Police Counter-Terror Training Scrutinised by Washington Monthly

The Washington Monthly has a long article, by Meg Stalcup and Joshua Craze, that takes a critical look at the various experts currently providing “counter-terror” training to US police forces. The report complements a Washington Post piece from December (which I blogged here), and introduces some new individuals.

First up is a certain Sam Kharoba; Stalcup and Craze describe a lecture he gave to law enforcement officers at Broward College in December:

…jihadists telegraph their extremist intentions in altogether predictable ways. One only has to learn the signs. Take Mahmoud—Kharoba’s preferred name for a generic Muslim. Kharoba can tell whether Mahmoud is a Wahhabi… just by going through Mahmoud’s trash. There will be no pre-approved credit card offers, because interest is forbidden in Islam. There will be no brown wax fried-chicken bags, because fried chicken isn’t halal.

…”Would Islam be tolerated if everyone knew its true message?” he asked the class. “From a Muslim perspective, do you want non-Muslims to know the truth about Islam?”

“No!” came the audience reply.

…Sam Kharoba came to the United States from Jordan when he was seventeen to study computing at Louisiana State University. When the 9/11 attacks happened, he was working as a programmer… Kharoba quit his job and began work on a database of every jihadi website and name that he could find… He fell into teaching by chance, in 2002, when the Community Oriented Policing Services Program in Louisiana invited him to give a talk. Kharoba had no professional experience in law enforcement, no academic training in terrorism or national security, and is not himself a Muslim. But as a Jordanian-born Christian he was able to turn his place of birth into a selling point. When we asked the dean of the Institute of Public Safety why she recruited Kharoba to teach there, her answer was that Kharoba “put the flavor of Middle Eastern culture into it.”

…In November 2010, the St. Petersburg Times reported that the sheriff in Pasco County, Florida, planned to spend $45,000 of a $361,000 training budget teaching local officers how “radical Muslims groom their facial hair and wear their pants, as well as a ‘behavioral analysis technique to distinguish visually between moderates and radicals.’;” Those classes held at Pasco-Hernando Community College will be taught by Sam Kharoba.

Kharoba runs the “Counter Terrorism Operations Center”, which has a website here; the site’s front page includes a prominent link to an American Thinker article which warns that the USA is becoming “a de facto shariah state”. In 2008 he spoke at at two rallies organised by Americans Against Hate. The first was against CAIR and also featured Allen West, while the second was to demand the removal of a (since deceased) Islamist from the Broward County School Board’s Diversity Committee. According to the Canada Free Press:

The October 17 rally will include signs and will feature a number of prominent members of the community. They include: State House Majority Leader, Representative Adam Hasner; President of the Counter Terrorism Operations Center, Sam Kharoba; spiritual leader of Ramat Shalom, Andrew Jacobs; spiritual leader of the Worldwide Christian Center, Pastor O’Neal Dozier; co-founder of the Daniel Cantor Wultz Foundation, Tuly Wultz; and Chairman of Americans Against Hate, Joe Kaufman.

(Dozier previously featured on this blog here, and Kaufman here)

However, a 2008 outline of Kharoba’s course which can be seen here stresses that the War on Terror “is not a war against a religion, it is a war against terrorist organizations that hijacked Islam and mutated its harmony”. PDF outlines of Kharoba’s course can be found at various sites; some of these contain more detailed biographical profiles, such as this one:

Sam is a Christian Jordanian from Amman. His father worked in Jordan with the British Council. This allowed him exposure to both Western and Arabic cultures and languages while growing up. Sam received an Advanced Certificate of Education in Arabic Culture from the University of London, and a B.S. from LSU. He is a subject-matter expert in Middle-Eastern affairs. Currently, he provides consultation and training for the criminal justice sector. His in-depth studies of Arabic and Islamichistory and culture provide him a unique capacity, knowledge, and expertise that enable him to provide valuable and objective analysis on Middle-Eastern affairs and the problems associated with Islamistfundamentalism and terrorism.


