FBI Investigating Use Of Anti-Muslim Literature in Training

Just last week I wrote about the investigative work that Danger Room’s Spencer Ackerman had done in discovering the FBI’s use of bizarre anti-Muslim propaganda in some of its advanced counter-terrorism training programs. Yesterday, the FBI issued this statement:

The FBI is currently conducting a comprehensive review of all training and reference materials that relate in any way to religion or culture. Additionally, the FBI will consult with outside experts on the development and use of training materials to best ensure the highest level of quality for new agent training, continuing education for all employees, and any FBI-affiliated training. All training will be consistent with FBI core values, the highest professional standards, and adherence to the Constitution.

The right decision, of course. And nicely done there, Mr. Ackerman.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Intelligence, Law and the Courts, National Security, Religion, Terrorism, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Jay Tea says:

    I’m gonna go way, way out on a limb and predict that CAIR (unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial and known terrorist associates) will end up involved, somehow, in the “new and improved” program.

    Last time we tried something like this, I recall, it was Anwar Al-Awlaki called in to the Pentagon…


  2. @Jay Tea:

    Considering that the material they were using came in part from a guy who wrote for World Nut Daily and read more like one of Pamela Geller’s hateful screeds than anything useful to law enforcement, anything would be an improvement I think.

  3. Jay Tea says:

    @Doug Mataconis: …anything would be an improvement I think.

    Sorry, gotta disagree there. Having CAIR define the program would be, in my opinion, far worse than the outgoing one.


  4. mattb says:

    Last time we tried something like this, I recall, it was Anwar Al-Awlaki called in to the Pentagon…

    Weak tea again. He was invited in for a discussion in 2002 as part of ‘”an informal outreach program” in which officials sought contact “…with leading members of the Muslim community,” the official said. At that time, Awlaki was widely viewed as a “moderate” imam at a mosque in Northern Virginia. “‘ (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/10/21/national/main6978200.shtml).

    Multiple sources confirm that the goal of the program was to assure community leaders that any attack that took place in Afghanistan would be directed against Al Quieda and the Taliban and not being a war on Muslims world wide.

    Hoe he got there: “The Defense Department lawyer who vetted the imam wrote that she “had the privilege of hearing one of Mr. Awlaki’s presentations in November and was impressed by both the extent of his knowledge and by how he communicated that information and handled a hostile element in the audience.” ( http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/05/19/exclusive-new-details-emerge-al-qaeda-terror-chiefs-lunch-pentagon/#ixzz1YkKlkrF8 )

    Again suggesting that giving a talk = consulting is a stretch, And it’s also important to note that the only reason this went forward was because the FBI (who was investigating Awlaki) wasn’t talking to the Pentagon.

    Fox news also reports that the Pentagon Vetting process at that time was primarily focused on politics: “They vetted people politically and showed indifference toward security and intelligence advice of others,” the former agent said [mb: not exactly a shot in the arm for the compitency of Rummey’s team.]

    ( http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/05/19/exclusive-new-details-emerge-al-qaeda-terror-chiefs-lunch-pentagon/#ixzz1YkLllb00 )

    So while you continue to blow this up into an image of Awlaki sitting in deep planning meetings, it was far more innocent (ignoring the glaring security gap).

    BTW, before you bring up Major Hassan’s presentation (as you did in a previous thread) let me also remind that — looking back at the reporting — we find he wasn’t asked to present on Islam. Rather the presentation — which was part of completing his residency, was supposed to be on an advanced medical topic that he had explored during his time at the medical center. It was HASSAN not the government who chose that topic. So you really should use him as an example of an “expert” the army called in to teach them about Islam.