Training Event Investigating Jihadi Networks Raises Concerns
The Phoenix New Times recently reported that, later this month, a local trade organization called the Arizona Police Association, or APA, is planning to host a training event in Mesa called “Understanding and Investigating the Jihadi Networks in the U.S.”
It’s a three-day program that aims to give law enforcement, military and intelligence professionals an analysis of jihadi operations, doctrine and networks in the U.S. today.
The training is being led by Understanding the Threat, a consulting group founded by John Guandolo. Guandolo is a former Marine and FBI agent who has made a name for himself on the speaking circuit talking about the threat of Islamic terrorism.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has called his trainings “anti-Muslim witch-hunts” that often target and vilify Muslim leaders.
Phoenix New Times also reported that CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, wrote to the APA asking the group to cancel the training.
And The Show’s Lauren Gilger spoke with CAIR’s communications director more about this, and she joins us now.
I spoke with Ibrahim Hooper with CAIR more about this, and I asked him, first, to tell us what their concerns are about this kind of training.
We also reached out to the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board about this, or AZPOST, they are the ones who give officers credits in Arizona for trainings they attend.
Their executive director, Jack Lane, told us that, because no local police department is sponsoring this anti-jihadi training, it’s not eligible for credit through AZPOST.
And Phoenix New Times is still following this story if you want to check out the latest.
We reached out to APA multiple times about this story, but received no response.