Dwight C. Holton who was U.S. Attorney for Oregon when the FBI arrested the Muslim Christmas tree bomber in Porgland, says, “The training materials used by law enforcement pose a significant threat to national security, because they play into the false narrative propagated by terrorists that the United States is at war with Islam.”
(BNI will refrain from her usual snarky commentary because her head is exploding at merely posting this)
TPM Holton, who was U.S. Attorney when the FBI arrested the so-called Christmas tree bomber, said that he spoke specifically with Holder about the “egregiously false” training that took place at the FBI’s training headquarters at Quantico and at a U.S. Attorney’s office in Pennsylvania, which was first reported on by Wired.
“I want to be perfectly clear about this: training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for,” Holton said. “They will not be tolerated.” Attorney General Eric Holder is “firmly committed” to nixing anti-Muslim material from law enforcement training, says Holton.
Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez also condemned the anti-Muslim training material in his subsequent speech during a conference on anti-Muslim discrimination, saying that Muslims have “every right to be upset about the issue of the trainings.” “The Attorney General is equally upset, the Deputy Attorney General is upset, the FBI Director is upset, and we’re upset because we have accomplished so much,” Perez said.
Progress has been made on engagement with Muslim communities, including in the way that criminal complaints refer to Islam, said Holton. “Before this effort, a lot of us didn’t understand that when we make an arrest in a high-profile terrorism case that involves someone who claims they follow Islam, it creates a mini-backlash against people in communities,” Holton said.
“In the 37-page complaint that laid out the allegations against Mohamed Mohamud, he is never once identified as a Muslim. We were very careful about that. It’s not relevant from our perspective, what’s relevant is the violence,” Holton said. “Every time I opened my mouth about that case, I said maybe two or three main points and one of them is ‘violence knows no country, no religion, no boundaries’,” Holton said.
He added that not referring to him as a Muslim made him the target of Islamophobic bloggers. “Of all the hateful things that have been said about me as U.S. Attorney, it’s part of the job, right, having to deal with the bloggers comments — and believe me the medical marijuana crowd does not love me — but of all the hateful things that have been said about me was in response to me saying that,” Holton said. “There are people who don’t get it.”