Religion

FBI Training Video: Forget al-Qaeda, Islam Real Enemy

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

An FBI agent has been captured in a training video saying the real enemy of the United States is not al-Qaeda but Islam itself, even comparing the religion to the Death Star in "Star Wars."

Wired reports that agent William Gawthrop made the comments during a law enforcement training session in New York in June.

“We waste a lot of analytic effort talking about the type of weapon, the timing, the tactics. All of that is irrelevant … if you have an Islamic motivation for actions,” Gawthrop said on the video.

He added, “At the operational level, you have groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda. Like teeth in a shark, it is irrelevant if you take one group out."

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He said the best strategy is to go after Islam, to undermine its scriptures and leaders. He used the sci-fi classic to illustrate his point.

“If you remember "Star Wars" that ventilation shaft that goes down to into the depths of the Death Star, they shot a torpedo down there. That’s a critical vulnerability.”

Many counterterrorism experts disagree with Gawthrop's assessment.

“This is mind-numbingly stupid and dangerous,” says Aki Peritz, a former intelligence analyst at the National Counterterrorism Center. “If we were to follow his idea to a logical extension, that means we have individuals in every single government agency, at top levels, from CIA to the Defense Department to members of Congress, that are part of this cabal to destroy Western civilization. If you truly believe that, then this is McCarthyism on steroids.”

In a statement last week, the FBI said:

The training segment that is the subject of recent media reports does not reflect the views of the FBI and is not consistent with the overall instruction provided to FBI personnel. It was... quickly discontinued because it was inconsistent with FBI standards on this topic.