The recent purge of counter-terror training documents to remove references that might offend Muslims is the latest example in more than a decade of appeasement by the FBI, according to Judicial Watch, a nonprofit watchdog group that has used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain thousands of pages of FBI terrorism documents.
In the bureau's zeal to avoid offending Muslims, the FBI missed warning signs and failed to prevent a series of terrorist attacks, including the bombing at the Boston Marathon earlier this year and the Fort Hood massacre in 2009, according to the report.
“The country is less safe when we allow Islamists to tell the FBI how to train its agents and do its job,” the report said.
“The Obama administration needs to stop putting the tender sensibilities of radical Islamists above the safety of the American people. The FBI’s purge of so called ‘offensive’ material is political correctness run amok and it puts the nation at risk,” the report said.
The new report is pegged to a purge of counter-terror training documents begun in October 2011 by the FBI after media reports that some of the materials were considered offensive and used inappropriate stereotypes of Muslims.
As the Washington Examiner reported last month, a photo of President Obama in a turban and Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that led to terror plots against the newspaper that published them are among the purged documents.
Chris Farrell, research director of Judicial Watch and author of the report, said much of the pressure being put on the FBI and other federal agencies is coming from organizations with past ties to terror groups as part of a propaganda campaign to dispel any connection between Islamic extremists and terrorism.
Among the groups he singled out were the Islamic Society of North America and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, both of which were among the most vocal Muslim-American organizations that demanded allegedly offensive documents be scrubbed from FBI training.
No one from either ISNA or CAIR was charged with a crime, but top officers of the Holy Land Foundation were ultimately convicted on all counts and sentenced to life terms in prison.
“There’s a political correctness that is mind-boggling,” Farrell said. “I would be the first one in line to say you shouldn’t pigeonhole people or use group smear techniques. But where there are provable, objective connections, that can’t be pushed away or sneezed at.”
FBI spokesman Christopher Allen refused to comment on the Judicial Watch report. He cited previous FBI statements that purged documents were removed from the bureau’s training program because they were inaccurate, imprecise or used stereotypes.
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for CAIR, said the Judicial Watch report does not deserve a response.
“We have no interest in responding to conspiracy-minded groups that promote the bizarre theory that Muslims are trying to take over the American government,” Hooper said.
“There’s all kinds of hate groups in the world, and we don’t have to react to every bizarre conspiracy theory that they put forward,” Hooper said.
Officials at ISNA did not respond to a request for comment.