Instructor Sam Kharoba, with First Capital Technologies, is a consultant trainer, born in Amman Jordan, studying Arabic culture at University of London, A-Level GCE in Arabic Culture. Inventor of UNIS, Unique Name Identification System.

“A-Levels”, as everyone in Britain knows, are pre-university level courses. His First Capital Technologies company provides name-matching software, and was discussed in 2007 by the Economist:

Sam Kharoba of First Capital Technologies, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, says his firm’s sales have doubled in each of the past three years. Its clients include America’s Defence Department and over 20 other government agencies… As watch-lists multiply beyond the realms of intelligence and international travel, demand for such software is likely to grow.

Also profiled by the Washington Monthly is John Giduck, a lawyer who has worked in Russia and who runs the Archangel Group:

…He claims to have trained with multiple Russian special forces units, and to be certified by the “Vityaz Special Forces Anti-Terror School.” In 2004, Giduck traveled to Russia immediately after the Beslan school massacre and wrote a book called Terror at Beslan. It was published in 2005, and it raised Giduck’s profile, earning him a guest appearance on the Glenn Beck show in the fall of 2007. Among the book’s most sensational allegations is that the terrorists at Beslan systematically raped their hostages, a claim that no other primary source account has made. In the meantime, Giduck has also become an in-demand counterterrorism trainer.

…In Terror at Beslan, Giduck recounts giving a presentation on the 2002 hostage crisis at the Nord-Ost Theater in Moscow. After most of the terrorists were knocked unconscious by the gas that security forces pumped into the building, Spetsnaz, the Russian special forces, came through, methodically shooting each of the terrorists once in the back of the head. Giduck is convinced that as Americans we could do better: we could shoot them twice.


When we wanted to know more about Giduck’s time with the Russian special forces, Giduck wrote back to say that he had done a “series of trainings with Vityaz [a unit of Spetsnaz, the Russian special forces] at their special forces compound and training school on the Balashikha Army Base about 30 miles east of Moscow from 1999 to 2004” and had had close access to a series of elite Russian units, including Rus, another Spetsnaz division. When we made inquiries at the Russian Interior Ministry, we were informed that Giduck had not trained with Vityaz. Instead, he took a commercial course in extreme survival skills, with no counterterrorism component. Representatives from Rus said they had never heard of Giduck.

Giduck’s books include The Green Beret in You, which exists in audio-book form narrated by none other than thriller-writer Brad Thor; back in July Thor attacked this blog by name for “utter nihilism” when I noted some doubts being expressed about his “Mullah Omar in custody” story. Thor gushes that the book is “The essential guide to being a real man. If John Wayne had left a how-to manual on being a man, this would be it.”

Other figures mentioned by Stalcup and Craze include Joe Bierly of Counterterrorism Training and Consulting and Richard Hughbank of Extreme Terrorism Consulting, both of whom are combat veterans, and Keith Flannigan, certification chairman of the Anti-Terrorism Accreditation Board; Hughbank is an ATAB-certified “master anti-terrorism specialist” and a member of ATAB’s Standards Committee. As for Flannigan:

Flannigan claims numerous qualifications: a BA from Kent State University in 2008, an MA in psychology from the University of Frankfurt, likewise in 2008, and a PhD in philosophy from Northfield University—once again in 2008. However, the National Student Clearing House, a degree-verification service, was unable to find record of Flannigan at Kent State, nor did the University of Frankfurt find any evidence of attendance. When queried, Flannigan claimed that we couldn’t find his records because Keith Flannigan is not his legal name. Flannigan may well have a doctorate, for what it’s worth, from Northfield University, as it is run by the University Degree Program, described by Chronicle of Higher Education as “the granddaddy of diploma mill operations.”

Flannigan is also president of International Dynamics Research Corp., which was founded in 1979 by “former Intelligence and Law Enforcement Officers”.  According to its blurb, it conducts “international intelligence operations”, and has “successfully completed hundreds of asset searches, including searches on Noriega, Milliken, and Saddam Hussein”. Flannigan has also served as chairman of the Information Technology Security Council of the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), which is the recognised body for security professionals. Back in November, Flannigan made a personal response to a critical posting on a discussion forum:

…ATAB is not in an “Effort to make money”. We have no annual dues and the funds that come from the sale of training materials go back to train other responders. ATAB has trained over 49,000 responders for free since 2002.

