“In most cases, when you attack people, you back down, but I am a Marine.” — John Guandolo
In an interview with The Wichita Eagle newspaper, Sheriff Jeff Easter saud he wouldn’t be sending any of his officers to the training. This is in stark contrast to the department’s position days ago, when 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. We want to know what the real threat is, and Mr. Guandolo is a subject-matter expert.
A former Marine Corps officer who served in ground combat operations during the Gulf War, Guandolo signed on with the FBI in 1996, where after the 9/11 attack he was assigned to the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. There he developed expertise in the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Doctrine, and the global Islamic Jihad Movement. He was officially designated a Subject Matter Expert on global Islamic Jihad by the D.C. Office.
Despite Guandolo’s pedigree in organizational leadership and fighting the enemies of the United States, CAIR’s pressure on Easter forced him to withdraw sponsorship due to “the controversy had overshadowed the intent of the training.” CAIR’s national spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, was undoubtedly pleased, declaring that 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 said:
As Muslims, we want to fight terrorism, but not by profiling. Islam is the most diverse religion. We’re hard to profile. 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, 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.