New York Police Department officers who showed up for mandatory counter-terrorism training were shown a "spectacularly offensive" anti-Muslim film claiming that American Muslims are secretly plotting to take over the country, a news report alleged Wednesday.
The news is further evidence that US law enforcement agencies are turning to extremist anti-Islamic "consultants" to provide training for terrorism investigations.
According to the Village Voice's Tom Robbins, the NYPD used a film called "The Third Jihad" in training sessions this month. Robbins described the film as
72 minutes of gruesome footage of bombing carnage, frenzied crowds, burning American flags, flaming churches, and seething mullahs. All of this is sandwiched between a collection of somber talking heads informing us that, while we were sleeping, the international Islamist Jihad that wrought these horrors has set up shop here and is quietly going about its deadly business. This is the final drive in a 1,400-year-old bid for Muslim world domination, we're informed.
Admitting that it was a "wacky movie," deputy NYPD commissioner Paul Browne initially told the Voice that the film had never been shown to officers. "It was reviewed and found to be inappropriate," he said.
Browne then revised his statement and said the film was shown "a couple of times when officers were filling out paperwork before the actual coursework began."
But the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) says it received a complaint from a police cadet about the film last summer, suggesting it may have been shown much more frequently, and for a longer period, than the NYPD claims.
The news comes as reports accumulate that US law enforcement agencies are using the services of anti-Muslim extremists who have fashioned themselves as counter-terrorism "experts."
At a counter-terror conference in Las Vegas last fall, consultant Walid Shoebat declared that the solution to militant Islamists is "to kill them, including the children" -- an assertion that reportedly got a positive reception from many in the audience.
In a lengthy investigation of the US's intelligence apparatus earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that "in their desire to learn more about terrorism, many [police] departments are hiring their own trainers. Some are self-described experts whose extremist views are considered inaccurate and harmful by the FBI and others in the intelligence community."
The Voice reported that an outside consulting film was responsible for bringing "The Third Jihad" into the NYPD, but the consultant was not identified.
The New York branch of CAIR has requested a meeting with NYPD leadership over the film, which the group's New York head compared to the Nazi propaganda film "Triumph of the Will" and to "Birth of a Nation," a blatantly racist depiction of the Civil War.
"We call on Commissioner Kelly to order an internal probe of how this propaganda film came to be used and to put policies in place to ensure that NYPD training is not biased by agenda-driven materials -- or trainers -- targeting any religious or minority community," CAIR said in a statement.
According to the Voice, the film was produced by the Clarion Fund, which during the 2008 election was responsible for distributing another anti-Muslim to millions of homes through local newspapers. It has never been revealed who funded the estimated $19 million needed to distribute the 28 million copies of the film.
Some in the Muslim community blamed the film for a gassing attack on an Ohio mosque in September, 2008.