A shocking Wired exposé reveals that FBI counterterrorism agents are taught that "mainstream" American Muslims are likely to sympathize with terrorists, and that more "devout" Muslims are more likely to be "violent." The magazine acquired FBI training materials, some from as recently as March, which also say that the Prophet Mohammed is a "cult leader," that Muslims give to charity as a means of "funding ... combat," and that pious Muslims have remained aggressive from 610 AD onward, while Jews and Christians gradually became "non-violent."
Though the FBI says such briefings are not mandatory and "do not necessarily reflect the views of the US government," experts and former counterterrorism agents say these practices play right into al-Qaeda's hands. "Teaching counterterrorism operatives about obscure aspects of Islam without context, without objectivity, and without covering other non-religious drivers of dangerous behavior is no way to stop actual terrorists," says one former al-Qaeda hunter. A former FBI agent notes that these materials help explain "why we’ve seen so many inappropriate FBI surveillance operations broadly targeting the Muslim-American community." Wired has much more, including a look at the author of several of the briefings—who has ties to a birther website. (Read more American Muslims stories.)