Feathered Bastard

Bill Montgomery's Anti-Muslim Seminar Results in Threats to Muslims, ADL Criticizes Training, Phoenix PD Will Not Participate (w/Updates)

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In it, Guandolo called for the ACLU of Arizona to be indicted for aiding a terrorist organization because it had sent a letter to Montgomery asking that the training be canceled.

In a press release today, Montgomery blasted the ACLU for "spreading misinformation" about Guandolo's seminar, which is open to local law enforcement and prosecutors.

But the release said nothing of the ADL, which sent Montgomery a letter last week, expressing concern over Guandolo, while stopping short of calling for the event to be canceled.

The letter, signed by the ADL's regional investigator, reads, in part:

John Guandolo is a former FBI agent and is often described as an "expert" in Islamic extremism due to his background in law enforcement. However, he has significant involvement in U.S. anti-Muslim organizations, and has advocated conspiracy theories of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the United States. He is involved in ACT! for America, a grassroots organization that seeks to vilify Muslims and Islam. In addition, Guandolo is the co-creator of ACT! for America's "Thin Blue Line" project, a website that promotes offensive materials to law enforcement officials built on offensive claims about Muslims. Guandolo is also the Vice-President of the Strategic Engagement Group, a Virginia-based organization that seeks to "defeat efforts to subvert the United States Constitution and subjugate the American People [sic]" by Islam and Muslims.

In May 2013, Guandolo came under criticism when he stated that John Brennan, Director of the CIA, is a secret Muslim. Guandolo stated that "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." Guandolo has also voiced his conspiratorial views regarding a 2012 documentary aired on media pundit Glenn Beck's online website. In that documentary, which claims that the government has allegedly been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood, Guandolo said, "[t]he very people we're getting our advice from currently regarding the Islamic movement - terrorism, counter-terrorism--are leaders in the Muslim Brotherhood; those are the people advising our White House, State Department, FBI, CIA, DHS - that's a problem."

We are, therefore, concerned that Guandolo's presentation would paint a distorted view of the Muslim community, and promote bigotry and misinformation.

The ADL told me that Montgomery has not responded to its letter.

I should note that the ADL's weighing in on this subject is a big deal, as both the ADL and CAIR have been critical of each other in the past.

Via e-mail, I asked Montgomery's spokesman Jerry Cobb about the ADL's letter, the reports of threats to Muslims, and the PPD's declining to participate.

He wrote back, "We have no comment beyond the information we distributed earlier today."

According to more than one source, Montgomery recently met with local Muslim leaders to defend the training. At that meeting, Montgomery learned from a member of the PPD hierarchy that the department would not participate.

An unkinder cut may be from Montgomery's onetime ally, Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons