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Lawsuit Targets Ex-FBI Agent Who Runs an Anti-Muslim Consulting Group


Former Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.

By Steve Neavling


A former Minnesota sheriff has filed suit against an FBI agent turned anti-Muslim provocateur following an alleged assault at an annual sheriff’s conference in Reno in June 2017.

The lawsuit claims [2] former FBI agent John Guandolo, founder and president of a counter-terrorism consulting services, assaulted then-Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek for expressing concerns about the company’s anti-Muslim propaganda. The company, Understanding the Threat, is characterized as an Islamophobic hate group in the lawsuit.

After hearing about the concerns, Guandolo is accused of assaulting the former sheriff, causing “great bodily injury,” the lawsuit states. Stanek received medical attention and “has not fully recovered,” according to the suit.

Two months after the alleged assault, a Hennepin County judge granted a restraining order against Guandolo, who retired from the FBI in 2008 and became a conservative, anti-Muslim propagandist.

Stanek once suggested former CIA Director John Brennan secretly converted to Islam and later accused a Muslim college professor of having ties to terrorism. Both claims have been debunked.

Prosecutors decided not to file criminal charges in the case, saying it was unclear who initiated the confrontation.

The lawsuit claims Guandolo’s company “markets as a counter-terrorism consulting firm to profit from instilling anti-Muslim bigotry in law enforcement agents.”