The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Culpeper County, Va., Sheriff Scott Jenkins says he “is not backing down from sending his deputies” to an “advanced counterterrorism” training next week by John Guandolo, a disgraced former FBI agent with a long history of demonizing Muslims and hatching wild conspiracy theories. Jenkins was responding to calls from the Southern Poverty Law Center and a national Muslim-American organization to pull his sponsorship of the anti-Muslim, conspiracy-laden training.
Guandolo has told trainees in the past that American Muslims have no First Amendment rights. He also claims that the current director of the CIA is a secret Muslim agent working for the Saudis and that the Bush and Obama administrations were infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood. In a blog post last week, he even claimed that the American conservative movement had been penetrated by “jihadis,” in the form of anti-tax activist Grover Norquist.
Nonetheless, Sheriff Jenkins says that 20 of his employees will attend the training. It’s not clear if public funds will be used to cover the reduced registration fees ($25, reduced from $225).
Meanwhile, Guandolo claims that 30 officers from other law enforcement agencies will attend. However, calls to some of the other agencies privately said to be participating cast doubt on that number. He also says that he will do a special seminar for media and local officials. Two years ago in Tennessee, he pushed away a camera when a reporter attempted to tape his presentation. The Culpeper event will likewise be closed to press.
Sheriff Jenkins defended the training as a cheap way of fulfilling training hours for his staff. But Guandolo’s cheap training could prove costly. It will teach law enforcement officers to deny Muslim Americans their constitutional rights while passing along inaccurate – and often outrageous – information about our government, Muslims and the actual risks we face.
The Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia is planning to host a three-day training by John Guandolo, a notorious Muslim-basher and conspiracy theorist who resigned from the FBI before he could be investigated for misconduct, according to promotional materials.
It’s hard to believe that the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office would knowingly associate itself with such a disreputable character, who regularly attacks the U.S. government, claims that the director of the Central Intelligence Agency is a secret Muslim agent for the Saudi government and says that American Muslims “do not have a First Amendment right to do anything.”
Guandolo joined the bureau’s Counterterrorism Division in the wake of 9/11, but by 2005 he was posing as a driver for a “star witness” in the corruption case of former Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA). He made “inappropriate sexual advances” to that witness and soon was having an “intimate relationship…that he thought could damage an investigation.” He also unsuccessfully solicited the witness for a $75,000 donation to an organization he supported and carried on extramarital affairs with female FBI agents.
Guandolo’s actions risked tanking the government’s prosecution of Jefferson, and he faced an investigation by the bureau’s Office of Professional Responsibility. Though he later expressed “deep remorse” for his actions, he resigned from the bureau in December, 2008, ahead of an investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility. Later that month, he became a full-time anti-Muslim activist and conspiracy theorist –– all under the guise of being a counterterrorism expert.
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After nearly seven months, federal prosecutors have decided to move forward with charges against one of two men charged with conspiring to build a portable, remote-controlled device designed to deliver fatal doses of radiation to Muslims – or “medical waste,” as the plotters called their intended targets.
Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, was charged in an indictment last week with attempting to produce a radiological device, conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and distribution of information related to weapons of mass destruction. Another suspect, Eric Feight, 54, was named in the original complaint but was not indicted. Both were arraigned last June.
According to sources who spoke with the Times-Union of Albany, Feight and his lawyers are working on a plea agreement in exchange for testimony against Crawford.
The case has been under investigation by a Joint Terrorism Task Force since at least April 2012, when Crawford went to a Schenectady synagogue, Congregation Gates of Heaven, and “asked to speak with a person who might be willing to help him with a type of technology that could be used by Israel to defeat its enemies while they slept.” ( continue to full post… )
The U.S. Secret Service is aware of a man with ties to a group called the Christian American Patriots Militia who is the apparent author of a Facebook post that says the antigovernment group has the “authority” to assassinate President Obama.
“We now have authority to shoot Obama, i.e., to kill him,” Everest Wilhelmsen wrote on his Facebook page on Nov. 19 – the same day Larry Klayman and his Reclaim America Coalition held a rally across from the White House to begin a “second American Revolution.”
While Wilhelmsen’s post doesn’t specifically mention the rally or Klayman, the anti-Obama rhetoric is in the same vein.
The Secret Service reportedly became aware of Wilhelmsen’s written threat yesterday, the day before the nation marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. ( continue to full post… )
One of the distinct qualities that often qualifies organizations for designation by the SPLC as hate groups is that they specialize in spinning degrading narratives about members of their target groups. And the really vicious haters often give away their game by unleashing the most heinous accusations imaginable — especially so when those accusations turn out to be based on completely false fairy tales.
Recently, far-right Islamophobes Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer demonstrated once again why their organization, Stop Islamization of America, has earned the SPLC’s “hate group” designation for several years running: According to a story heavily promoted by their organization, heartless Islamist radicals are now lighting puppies aflame and hurling them at their enemies. ( continue to full post… )
The world of right-wing extremism produces people who so deeply believe in conspiracy theories woven out of fantasies that they stop being able to distinguish between reality and fantasy – or, in some cases, satire.
And in the case of Dearborn, Mich., this week, satire was mistaken for reality by a large number of such people. An article published at a satirical website mocking right-wing paranoia about Shariah law (Muslim religious law) being imposed in the United States – headlined “City in Michigan First to Fully Implement Sharia Law” and informing readers that Dearborn was now under Muslim control – was mistaken by a large number of people for the real thing.
Spread widely through social media, the story published at the National Report satire site – which publishes fake news in the manner of The Onion, though perhaps more obliquely – sparked an outpouring of outrage from conservatives who have been warned by a number of conspiracist anti-Muslim organizations that Islamic radicals intend to begin imposing “Sharia Law” in the United States. Thousands of phone calls and E-mails came pouring in to Dearborn City Hall. ( continue to full post… )
A suspect arrested this month for twice attempting to burn down a Joplin, Mo., Planned Parenthood clinic now has been implicated in last year’s firebombing that destroyed a mosque in the same community.
Jedediah Stout, 29, an Iraq war veteran who described himself as “sort of homeless,” was charged last week in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Missouri with attempted arson of a building used in interstate commerce. He is being held without bond as a flight risk and danger to the community.
Stout was arrested by police on Oct. 4 walking on railroad tracks in Joplin, just a few blocks from a Planned Parenthood clinic where someone attempted to throw burning backpacks on the roof of the building two days in a row, court documents say. ( continue to full post… )
Pamela Geller and her far-right Muslim-bashing organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, have announced they are striking back at “Sharia Enforcement” by suing the city of Seattle. Or someone.
In a press release earlier this week headlined “We Are Suing the City of Seattle,” Geller heralded the lawsuit by claiming that transit authorities in Seattle had refused one of the AFDI’s incendiary advertisements for their buses.
However, the lawsuit AFDI filed this week is actually against King County’s Metro Transit Authority, not the City of Seattle. ( continue to full post… )
Since word spread about three weeks ago that the neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS) was coming to middle Tennessee this weekend to protest immigration and refugee resettlement, local anti-racists have been working hard to make sure the group’s stay is as uncomfortable as possible.
“We are completely non-violent,” Darlene Neal of the Tennessee Anti Racist Network told Hatewatch. “But we want to disrupt the League’s process, because their process is one of hate mongering and creating divisiveness in communities wherever they go.”
So far, so good. ( continue to full post… )
Rick Joyner, one of the leading lights of the Christian Dominionist movement, recently told his television audience that democracy has failed in America, and that the nation’s only hope, in light of the looming “tyranny” of the Obama administration, is “a military takeover – martial law.” ( continue to full post… )