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Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery defends training session on terrorist threats

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is defending a recent training session on Muslim extremism that his office provided to about 300 prosecutors and members of local law enforcement.

The training has come under fire from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Those groups are upset because the training was led by former FBI counter-terrorism agent John Guandolo, who has written several anti-Islamic blogs.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office originally released a statement on Sept. 18 defending the training seminar.

During a sometimes-heated press conference in Phoenix on Wednesday, Montgomery sparred with local media, which Guandolo claims is collaborating to defend stealth Jihadis.

“I’m not going to get drawn into a conversation in which you are trying to get me to adopt particular rhetoric,” Montgomery said amid shouts from reporters. “The training was good. In looking at the actual training that was presented, there is nothing wrong with what law enforcement received.”

In one blog, Guandolo accuses CAIR of being “the terrorists of Hamas,” and that several Arizona Christian leaders teamed up with CAIR to denounce the training. Guandolo wrote that the Christian leaders are apparently unaware that “100 percent of Islamic teachings state that Jesus will return to earth and cast all Christians into hell for not converting to Islam.”