The progressive, Somerville, MA-based think tank Political Research Associates has a new study exposing how anti-Muslim fanatics have been used as anti-terrorism training experts by American law enforcement agencies at all levels. The report was published as the House Homeland Security Committee was ramping-up its controversial hearings on the alleged threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism.
One training conference, which PRA investigators attended, was held last October by the International Counter-Terrorism Officers Association, a body formed by New York police officers in the wake of 9/11. The conference was addressed by Walid Shoebat, a speaker used by several of the private training outfits.
Shoebat is a convert to Christianity, having formerly been a Muslim with links to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. In his presentation, called The Jihad Mindset and How to Defeat It: Why We Want to Kill You, he accused Muslim men of raping women, children and young boys. “They are paedophiles!” he shouted.
According to the report, Shoebat went on: “The Muslim beheads with a smile. You can see it on YouTube, on TV; the Afghan child trained to execute Christians. You say that Islam is a peaceful religion? Why? It hates the west.”
He also said: “Islam is a revolution and is intent to destroy all other systems. They want to expand, like Nazism.”
The study exposes the risks posed to both national security and the civil rights of Americans when intelligence gathering is biased. The study also makes a series of recommendations for how law enforcement agencies can guard against these risks.
Frederick Clarkson is an independent journalist, author and editor who has written about politics and religion for thirty years. He is the co-founder of the group blog Talk to Action, Senior Fellow at Political Research Associates, and lives in Massachusetts.
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