigative techniques […] criminal intelligence, information pertaining to terrorist-related activity, or threat vulnerability assessments collected or obtained in the prevention of terrorist-related activity…”
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration also responded to a public records request admitting to co-hosting and promoting the event. “[T]he DEA Special Agents assisted in the solicitation of the training because of their training networking duties as with other routine state and local training solicitations within the area of responsibility.” A correspondence email released by the DEA revealed: “The class will be held to 50 attendees and each will receive a copy of “Raising a Jihadi Generation” as authored by John Guandolo.” It also noted the course was “designed for Local Law Enforcement and their intel sections, Federal L.E. Partners, as well as Military L.E. and intel sections.”
Sheriff Greg Champagne of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office is the current president of the National Sheriff’s Association, which describes itself as a “non-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among those in the law enforcement field.” Several months after the Louisiana training, Champagne officially endorsed Guandolo’s training programs. In a statement, he wrote, “This is the only training program for law enforcement in the nation which actually gives officers ways to proactively find terrorists in their communities, map out the terrorist network in the community, and create innovative investigative strategies to aggressively tackle the threat at the local level.”
According to The Daily Star, Ponchatoula Police Chief Bry Layrisson and some of his officers also attended the St. Charles Parish training. Layrisson told the publication the “training covered a broad scope of the threat and how it affects law enforcement officials in daily duties as well as how the threat can be combatted at a local level.”
Guandolo’s trainings are rooted in anti-Muslim rhetoric and conspiracy theories. He has claimed Muslims are purchasing hotels, gas stations, and convenience stores in the name of preparing for “a jihad here in the United States.”