John Guandolo, terrorism “expert” - updated 3/13/13

Sheila Musaji

Posted Mar 13, 2013      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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John Guandolo, terrorism “expert”

by Sheila Musaji

John Guandolo is a former FBI agent.  Those who promote him as some sort of anti-terrorism expert say that was forced out of the Bureau after it was taken over by those with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.  Frank Gaffney even said he was fired for opposing Sharia.

However , as Right Wing Watch reports that story does not hold up to scrutiny.  “Now that is one way to explain how Guandolo lost his position with the FBI.  Another, more accurate, way would be to note that he resigned when it was discovered that he had been sleeping with a key witness in the corruption case against former Congressmen William Jefferson.”

Justin Elliott reports that Guandolo said: “Every major Muslim organization is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, the former FBI agent said, which he said was formed to overthrow America and establish Islamic law.  They’re having great success of implementing Shariah law, I could give you a thousand examples.”

John Guandolo and Stephen Coughlin now work together in advising and briefing law enforcement about the “Islamic threat” here in the US. **

During a presentation at the Bedford County Emergency Management Agency, former FBI agent John Guandolo briefed members about groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, which he claims is working with other Islamic groups to slowly implement Shariah, also known as Islamic law, which encompasses all areas of life.

Every major Muslim organization is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, the former FBI agent said, which he said was formed to overthrow America and establish Islamic law.

“They’re having great success of implementing Shariah law, I could give you a thousand examples,” Guandolo said.

He said small concessions like installing foot baths, and colleges forced to have separate swimming times for Islamic men and women so not to offend Muslims, are other parts of the strategy.

But Guandolo said that federal leadership is reluctant to act against these Islamic organizations due to political correctness and the threats of lawsuits.

He said that Muslim groups will demand concessions on matters by saying, “You have to do this; you have to do this or I will be offended.”

“The solution to this is you,” Guandolo said. “If you are looking to DHS, the FBI and Congress to solve this ... you’re going to be woefully disappointed.”

He said that FBI agents in the field “are working good cases,” but that the FBI leadership “is unwilling to do what the agents are asking them to do, which is to pony up and use some courage and start stepping on these people.”

“This is political subversion, this is an insurgency in the United States,” he said of the Islamic movement. “Insurgency is thwarted at the local level and the tip of the spear is local police.”

Guandolo also said that the group CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is actually a front for the terror group Hamas.

He also said that he was threatened with his job no less than three times by superiors in the FBI “that told me we were creating waves in the Muslim community.” **

Guandolo was part of Frank Gaffney’s Team BII who prepared the Center for Security Policy Sharia Report.  In an article about this Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy Sharia Report a Threat to American Ideals, I examine the individuals involved in this report, and their findings.  Regarding Guandolo, the article notes

As Louay Safi points out “John Guandolo involved himself in the Rifqa Bary case and in an article published by CSP, uses misleading arguments to fault the FDLE and defend the fundamentalist Global Revolution Church. Guandolo accuses the FDLE investigators of negligence and willful blindness, and urge Florida Governor Charlie Crist to dismiss the current investigative team and appoint another one that will vindicate his version of the case. 

...  How do I know that Guandolo got his facts wrong? Well, he used, or rather distorted, my own writings on the issue of apostasy to advanced his prejudicial views on Islam and American Muslims. Guandolo proclaims that “a due diligence review would reveal the existence of authoritative Islamic Law” and found that “Islamic Law - which is real law - has requirements and rules as to how to deal with those who leave Islam.”  One crucial piece of evidence of his “due diligence review” comes from a book “Peace and the Limits of War.”  Guandolo writes: “In it, Mr. Safi notes that individual apostates cannot be killed for a ‘quiet desertion of personal Islamic duties,’ but can be put to death as ‘just punishment’ when the apostate deserts Islam publicly (p. 31).”  Speaking of negligence and willful blindness, it helps to reproduce the passage that preceded that selective quotation cited by Guandolo in its entirety:

“When a group of Muslim individuals fortify themselves in an area of the Muslim territory and refuse to permit the application of certain fundamental Islamic principles or laws, such as the establishment of public prayer (salah al jama’ah), the payment of zakah, and the like, it is a case of apostasy, for which, the group is to be fought until its members cease their rebellion with respect to the law. It should be clear that apostates are to be fought not because they refuse to profess or practice Islam, but because they disobey the Islamic law. Therefore, nobody should be questioned or prosecuted for not fulfilling his personal duties toward Allah – for he is answerable to Allah, not to the Muslim community, insofar as his personal duties are concerned-as long as he fulfills his public duty.” 