…ASIS is one of the best security networking organizations in the world. I have been involved with them for over 20 years. ATAB does not try to compete with ASIS. ATAB fills a training void for people that can not afford to travel around the world to take training. 13 of the ATAB presentations were presented at the ASIS seminar in Dallas last month. ATAB has past ASIS Presidents, Board Members, VP’s, RVP’s and Council Chairs as members. They have Directors of Agencies, 4 Star Generals, Director’s of Security from all most every Federal Agency and Members in most Fortune 500 companies.

…ATAB Materials are being used at over 40 police academies, The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, FBI, ATF, West Point, SPAWARS, USMC, US Army, US Navy and many more.

I have blogged on various private intelligence organisations previously (see hereherehere, here, and here). Political Research Associates is also planning to release a report this month on anti-Islam rhetoric in counter-terrorism training.

19 Responses

  1. “Kharoba had no professional experience in law enforcement, no academic training in terrorism or national security, and is not himself a Muslim. But as a Jordanian-born Christian he was able to turn his place of birth into a selling point.”

    If I’m not mistaken degree in Counter terrorism was just recently offered after 9/11 publicly. Before it was only trained inside Military training institute. To understand ideology and motive of “Islam and Counter Terror” a person no need to have law enforcement, nor academic training in terrorism, nor national security, not to be a Muslim himself.

    Moreover a Muslim scholar usually would not tell the truth about Islamic Ideology and motive toward stealth global jihad.
    Honestly one’s life experiences in Islamic and Arabic cultures have more “genuine deep fusion” deep inside knowledge compared than so called “academic terrorism expertise” graduated by degree.

  2. It is almost a perfectly tautological argument, reminiscent of old witch tests. If an accused witch confessed, she should be put to death for witchcraft. However, should she protest, she should then be put to death for being an unrepentent which. Or, similarly, the dunking test. An accused witch would be dunked under water and held. If she came up alive, well this was a sure sign of witchcraft, and she would be put to death. On the other hand, if the dunking was fatal, then she clearly lacked any witchy powers to save herself. Her name could then be cleared–although her life would have been sacrificed.

    Essentially, once one was accused of witchcraft, there was no possibility of justice.

    What I keep hearing from those who insist that only they can see with true sight the danger from the Muslim hoards runs around in the same kinds of circles. No need to understand Islam by getting close to Muslims or, heaven forbid talking to any actual Muslim scholars, as they are all known to be liars. If you were to ask a Muslim, however, if they are sworn to lie in order to protect Islam from attack by outsiders (or to “further Islam” as it is often described), of course they would say no. This would be a lie. Because they all are sworn to lie about their being sworn to lie.


  3. , A-Level GCE in Arabic Culture
    There’s no such course. There is an A-level GCSE in Arabic Language. But that hardly teaches you the culture. Besides which, “Arabic culture” certainly doesn’t equal “Muslim” – only a minority of Muslims are Arabic.
    Sam received an Advanced Certificate of Education in Arabic Culture from the University of London
    Presumably that was the “introduction to Arabic Culture” course offered by SOAS: One year, two lectures a week, eight set books, a total of four term essays, one three-hour written examination. No entry qualifications required.
    A decent course for anybody wanting some history and perspective on Middle East issues. But not intended for , and not capable of, making anyone an expert on Islam.

    • Not correct. GCE degress were offered in the 1980s by the University Of London. The program was renamed to GCSE later. And, it is not equivalent to the current Introduction to Arabic Culture as you mention.

      • GCEs used to be O (ordinary) level and A (Advanced) level. In 1988 the GCE O-Level was replaced with the GCSE, but the “A-Level” name was kept for the next level. A-level exams are set and certified by certain providers, I know the University of London is one – so you’d get a University of London certificate even if you did the course somewhere else.

  4. “A crime-free age of man is almost dawn. Moral and religous virtues will be the philosophy of this incoming world. Nevertheless, justice lies in the heart of man.”

