In video acquired by Wired’s Spencer Ackerman and Noah Shachtman, FBI counterterrorism trainer William Gawthrop, who in previously leaked documents was shown to have lectured that the Muslim prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader,” tells his audience that “[After 9/11] we wasted a lot of analytic effort talking about the type of weapon, the timing, the tactics. All of that is irrelevent… if you have an Islamic motivation for actions.”
Ackerman had previously called attention to Gawthrop’s presentation materials for his lectures at the FBI’s training facilities in Quantico, Virginia, in which the counterterrorism “expert” suggested that Islam, unlike Judaism or Christianity, hadn’t moderated its “militancy considerations” since approximately 622 B.C.
Gawthrop, much like many of the experts discussed in the Center for American Progress’s new report Fear, Inc., believes that Islam is, at its roots, a violent ideology at war with the West.
In the newly released video, Gawthrop tells his audience at the New York Metro Infragard at the World Financial Center in downtown Manhattan — an FBI sponsored public-private partnership — that even overthrowing Islamic states, like Iran, who threaten the U.S. and its allies, is insufficient since “there are still internal forces that will seek to exert Islamic rule again.”
Gawrthrop, as he advocates in his PowerPoint presentations, pushes for a direct confrontation with Muslims that challenges the underpinnings of their religion and Koranic teaching. Referring to a slide with the words “Holy Texts” and “Clerics,” Gawthrop says:
If you remember Star Wars, that ventilation shaft that goes down to into the depths of the Death Star, they shot a torpedo down there. That’s a critical vulnerability.
Ackerman and Shachtman report that a different video, which they were unable to recover before it was deleted, showed Gawthrop criticizing outreach programs to Muslims communities:
If we were going back to the 1940s, this would be like the Army and Navy asking Japanese-Americans to participate in the intelligence and operations paths trying to understand the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor. That didn’t happen,
The FBI says that Gawthrop gave his last presentation to Bureau counterterrorism classes in April 2011, but the newly disclosed videos would suggest that Gawthrop has continued his career as a terrorism “expert” at FBI sponsored events for at least another two months.