By Spencer Ackerman
At a congressional hearing on Thursday, FBI Director Robert Mueller said the Bureau was through with training sessions that equated “mainstream” Muslims with terrorists — and besides, briefings like those were mere “isolated incidents.” But Mueller’s description of the extent of the training doesn’t square with a large body of evidence that Danger Room has reported.
“This was an unusual, very unusual occasion,” Mueller told Rep. Jan Schakowsky during a hearing of the House intelligence committee. “In this particular instance, the individual gave the training. Reports of what had been in that training came up from the students. And we took action to assure that that inappropriate, offensive content was not provided to others. There have been other instances that may include what would be perceived as offensive content. We have undertaken a review from top to bottom of our counterterrorism training.”
It’s apparently true that FBI intelligence analyst William Gawthrop — who conducted the counterterrorism training Mueller apparently referred to — only held a particular three-day seminar at the FBI training academy on one occasion. But the FBI did not “take action to assure that that inappropriate offensive content was not provided to others.” At least, they didn’t do so in a timely manner. Two months later, Gawthrop gave a similar briefing to a New York City partnership between the FBI and private business. In that one, he analogized Islam to the Death Star and claimed al-Qaida was “irrelevant” compared to the broader threat of Islam itself.
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