FBI: Anti-Muslim Counterterror Training Wouldn’t Happen Again

September 19, 2011 5:52 a.m.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is assuring the public that anti-Muslim counterterrorism training is a thing of the past.

“The FBI is committed to protecting Americans’ rights under the U.S. Constitution, including a person’s right to live, work, and worship as they wish. Strong religious beliefs should never be confused with violent extremism,” the Bureau said in a statement Friday. “Views that are contrary should not and will not be taught to FBI employees.”The statement came after a report on some of the materials used in a counterterrorism training course this year. One Muslim group had pressed the FBI for an internal investigation while another wanted the Justice Department Inspector General to look into the issue. An FBI spokesman told TPM that the presenter “was an analyst that was temporarily given the opportunity to be an instructor.” He remains an analyst for the bureau.

“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,” the statement continued. “It was conducted six months ago, one time only, and was quickly discontinued because it was inconsistent with FBI standards on this topic. It was delivered to an audience of 37 agents as part of FBI career path training.”

“As of August 2011, the individual who delivered the presentation no longer provides training on behalf of the FBI. These corrective measures were made before recent media attention was given to this topic.”

“Policy changes have been underway to better ensure that all training is consistent with FBI standards. These changes will help ensure appropriate training content for new agent training and continuing education for all employees, as well as introduce a consultative element from experts outside the FBI.”

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