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Terrorism Experts Question FBI Training in Light of Domestic Attacks

Image: Terrorism Experts Question FBI Training in Light of Domestic Attacks

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By    |   Thursday, 22 Sep 2016 04:14 PM

Officials and security experts are questioning whether the FBI's counterterrorism training efforts are adequate in light of recent terror attacks in the United States by Islamic extremists.

"Obviously, the FBI's training program is catastrophically broken," former Special Agent John Guandolo told The Washington Free Beacon, citing the recent spate of attacks that included the weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey.

FBI Director James Comey will be questioned about its counterterrorism efforts on Wednesday by the House Judiciary Committee, Chairman Bob Goodlatte said.

"From San Bernardino to Orlando to the most recent terrorist attacks in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota, the United States has experienced a rise in radical Islamic terrorism and we must ensure that the FBI has the resources needed for its counterterrorism efforts in order to thwart these heinous plots and protect Americans from harm," the Virginia Republican said in a statement.

The FBI has the resources to train personnel sufficiently, but Guandolo said that a lack of full understanding about the nature of Islamist jihadism impeded the ability to create effective counterterrorism instruction amid concerns about discrimination against Muslims.

Sebastian Gorka, a counterterrorism expert, told the Free Beacon that the FBI's counterterrorism division has created excellent counterterrorism training courses since the 2009 attack at Fort Hood in Texas.

Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 people in the shooting, was known to the FBI in 2008 through communications he had with an al-Qaida terrorist in Yemen.

"That is not the problem," Gorka, who also is a professor of strategy and irregular warfare at the Institute of World Politics, told the Free Beacon. "The issue is the courses aren't being held."

But the Justice Department's funding for counterterrorism training was slashed by nearly 50 percent since last year, he said.

"As a result, our law enforcement officers are less prepared just as the threat has increased," Gorka said.

Michael Waller, an analyst for the Wikistrat research firm, said that the FBI was missing terrorists early on because of policies that prevent monitoring jihadists before they become violent.

"This policy began under the previous FBI director, Robert Mueller, and for years has had a chilling effect throughout the bureau," Waller told the Free Beacon.

The FBI made a strategic error after the 9/11 attacks, he said, by reaching out to the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups in the U.S. to court "moderate" Muslims.

"That's equivalent to the FBI asking the KGB for help in fighting Communist subversion and violence," Waller told the Free Beacon.

"The administration's whole approach to 'countering violent extremism' literally keeps avowed jihadists off the FBI watch list, as long as they are not 'violent,'" he added.

"So, while the FBI does investigate some of these jihadis in advance, too often it lets them go, or misses them completely, until they murder and maim."

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Officials and security experts are questioning whether the FBI's counterterrorism training efforts are adequate in light of recent terror attacks in the United States by Islamic extremists.
terrorism, experts, fbi, training, attacks, counterterrorism
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2016-14-22
Thursday, 22 Sep 2016 04:14 PM
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