Disgraced former FBI agent turned anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist John Guandolo is once again heading to Phoenix, Arizona on August 10 – 12 to host one of his biased training seminars tailored to law enforcement officials.
A correspondence from Guandolo’s “counter-terrorism” consulting outfit Understanding the Threat reads, “UTT 3-Day Understanding & Investigation [sic] the Jihadi Network Coming to Arizona.” The event is being offered to “Law Enforcement, National Guard, [and] Intelligence professionals” and will take place in the Phoenix area.
This is not the first time Guandolo has sought to train law enforcement in the Grand Canyon State. In fact, Arizona officials have already spent tens of thousands of dollars accommodating him and his anti-Muslim agenda.
According to Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix News Times, a 2014 seminar of Guandolo’s sponsored by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery cost taxpayers $37,559.
Lemons also highlights that leading up to the 2014 training, Keith Manning, who serves as law enforcement liaison for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, sent Guandolo a list of local Muslim leaders asking for his “assessment” of them.
The Phoenix training received criticism from local Arizona chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. While the event was able to continue, several Arizona police departments slated to attend dropped out.
Guandolo was scheduled to host a training in Phoenix in early June, as previously reported by Imagine 2050. He has had a presence in the Southwest as of late. Also in June, he was scheduled to hold a training at a local Texas college. The college, however, turned Guandolo away after being briefed about his anti-Muslim slant. Following the cancellation, Guandolo took to his blog to say this was the work of so-called “Suit wearing jihadis.” The event was later moved to a Dallas church.
So what is so concerning about these trainings?
For starters, Guandolo resigned in disgrace from the FBI in 2008 amid controversy involving his relationship with a “star witness.” Since then, he has leveraged his FBI background and taken on a full-time career as a “counter-terrorism” consultant travelling the country providing trainings to law enforcement and civilians alike. However, rather than providing constructive material, he instead merely propagates anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. Thus, his seminars continue to come under rightful scrutiny.
Recently, Guandolo claimed Black Lives Matter activists are working “in conjunction” with “jihadis” and “Marxist” groups in order to “impose Sharia Islamic law” on America.
Among other things, Gaundolo has also accused CIA director John Brennan of being a secret Muslim convert and alleged that the sole purpose of the Muslim Student Association (MSA), a student group on college campuses, is to “recruit jihadis.”
During a 2011 training, Guandolo claimed Muslims in America “don’t have a First Amendment right to do anything.”
Other scheduled upcoming trainings
According to a Baton Rouge affiliate of the anti-Muslim grassroots group ACT for America, Guandolo is also scheduled to host a similar training in Louisiana on September 13 – 15.