Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Blog
Last Wednesday, AAI along with a number of community and interfaith organizations met with FBI Director Robert Mueller to discuss inflammatory, anti-Muslim training materials the bureau used in trainings and presentations to FBI agents. In September of 2011, Wired Magazine reporter Spencer Ackerman made them public. The meeting with Director Mueller focused on steps taken by the bureau to rectify the matter.
In the meeting, FBI public affairs officials told AAI and our community partners that nearly all related FBI training materials, including more than 160,000 pages of documents, were reviewed by subject matter experts multiple times. More than 700 documents used in 300 presentations were subsequently pulled from the training curriculum; a figure which they asserted was less than 1% of total training materials related to Muslims. Material was removed if even one component was deemed to 1) include factual errors, 2) be in poor taste, 3) be stereotypical, or 4) lack precision.
Early today, AAI and our partner organizations released a joint statement about the meeting. In Wired’s “Danger Room,” Spencer Ackerman reports on the meeting. He interviewed AAI Executive Director Maya Berry and other organization heads, placing the meeting in the context of broader FBI and DOJ moves to roll out guidelines which they believe will prevent another scandal. A number of community representatives at the meeting say that though the discussion with Director Mueller represents a positive step in the right direction, much more has to be done to address what they identify as structural issues perpetuating anti-Muslim bias which is clearly affecting the FBI training division.
An excerpt of the Ackerman piece appears below:
An internal FBI investigation into its counterterrorism training has purged hundreds of bureau documents of instructional material about Muslims, some of which characterized them as prone to violence or terrorism.
The bureau disclosed initial findings from its months-long review during a meeting at FBI headquarters on Wednesday with several Arab and Muslim advocacy groups, attended by Director Robert Mueller. So far, the inquiry has uncovered and purged over 700 pages of documentation from approximately 300 presentations given to agents since 9/11 — some of which were similar to briefings published by Danger Room last year describing “mainstream” Muslims as “violent.” And more disclosures may be forthcoming, as the FBI continues its inquiry and responds to Freedom of Information Act requests for the documents themselves.
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