A fair reading of the above passage should lead to a conclusion quite contrary to the one Guandolo conveniently arrived at through the partial and incomplete quotation he cherry picked from the passage to advance his ideologically held position. Indeed, the above argument was made in the context of limiting the ground for war and rejecting the use of force against people on the basis of their personal beliefs. My more definitive statement on religious freedom and the notion of apostasy in Islam is provided in another article, “Apostasy and Religious Freedom,” that was published in the wake of the case of apostasy in Afghanistan in 2006.”

He has been a speaker at a conference organized by Brigitte Gabriel and ACT for America.  He’s also very popular with anti-Muslim loons like Victoria Jackson. 

The use of such shady characters to train law enforcement officers is of great concern.  In the article American Muslims welcome Senate inquiry into accuracy and effectiveness of counterterrorism training I discuss these concerns at length.

UPDATE 3/13/2013

Ryan Lenz has just published Muslim-Bashing Former FBI Agent John Guandolo Goes One Further on the SPLC Hatewatch site.

John Guandolo, the former FBI agent who has made a living calling out high-ranking government officials as secret plants working for the Muslim Brotherhood, may have finally crossed the Rubicon into total outrageousness.

Oh sure, he’s already gone after college professors who weren’t sufficiently anti-Muslim. He’s identified mosques that he says are bases of operation for militant Islam. He’s asserted that Muslims have no First Amendment rights in America and aim only to “subjugate” the nation. But it was just last week that he made what may be his most remarkable claim yet, insisting that John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency, is secretly a Muslim convert working to undermine the Constitution.

Speaking with noted Islamophobic radio personality Tom Trento, Guandolo claimed that Brennan had “interwoven his life professionally and personally with individuals that we know are terrorist and he has given them access” to top officials in the federal government and “brought known Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood leaders into the government and into advisory positions,” according to Salon. It was an eyebrow-raising description of Brennan, given that the former national security advisor is under fairly harsh criticism from the political left for his role in the drone killings of radical Muslim jihadists.

In a sense, this latest claim was different only as a matter of degree, not kind. As head of the Virginia-based Strategic Engagement Group, Guandolo has spent years on the lecture circuit, publicizing his fear that radical Islam has infiltrated the government. In 2011, for instance, a National Public Radio report focused on Guandolo’s false claim that a Jordanian-American professor had links to terrorists and his allegation that many American mosques were complicit in a seditious Muslim Brotherhood plot to dismantle the Constitution. Last summer, he and his organization came under fire again after holding training sessions for law enforcement officials in which he claimed that Muslims “do not have a First Amendment right to do anything,” according to several news reports.

Guandolo also has worked with many of the most vociferous Muslim-bashing ideologues, including ACT! for America’s Brigitte Gabriel, who in 2011 sounded very similar to Guandolo in an interview with The New York Times: “America has been infiltrated on all levels by radicals who wish to harm America. They have infiltrated us at the C.I.A., at the F.B.I., at the Pentagon, at the State Department.”

Guandolo’s new claim regarding Brennan doesn’t seem to be backed by a shred of evidence, beyond repeating a widespread rumor — which was briefly part of Brennan’s Wikipedia profile before being taken down — that Brennan converted to Islam while he was stationed in Saudi Arabia. But that didn’t stop a number of right-wing blogs and websites from joining in, including WorldNet Daily (WND), which featured the “news” under the tabloid headline “Shock Claim.”

“[Brennan’s] conversion to Islam was the culmination of a counterintelligence operation against him to recruit him,” WND quoted Guandolo saying. “The fact that foreign intelligence service operatives recruited Mr. Brennan when he was in a very sensitive and senior U.S. government position in a foreign country means that he either a traitor, which I am not saying but that’s one of the options … Or, he did it unwillingly and unwittingly, which means he is naïve.”

Of course, there’s also a third option — that Guandolo is so hostile to Muslims that he’s basically willing to say anything that seems to tar them. While Hatewatch doesn’t have access to the secret recesses of either Guandolo’s or John Brennan’s brain, we’re willing to bet that that’s the one that history will record.


A Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry 

Originally published 4/22/2011