The FBI has removed hundreds of counterterrorism training documents after a months-long review found inaccuracies and other problems in their description of Muslims.
The review was triggered after a September blog in wired magazine revealed training documents that reportedly called the Prophet Muhammad a “cult leader,” claimed “devout” Muslims have been generally violent for hundreds of years and made other controversial statements.
The FBI did not get into details about which documents were taken out, but a law enforcement source confirmed to Fox News on Tuesday that hundreds were removed because they were deemed “not consistent with the highest professional standards and the FBI’s core values.”
The results of the review were announced during a meeting earlier this month that included FBI Director Robert Mueller.
The pages which were removed fell into at least one of four categories — “poor taste,” using Arab or Muslim “stereotypes,” information missing “precision,” and “factual errors.”
Despite the outcome, the FBI maintained that the bulk of its training materials is up to FBI standards. Less than 1 percent of the 160,000 training material pages was removed, FBI spokesman Christopher Allen said. The review covered documents dating back to Sept. 11, 2001, which were used in training courses for new agents, continuing education courses for others and presentations to groups.
“As a result of that review, we found that the overwhelming majority of our counterterrorism training materials met the FBI’s standards,” Allen said in a statement.
Allen described the review as “comprehensive,” and said the bureau is developing new guidelines that will govern “future training.”
Allen also said the FBI has been communicating with advocacy groups since the beginning of the review process to explain what happened and what “corrective actions” would be taken.
“The Muslim American community is an essential partner in our efforts not only to prevent terrorism, but to address other crime concerns that affect communities, including the protection of civil rights,” Allen said.
The Wired article detailed, among other materials, a presentation that included a graph that tracked followers of the Bible, Torah and Koran over hundreds of years. It showed “devout” followers of the Torah and the Bible becoming less violent over time, while “devout” followers of the Koran remaining as violent in 2010 as they were hundreds of years ago.
One concern was that the documents played into al Qaeda propaganda that America was battling Islam as a whole, and not just radical Muslim extremists.
“It’s counterproductive to our counterterrorism work,” Salam al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, told FoxNews.com. “It’s not effective counterterrorism policy to be at war with the whole religion or any religion.”
Al-Marayati, whose group attended the most recent meeting with Mueller, urged the bureau to seek more “feedback” in the future when developing its training guidelines on any group.
President Obama, shortly after taking office, declared in Turkey that the United States is “not at war with Islam.”
However, the Obama administration has since come under criticism from some members of Congress for omitting mention entirely of radical Islam in its counterterrorism materials.
A strategic plan on homegrown terror released in December did not use the term radical Islam once, though it did discuss Al Qaeda and those groups inspired by it. A Defense Department letter in October also classified the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence.”