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  6. This is Sam_Kharoba and below is my response to the Washington Monthly article
    Recently, the Washington Monthly published an article by two leftist liberal reporters attacking counter terrorism training efforts in the United States. The article is a testament of how liberal leftist reporters twist the truth to suit their agendas. It is very evident that these reporters’ true motive is to attack law enforcement and counter terrorism efforts in the United States. They purposely hand selected a few statements without context to slander law enforcement trainers and the law enforcement community.

    It is apparent from their twisted reporting that no matter what information or facts were presented to them, their true motive was to falsely paint law enforcement efforts as anti-Muslim and discriminating. For example, my statement regarding Muhammad followed a four hour instruction block detailing facts from the Qur’an (http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/023-violence.htm), the Hadith (http://www.peacewithrealism.org/jihad/jihad03.htm) and Muhammad’s biography (http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sira/18.htm) and
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aisha) to substantiate the statement. They did not report on these facts. My statement about Muslims lying is once again taken out of context. I explained the Muslim theological concepts of Taqiyya (http://www.answering-islam.org/Index/T/taqiyya.html) and Kitman (http://www.answering-islam.org/Index/L/lying.html) which clearly provide Muslims the right to lie to non-Muslims to protect Islam and Muslims. The statement regarding Muslims lying was addressed in the context of those Muslims who lie about true Islamic theology to non-Muslims and not a blanket statement regarding all Muslims as the reporters chose to portray.

    They again twisted facts when quoting my statement regarding IDs with Arabic Names. I detailed for two hours how Arabs can purposely create multiple identities since their naming conventions are different than ours. The officers were trained on how to detect these name disguising techniques. My comments regarding finger printing were targeted towards cases where there is clear evidence of identity fraud and was not a blanket statement towards all Arabs as the reporters elected to portray.

    Lastly, legal harassment is a tactic that has been used successfully by law enforcement agencies for decades to combat gangs and narcotics. It is a proven and effective tactic and more importantly, is perfectly legal. I suggested the use of this tactic with radical Muslim populations in a manner that is no different than dealing with gangs or drug dealers.

    I carefully distinguish and explain the words Islam and Muslims. Islam is a theological doctrine that contains violence; however, I stated many times that not all Muslims are radical. The reporters chose not to report on this distinction because it does not fit into their agenda.

    The reporters slanted and distorted information in order to attack law enforcement. This report is a testament to the sad state of affairs of leftist media who will use any means to attack their opponents on the right. The law enforcement community must be doing something right since we have not been attacked in the past 9 ½ years with the exception of Major Hassan Nidal at Fort Hood. We prevented over twelve major Jihadist attacks and have arrested hundreds of Jihadists and will continue to do so. The reporters paint law enforcement as discriminating against Muslims but where is the evidence? The Center for Security Policy released a study, Religious Bias Crimes against Muslim, Jewish and Christian Victims: American Trends from 2000-2009, (http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/p18663.xml) based on statistics reported by the FBI. The study contradicts the false assertions that hate crimes against Muslims have increased, and that the alleged cause is widespread “Islamophobia” in America. In fact, the study shows that hate crimes against Muslim Americans, measured by the categories of incidents, offenses or victims, have remained relatively low with a downward trend since 2001. Furthermore, the Patriot Act was enacted in October 2001 and since then there isn’t any documented cases showing abuse of power granted by the Patriot Act.

    The reporters also ignored the recent report on radical Muslim activities in the United States “Shariah – the Threat To America”
    The report clearly indicates the domestic threat but this was not reported on since it did fit their premeditated agenda.

    I am left wondering who is more dangerous, the terrorists themselves or leftist liberal reporters. Reporters like Craze and Stalcup who resort to unethical journalism and biased research to fulfill their personal agendas. It is very clear that the real objective of this report is to portray the false image that American Law Enforcement is not qualified to prevent terrorist activities and to promote the false idea that Law Enforcement efforts are anti-Muslim and discriminatory. This is a direct attack by leftist liberals to undermine American counter terrorism efforts.

    Another good rebuttal for the article can be found at this link –

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