Documents recently leaked to Wired’s Spencer Ackerman show that the FBI does not offer its counterterrorism agents a very nuanced take on Islam. The briefings, which come from the organization’s Quantico, Virginia, training grounds, include an illustrated chart showing a direct relationship between a Muslim’s devoutness and his potential for violence, along with musings such as this: “There may not be a ‘radical’ threat as much as it is simply a normal assertion of the orthodox ideology … The strategic themes animating these Islamic values are not fringe; they are main stream.”
Why did FBI whistleblowers leak the documents? Wired reports they were concerned that:
Many of the documents obtained by Wired — including a graph that suggests devout Jews and Christians have mellowed out on the violence over the centuries while Muslims are just as violent as they were in the year 622 — were authored by FBI intelligence analyst William Gawthrop. In 2006, before he joined the Bureau, he told birther enthusiast site WorldNetDaily that “Muhammad’s mindset is a source for terrorism.”
The FBI’s response: “The presentation in question was a rudimentary version used for a limited time that has since been replaced.”
This post has been updated with additional material.