Anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist and activist John Guandolo is scheduled to conduct another law enforcement training in Arizona.
Guandolo will continue his rounds on the law enforcement training circuit next week to conduct a three-day course titled, “Understanding and Investigating the Jihadi Network.” He held similar trainings in Phoenix and Tucson back in March.
Guandolo has revealed very little about the training, choosing not to publicize the location of the course or details about which members of law enforcement will be attending. Just today, a course Guandolo planned to host on June 3 at Cedar Valley College in Lancaster, Texas, titled “Understanding the Jihad Threat to America,” was cancelled after civil rights groups contacted the college.
In 2014, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery invited Guandolo to Phoenix, which caused a major stir, especially because of the city’s history of racial profiling, particularly of Latinos.
Montgomery has a history of associating with anti-immigrant Minutemen, including Chris Simcox, the former Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC) leader who is currently on trail for child molestation. Montgomery has spoken at an MCDC event and participated in one of Simcox’s border watches.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a close friend of the nativist movement, was recently found in contempt by a federal judge in his repeated attempts to cover up racial profiling offenses, most notably during traffic stops. It is unclear if Montgomery’s office invited Guandolo. A Hatewatch email to the office received no response.
“Since we know most of the mosques in America teach this same material as well, we should be aware that someday soon, many thousands of Muslims will wage war against the United States and its people just like they teach they should. To believe otherwise would be foolish.”
Guandolo once claimed Muslims “do not have a First Amendment right to do anything.”
Since he resigned from the FBI for a number of ethical breaches and bizarre conduct, Guandolo has devoted himself to a rabid brand of anti-Muslim activism, working closely with some of the most powerful and influential anti-Muslim groups in the U.S., while accusing various government officials of having ties to terrorist organizations.
In his spare time, Guandolo works closely with the anti-Muslim hate group ACT! for America, the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in the country. He helped the group build “The Thin Blue Line Project,” billed as a “one-stop internet resource for information concerning the perceived threat of Muslim infiltration and terrorism in the country.”
Its key component is a “Radicalization Map Locator,” listing the addresses of every Muslim Student Association (MSA) in the country as well as a number of mosques and Islamic institutions—all listed as suspected national security concerns. Just this year, Guandolo told a crowd in South Carolina that the sole purpose of MSA’s is to “recruit jihadis”—many in the anti-Muslim movement claim MSA’s are a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.
There are others on the anti-Muslim right who Guandolo enjoys close relationships with as well, including Frank Gaffney, head of the anti-Muslim hate group Center for Security Policy (CSP). Earlier in 2015, Gaffney invited Guandolo to speak about radical Islam at a National Security Action Summit in South Carolina. In 2007, CSP awarded Guandolo its “Defenders of the Home Front” award.
Focus on Phoenix
Phoenix is one of many hotbeds of anti-Muslim activity and organizing in the U.S. In late May of 2015, anti-government and anti-Muslim activist Jon Ritzheimer held a Prophet Muhammad cartoon drawing contest in front of a Phoenix mosque, where he sold t-shirts that read “Fuck Islam.” Ritzheimer’s call to action encouraged supporters to show up armed and about 250 “mostly armed anti-Muslim demonstrators,” answered Ritzheimer’s call. They were met by an equal number of counter-protesters “defending the faith.”
Ritzheimer organized another anti-Muslim protest in Phoenix in October 2015 as part of a larger anti-Muslim “Global Rally for Humanity.” Ritzheimer’s event drew a couple of dozen participants, several of them armed. However, they were dwarfed in both size and volume by the chanting counter-protesters. “I don’t hate Muslims, OK? I don’t hate Muslims,” Ritzheimer told a Phoenix TV station. “Islam is what I have a problem with.” Ritzheimer, known for posting videos on YouTube, has several showing him shooting the Quran with a pistol. Ritzheimer was arrested in January for his role in the anti-government standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
Other recent anti-Muslim incidents in the Phoenix area include the hacking of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix’s website where the message “Vive le France” was left—presumably in response to the recent terror attacks in France—and the vandalization of a local mosque on December 12, 2015.
With Maricopa County’s ugly history of racial profiling by law enforcement, coupled with a spike in anti-Muslim rhetoric and activity in Arizona, officers and their supervisors would do well to turn their back on Guandolo next week.