Kansas sheriff folds to pressure from pro-Muslim group

“In most cases, when you attack people, you back down, but I am a Marine.” – John Guandolo

In what has recently surfaced as an accusation of law enforcement agencies in Kansas officially sanctioning a “notorious anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist” to conduct a training seminar has bore fruit for a national Muslim advocacy group. As reported by the Associated Press via the Connecticut Post on May 24, 2014, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has won a major victory in their opposition to the counter-terrorism consultation, training, and educational organization Understanding the Threat from conducting a two-day seminar.

Initially slated to conduct anti-terrorism training to Wichita’s Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, in an interview published on May 24, 2014 by The Wichita Eagle newspaper, Sheriff Jeff Easter laconically stated that he wouldn’t be sending any of his officers to the training. Sheriff Easter’s backing out is in stark contrast to what his department’s spokesman said just days ago. 

In a separate article from the Wichita Eagle on May 21, 2014, Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Dave Mattingly spoke glowingly of the Understanding the Threat’s founder and chief instructor John Guandolo. Mattingly said of the former Marine and FBI Agent that his “expertise in the Muslim world and in fighting terrorism can help officers distinguish between good guys and bad guys.”

Mattingly’s accolades didn’t end there. He went on to say “We want our folks to … be able to see the difference,” to avoid stereotypes, he said. “We want to know what the real threat is, and Mr. Guandolo is a subject-matter expert.”

All-American boy…

Guandolo is a former Marine Corps Officer who served in ground combat operations during the Gulf War as an Infantry Platoon Commander, eventually qualifying for and serving with 2d Force Recon. Completing his hitch in the Corps, Guandolo signed on with the FBI in 1996, where after the al-Qaeda attack on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, he was assigned to the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI’s Washington Field Office to develop an expertise in the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Doctrine, the global Islamic Jihad Movement. Agent Guandolo was officially designated a Subject Matter Expert on global Islamic Jihad by the DC Office.

The counter-terrorism expert is also the co–author of Shariah—The Threat to America, and the author of Raising a Jihadi Generation which his company’s official website states “details the Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure and threat inside the United States.” He also serves as an adjunct instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.

When not writing books or fighting jihadists, Guandolo is also a Claremont Institute Lincoln Fellow, a Senior Fellow at the Centennial Institute, and is a Knight of Saint John of the Hospitallers—Ecumenical Order (Knights of Malta). He is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and the USMC Force Recon Association.

Despite Guandolo’s pedigree in organizational leadership and fighting the enemies of the United States, CAIR’s pressure on Sheriff Easter forced him to withdraw sponsorship due to “the controversy had overshadowed the intent of the training.” CAIR’s national spokesman Ibrahim Cooper was undoubtedly pleased, stating Sheriff Easter’s decision “was really good news.” CAIR’s initial objection was that Guandolo was “biased against Islam and his training programs persuade law enforcement members to be suspicious of all Muslims.”

CAIR’s allies speak out…

The Islamic Society of Wichita’s spokesman, Hussam Madi, stated the importance of law enforcement learning of different cultures and investigative strategies “but not from someone who brings hateful views” or from one who treats Muslims as “guilty till proven innocent.”

Ali Ben-Ayed, event coordinator for the Muslim Students Association at Wichita State University made a point of stressing “As Muslims, we want to fight terrorism, but not by profiling. Islam is the most diverse religion. We’re hard to profile.” Ben-Ayed added “Islam is a peaceful religion. And the terrorists, they’re just like the exception.”

Finally, Janice Bradley, one of the board members of the Peace and Social Justice Center of South Central Kansas, said she perused Guandolo’s website “and it appeared to her that he was promoting ‘fear-mongering against our Islamic brothers and sisters.'”

In the meantime, Sheriff Easter is ensuring that his personnel get the education they need in identifying the threat from violent jihadists. The Sheriff has accepted the offer from Eric Holder’s U.S. Attorney’s Office to provide his deputies with the anti-terrorism training required to further their professional knowledge and capabilities.