John Guandolo, the disgraced former FBI agent turned anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist, is scheduled to hold an all-day training on June 3 at the Cedar Valley College in Lancaster, Texas.
According to an advertisement for the event, the training, titled “Understanding the Jihad Threat to America,” is scheduled to last nine hours and will take place in building M (Veterinary Technology Services) of the college. The event appears to be open to both law enforcement and the public.
The seminar is taking place just days before Guandolo is scheduled to be in Phoenix for another law enforcement training.
The flyer for the event also claims “Law enforcement attendees will be eligible for continuing education credit.” In this age of heightened racial and religious profiling, Guandolo has no business conducting law enforcement trainings, especially for credit.
Civil rights advocates have consistently criticized Guandolo’s biased, anti-Muslim trainings for law enforcement and lay people.
In 2013, Guandolo was scheduled to give a three-day training in Culpepper County, Virginia at the invitation of Sheriff Scott Jenkins. However, after national organizations raised concerns about the event, the Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy announced it would withdraw accreditation for the event.
The June 3 training is also being promoted by the San Antonio ACT for America chapter. ACT serves as the nation’s largest anti-Muslim grassroots organization in the United States. The group’s anti-Muslim track record earned it a “hate group” designation by the Southern Poverty Law Center earlier this year.
Guandolo and his history of conspiracy theory training
Guandolo’s anti-Muslim bias and controversial statements have proved he is unfit to train law enforcement. He left the FBI in 2008 amid an investigation for alleged inappropriate conduct with a “star witness” during a corruption case. Since leaving the FBI, he has turned to a full-time career as “counter-terrorism” consultant and provides trainings to law enforcement and civilians alike under his outfit, “Understanding The Threat.” He continues to tout his FBI credentials to lend credibility to his trainings. However, his trainings are not only biased, they are full of anti-Muslim tropes and conspiracy theories.
For example in 2011 training, Guandolo claimed Muslims in America “don’t have a First Amendment right to do anything.” He has also accused CIA director John Brennan of being a secret Muslim convert and claimed the sole purpose of the Muslim Student Association (MSA), a student group on college campuses, is to “recruit jihadis.”
In 2014, Guandolo raised even more concerns when it was announced he would be hosting a firearms training course that offered “Practical decision-making skills applicable to a range of threat scenarios.”
It seems Guandolo is spending a lot of time in the Grand Canyon State. He was reportedly there in mid-March to brief law enforcement on the alleged dangers posed by Muslims. He is also scheduled to be there next week. In 2014, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery invited Guandolo to give a training to local law enforcement. However, several police departments withdrew from the event after concerns were raised by local civil rights groups and community members.