The FBI’s William Gawthrop, the analyst-turned-trainer-turned-analyst who was responsible for the “one time only” anti-Muslim counterterrorism training session for 37 agents earlier this year, gave another presentation in June to dozens of law enforcement officials at a public-privately sponsored session in New York City, Spencer Ackerman and Noah Shachtman report for Wired.
At his presentation, in which Gawthrop said he was speaking in his capacity as a private citizen and not as an FBI analyst, he said the U.S. wastes “a lot of analytic effort talking about the type of weapon, the timing, the tactics. All of that is irrelevant … if you have an Islamic motivation for actions.”
The lecture to the New York Metro Infragard took place at the World Financial Center in downtown Manhattan.
FBI officials have said that Gawthrop’s point of view is the exception, not the rule, in FBI counterterrorism training. A FBI spokesman said his previous presentation was “not consistent with the overall instruction provided to FBI personnel.”
Wired reports that Gawthrop suggested the best strategy for undermining militants was to go after Islam itself:
“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,” Gawthrop told his audience. Then he waved a laser pointer at his projected PowerPoint slide, calling attention to the words “Holy Texts” and “Clerics.”
“We should be looking at, should be aiming at, these,” Gawthrop said.
Read the full report here.