Oct. 6, 2011
Bill Gertz has an alarming story in his Inside the Ring column in todays (10/6/2011; p. A9) Washington Times entitled Anti-Terror Trainers Blocked. According to Gertz, theCIA and the Department of Homeland security abruptly canceled an August conference on homegrown U.S. radical extremism in what officials close to the issue say was an effort to block two conservative anti-terrorism experts from presenting their views.
Gertz claims the event was canceled after Muslim advocacy groups contact the Department of Homeland Security and the White House about scheduled speakers, who included Stephen Caughlin and Steven Emerson, both specialists on the Islamist terror threat. According to Gertz, Mr. Caughlin, a former Pentagon Joint Staff analyst, is one of the most knowledgeable counterterrorism experts specializing in the relationship between Islamic law and terrorism. Emerson heads the Investigative Project on Terrorism and is a leading expert on Islamic violent extremism, financing and operations.
Apparently stopping the conference wasnt enough for the White House. Gertz was told by one official that to prevent the two experts from taking part in future conferences, the administration is drafting new guidelines designed to prohibit all U.S.government personnel from teaching classes on Islamic history or doctrine. These rules will also seek to prohibit the use of federal funds to pay contractors for such training.
These actions bears closer examination, but they fit within the growing pattern of attacks from the Left on those also including Frank Gaffney who oppose Islamist extremism.