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The FBI believes its agents still aren’t sensitive enough to Muslims and their culture, so the bureau has extended by “a few weeks” its Islamic cultural “enrichment” training program, WND has learned.
During a recent outreach event at a Washington-area mosque, FBI officials also reassured a large turnout of concerned Muslims that the bureau is not profiling Arabs and Muslims for terrorism, and has made investigating alleged “hate crimes” against them and other minorities “the second-highest priority in the criminal division of the FBI.”
Among the officials who attended the Feb. 8 “town hall meeting” at the large ADAMS Center mosque were Timothy Healy, deputy assistant director for FBI intelligence, and Dave Bennett, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office.
The officials said terrorism is “not a new phenomenon” limited to Muslims, and they cited abortion-clinic bomber Eric Rudolph as an example of a Christian terrorist.
While they said they are concerned about the threat from “homegrown terror” perpetuated by second-generation Muslim immigrants, the officials assured the Muslim audience they are no more concerned about such homegrown attacks than they are “about bank robberies,” and are not targeting the Muslim community for special surveillance.
One official offered that FBI headquarters has extended the bureau’s Arabic curriculum, which includes Muslim culture, by “a few weeks” to expose agents to Islam and cultivate a better understanding of the faith.
“We all need to learn and understand each other,” he said, adding that the Muslim sensitivity program is part of basic training for agents.
“One of the things that the FBI believes in is diversity,” he said.
“Diversity is important.”
To that end, he says the bureau is “under a hiring push this year” and is heavily recruiting Muslim agents. The FBI wants to hire 900 FBI agents and 2,000 professional support staff, including Arabic translators, by Sept. 30.
“One of the things that we are critically seeking are special agents and support staff who are Arabic speakers,” he announced to the audience at the ADAMS mosque, which was founded and funded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and has been one of the top distributors of Wahhabist anti-Semitic and anti-Christian dogma.
“We also need folks who, candidly, are familiar with Islam,” the official said. “We’re learning, many of us. And I’ve had many conversations with Muslims, and I’ve learned quite a bit. I’m a Roman Catholic, and there are so many similarities I have learned between Islam and Christianity that was a surprise to me.”
ADAMS Center is not the only Muslim Brotherhood-tied organization where the FBI has recruited agents. In September, it also set up a recruitment booth at the annual Islamic Society of North America convention. Just four months earlier, federal prosecutors named ISNA as an unindicted co-conspirator in a major terror fundraising case, and listed it as a member of the U.S. branch of the radical Brotherhood.
What’s more, the agency is advertising for agents in ISNA’s magazine “Islamic Horizons,” as well as on the website of the Saudi-backed Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, which has supported Hamas and other known terrorists.
Last November, Lebanese former FBI agent Nada Prouty was arrested and pleaded guilty to charges in connection with a Hezbollah espionage investigation.
As WND first reported, the FBI summarily rejected some 90 Jewish Arabic speakers who after 9/11 applied to become translators and language specialists at the FBI’s New York field office.
As WND also first reported in 2003, national Arab-American and Muslim leaders have made presentations at an FBI training course on civil rights at the Washington offices of the FBI, and at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Va., as part of “Enrichment Training Sessions” for new special agents there.
In addition, the imam of a large Manhattan mosque has lectured veteran counterterrorism investigators at the FBI’s New York field office about misinterpretation of the meaning of jihad in the Quran, the Muslim holy book.
The sensitivity training program, denounced by some active and former agents, was mandated after the 9/11 attacks by FBI Director Robert Mueller.
FBI headquarters defends the program as a way to reach out to the Muslim community in America.
“I hate the word ‘sensitivity’ training,” said FBI spokesman Ed Cogswell. “I would call it an awareness training relative to cultural issues.”
Mueller has met several times with Arab and Muslim groups since 9/11. He even agreed to be the keynote speaker at the American Muslim Council conference in Washington – a move that drew fire from AMC critics, who note the group has sung the praises of Islamic terrorist groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah, and was headed by al-Qaida fundraiser Abdurahman Alamoudi, now serving time in federal prison on terror charges.
“Mueller should lead the FBI in this war, and leave the sensitivity sessions to the human resources department or CNN,” complained retired FBI special agent Don Lavey, who served 20 years in the bureau’s counterterrorism unit.
“Let’s just hope the director is leading the charge in this war against terrorism with an equal amount of zeal that he shows for cultural sensitivities,” added Lavey, who claims Mueller is so politically correct he refuses to use “Islamic” and “terrorism” in the same sentence.