John Guandolo Returns: Arizona Police Association Criticized Over 'Islamophobic' Training
Skyward Kick Productions via Shutterstock
The Arizona Police Association, a statewide coalition of local law enforcement groups, will be holding a three-day training event titled "Understanding and Investigating the Jihadi Network" for its members next month.
It's led by Understanding the Threat, the consulting firm run by John Guandolo.
Guandolo is the guy who claimed that former CIA Director John Brennan was a "secret Muslim." He also recently stated that a Delaware imam who touched his nose during the Pledge Of Allegiance was signaling "civilizational jihad." He's said that mosques have no legal right to exist.
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes him as "a notorious Muslim basher and conspiracy theorist."
None of this should be news to the APA. Three years ago, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office spent $40,000 in public money (your tax dollars at work!) to bring Guandolo and his team to Phoenix. The ensuing backlash — led by the ACLU, the Anti-Defamation League of Arizona, and Muslim community leaders — was so intense that the Phoenix Police Department and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office decided not to participate in the training.
Nonetheless, Guandolo has been making frequent trips to Arizona to conduct training for both the Arizona Police Association and the Arizona Tactical Officers Association.
The flyer from his January training in Glendale promises that, among other things, officers will come away with "a detailed understanding of street violence emerging from the alliance among the Muslim Brotherhood and violent anarchist groups including Black Lives Matter."
Now, the Council on American-Islamic Relations is asking the APA to cancel the May training, saying that it could put the Muslim community at risk.
They point to a recent blog post written by Guandolo that claims that mosques and Islamic centers are "organizing for armed confrontation with law enforcement" and plotting attacks on churches.
"Given the most recent demonstrably false and off-the-wall claims by Mr. Guandolo, coupled with his long history of Islamophobic conspiracy theories, this training should be canceled and future trainings should feature instructors who will offer accurate and objective information," the letter from CAIR says.
"No law enforcement officer should receive continuing education credit for such biased, counterproductive, and inaccurate ‘training.’”
We've reached out to the Arizona Police Association for comment and will update this post if they respond.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.