Walid Shoebat Addresses Jersey Shore Police Officers

From the Asbury Park Press:

A purported “expert witness” on Islam known for his anti-Muslim and anti-gay views, and whose claims that he is an ex-Palestinian terrorist have been discredited by news media and other groups, was paid thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to address police at a seminar in Ocean County last week on counter-terrorism.

The appearance Nov. 2 by Walid Shoebat, a Palestinian-American who bills himself as a former Muslim terrorist turned Christian, was attended by more than 60 law enforcement officers from throughout the Jersey Shore and sponsored by the Ocean County Police Academy, the Asbury Park Press has learned.

…A total of 62 law enforcement officers participated in the in-service training and Shoebat was paid a fee of $109 per person, paid for by each officer’s employer or union, all depending on the terms of the officer’s labor contract with their agency, said Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, whose office oversees the police academy and has since disavowed the appearance by Shoebat.

The article highlights questions that have been raised about Shoebat’s purported biography, and draws attention to Tweets that demonstrate his conspiricism (“Hillary Clinton Worked With The Muslim Brotherhood Causing The Murder Americans In Benghazi”) and his anti-gay rabble-rousing (“Homosexuals In The Military Are Raping And Molesting Tens Of Thousands Of American Soldiers”).

It is surprising that Shoebat is still getting these gigs – in previous years, self-styled bogus “counter-terror” experts managed to hoodwink police and media on both sides of the Atlantic (in 2011, Shoebat was “keynote speaker” at an event organised by the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, for instance), but there was reason to hope that increased scrutiny had marginalised the opportunists. I was under the impression that Shoebat these days was more likely to be found ranting on Rick Wiles’ radio show, or talking to churches about how the Bible predicts a Muslim anti-Christ. Apparently not.

It is possible to overstate the significance of Shoebat’s background – unlike the extravagant tales of Kamal Saleem (with whom Shoebat used to go on tour), Shoebat’s story of having planted a bomb (that didn’t harm anyone) for the PLO many years ago is at least plausible. However, it hardly makes him an expert on terrorism. Instead, Shoebat promotes himself as an “ex-Muslim”, with lurid inside information about how Muslims supposedly operate.

Shoebat claims that Obama is a secret Muslim, and this why Muslims support him, and this explains why Obama is pro-choice (“Of course, because there’s nothing better Islamists want to do than have Americans kill their own children, so it’s not a problem for him”). Shoebat has also wistfully wishes that nuclear weapons could be used against “the whole Muslim world”, as this would “take care of the whole problem once and for all”. And that’s before we get on to Shoebat’s son Theodore Shoebat, who works closely with his father and who explicitly calls for gay people to be executed.

The Asbury Park Press article also draws attention to Courses Offering Police Specialization (COPS), the training company that brought Shoebat to Ocean County. The event was advertised via the COPS Facebook page in September:

We are bringing in Ex-Terrorist Walid Shoebat to instruct the Law Enforcement Community on how to spot, apprehend, and deter acts of terrorism within our country

A screenshot of an email was included (weird capitalisations in original):

Walid Shoebat is an EX-Palestinian terrorist. He has since become a US citizen. He has appeared on CNN and HLN as a terrorist expert. He is a self proclaimed Aspostate Muslm, who after the September 11 attacks in 2001 has become an active advocate against Islamism. Shoebat believes that “most Muslims” seek to impose Sharia Law in the United States. His is also an expert witness on Islamism. For a full bio, go to http:/www.shoebat.com/

Topics to be discussed during this training:

*Mindset of terrorist
*The Proliferation of Sharia Law and the impact on society
*What does a terrorist look like?
*How do we confront a terrorist
*How safe are we?

A slightly tidier version appears on the COPS website, under the title “Know Your Enemy”. Does this mean “most Muslims”, then? This appears to be only event involving Islam that COPS has provided, and there’s no indication of any wider interest in the subject by the organisation or its founder, Mitch Cowit.

According to the report, Shoebat’s operational advice was that “local law enforcement should be checking local dojos to see if Muslims are taking martial arts classes”. Sheriff Mastronardy told the paper that

the police academy will do a better job in the future of vetting guest speakers booked through third parties.

Incidentally, Cowit has an approach to policing that would make an inquisitor proud; according to a blurb:

Mitch Has an expertise in Behavior Analysis, Reading Body Language and using Statement Analysis Techniques: He has a 90% confession and conviction rating from using these skills.

(H/T Imagine 2050)

UPDATE: With thudding inevitably, Mastronardy is now claiming to have received a mysterious death threat, and is blaming it on the fact he came under criticism. The Asbury Park Press again reports:

Mastronardy  said he blamed the death threat on the New Jersey Chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations’ being quoted in news articles in the Asbury Park Press and other media outlets in which Muslim leaders criticized seminar speaker Walid Shoebat… The sheriff accused CAIR of having ties to terrorist organizations.

Oddly, however:

“We have no knowledge of this issue,” said Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the Prosecutor’s Office.

One Response

  1. I am at a loss as to how this happens. It’s as though the police have a budget for ‘training’ that they need to waste. A quick Google reveals Shoebat had no credibility. It is interesting that there were a large number of people in the 80s claiming to be former witches and satanists (eg. Mike Warnke) for profit. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr Shoebat’s terrorist exploits turn out to be bogus as well.

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