BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Republicans hosted a former FBI agent turned Islamic terrorism expert at a special event Tuesday night called "Understanding the Jihadi Threat to America." John Guandolo is the founder of "Understanding the Threat," whose stated mission is to educate state, local, and federal leadership and agencies on how to defeat Islamic jihad.
Guandolo's appearance drew criticism, but he tells KBND News he's not a hater, "This is the nature of this business. What they're trying to do is diminish the message by destroying the messenger." The Oregon Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) asked the GOP to drop Guandolo from last night's program. Guandolo says CAIR doesn't like his message because they're affiliated with a known terrorist group, "CAIR National, that is a Hamas Organization doing business as 'CAIR.' For those of you not aware, Hamas is a designated foreign terrorist organization by the united States government." Deschutes Democrats and the Oregon Democratic Party called for a boycott of the event, saying his appearance is evidence of the GOP's "decaying moral standards." Democrats call Guandolo a radical Islamophobe and conspiracy theorist. Guandolo says terrorists are winning by convincing Americans that it's unkind to call them 'terrorists.' He told the group, "How can you target something you don't define and how can you defeat something you don't target?"
His message that Muslim terrorists live in American communities and are plotting to attack may be controversial, but Guandolo says it's both reasonable and provable. He told the crowd, "This is not a Republican or Democrat failure. this is catastrophic failure by Republican leaders at the national level, and Democrat leaders at the National level. They've failed to do what needs to be done to secure our communities, and now, it's left to local and state police, and Governors, and county groups like this." He believes the physical war is happening in the Middle East, while the fight to defeat our culture is already in America. "The war is about controlling the narrative, and that is their number one objective. The violence that you see around the world, supports their much larger, much more important non violent effort."