FBI bureau analyst gave another Islam lecture

AP News
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Posted: Sep 20, 2011 7:52 PM
FBI bureau analyst gave another Islam lecture

The FBI said Tuesday a bureau analyst who criticized Islam in a lecture last April at a bureau training facility in northern Virginia _ and was told not to give his presentation again to agents in training _ subsequently gave a similar lecture.

This time the analyst made the presentation at a gathering of dozens of law enforcement officials at an FBI-sponsored public-private partnership in New York City.

A federal law enforcement official said Tuesday that FBI officials found out in August that the analyst was still speaking but as a private citizen, not as an FBI analyst. The official spoke on condition of anonymity about the internal bureau matter.

The online publication Wired.com first reported on both lectures.

The latest disclosure prompted the FBI to say it is conducting a comprehensive review of all FBI training and reference materials that may, in any way, relate to religion or culture.

"We are consulting 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," said FBI spokesman Michael Kortan. "All training will be consistent with FBI core values, the highest professional standards and adherence to the Constitution."

The incident involving the critical Islam lecture is significant because ever since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the FBI has stressed the importance of working with leaders in the Muslim community as an important part of the battle against terrorism.

In the lecture in northern Virginia, the FBI analyst contended, among other things, that the more devout a Muslim is, the more likely he is to be violent.

Wired.com identified the lecturer as William Gawthrop and released a video of Gawthrop in June giving the New York City lecture about Islam.

At the start of the videotaped slide presentation, the first slide specifies in large letters that the views expressed are those of Gawthrop and don't necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. government. Gawthrop introduces himself to the audience and tells the listeners that he is an instructor at American Military University.

He then proceeds to speak in terms of "an Islamic motivation" for violent acts of terrorism.

"We waste a lot of analytic effort talking about the type of weapon, the timing, the tactics. All of that is irrelevant," Gawthrop says at the start of the lecture. "Look at the motive first ... if you have an Islamic motivation for actions, group those together."

"So what is this doctrine?" Gawthrop says of Islam. "It is an expansive doctrine with a single objective: world imperial, controlling the world. That sounds grandiose ... but it is a stated objective. The means to do that is jihad. Jihad is rooted in doctrine. There are identifiable rules of engagement and we will discuss that."