Last Tuesday, Stephen Lemons at the Phoenix New Times Blog noted that Bill Montgomery’s office had hired a former FBI agent with a troublesome record of making outlandish comments about Muslim extremists to teach local law enforcement on how to recognize potential terrorist threats. Lemons wrote:
Guandolo is a controversial figure whose conspiracy-minded statements and seminars for law enforcement have drawn fire from such organizations as the ACLU and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
For instance, according to Salon.com and other news outlets, Guandolo has claimed that current CIA director John Brennan is secretly a Muslim.
In 2013, Salon.com reported the following:
On Friday, John Guandolo, the vice president of the Virginia-based Strategic Engagement Group (SEG), appeared on the Boca Raton-based radio show of Tom Trento, the president of the anti-“Shariah Islam” group The United West, formerly the Florida Security Council. Guandolo described how Brennan has supposedly “interwoven his life professionally and personally with individuals that we know are terrorists 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.”Guandolo continued that what “some would say is most disturbing, Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in an official capacity on behalf of the United States when he served in Saudi Arabia” and it “was the culmination of a counterintelligence operation against him to recruit him” by foreign operatives.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has blasted Guandolo as a “disgraced conspiracy theorist,” who “continues to offer so-called trainings that reveal `the Muslim Brotherhood’s infiltration of the US Federal Bureaucracy and its coverup by our own government.'”
On Friday, the Arizona Republic reported that the Arizona ACLU and several Muslim community leaders wrote a letter to the County Attorney’s office asking Montgomery to cancel the training, which is scheduled for September 19:
“He’s got a hateful message,” said Dan Pochoda, legal director of the ACLU of Arizona. “It’s so symbolically wrong because it’s a message of hate and racism.”
But Montgomery countered by saying, “It’s apparent to me that the training is mischaracterized.”
Montgomery said he had heard of the program and had sent people to see it and determine if it was appropriate for law-enforcement officials in Arizona.
“I’m comfortable with the training they’re going to get,” he said.
Montgomery also said that he had already talked to local Muslim groups about the training session.
But the session has been canceled in other parts of the country, including Kansas, after strong protests, particularly by Muslim groups.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery’s desperate attempt to gin up controversy and milk the just-passed anniversary of 9/11 by employing a controversial ex-FBI agent to teach cops and prosecutors about Muslim extremism has taken a wacky turn.
John Guandolo, the ex-FBI agent who reportedly left the bureau after admitting to an inappropriate sexual relationship with a confidential informant according to several outlets, fired back in his blog today against the ACLU of Arizona and local Muslim groups that are calling on Montgomery to cancel a scheduled a September 19 training session, in which Guandolo is a featured participant.
Guandolo labeled many of the signers of a recently-published letter of complaint to the county attorney as being members of Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood, and he suggested that the ACLU should be indicted for writing the letter.
Montgomery’s public comments about the training suggest that it will go ahead.