The New York Police Department showed an anti-Muslim film “on a continuous loop” for between three months and one year of training at its COBRA (Chemical, Ordinance, Biological, and Radiological) Unit, which provides terrorism awareness training.
According to the New York Times, the documentary The Third Jihad showed Muslim terrorists shooting Christians in the head, executed children covered by sheets and a fake photograph of an Islamic flag flying above the White House. One of those interviewed in the film says that “Islamism is like cancer.”
News of the film’s use by the NYPD first broke in January 2011. A police official at the time claimed that it had only been shown “a couple of times.”
But documents (PDF) obtained by the Brennan Center for Justice revealed that the film was “played on a continuous loop during the sign in, medical and administrative process” of the training. It was not used during the lecture portion of the training, though, only as an “intermission filler.”
At least 1,489 police officers saw the film.
“Somebody exercised some terrible judgment,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the Associated Press. “As soon as they found out about it, they stopped it.”
Staff at the COBRA Unit said they obtained the video from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. But the identity of that DHS agent who provided the film remains a mystery. The DHS said the film was not an authorized to be used or distributed by the department.
The film was eventually pulled after police officers complained that it was offensive.
“It’s clearly a propaganda, anti-Muslim film,” said Linda Sarsour, a member of the Muslim-American Civil Liberties Coalition. “It’s overly dramatic, piecing together things out of context and threading it together to make this very false narrative about Muslim Americans.”
The film was created by the Clarion Fund, a group tied to the Israeli orthodox organization Aish Hatorah, according to Think Progress. The group has received millions of dollars in donations and has produced multiple anti-Muslim films, including Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West and Iranium.