John Guandolo is right-wing conspiracy theorist and anti-Islam activist so radical that in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, he praised insurrectionists for showing restraint by not publicly executing lawmakers, most of whom he claimed are “traitors” who should be “swinging from a rope.”
After leaving the FBI in disgrace in 2009, Guandolo founded an organization called Understanding The Threat, through which he trains law enforcement agencies around the country to identify seemingly anyone with dark skin and a beard as an Islamic terrorist. In recent months, Guandolo’s organization has begun offering training sessions for right-wing citizens on how to take over their towns, arrest their mayors, and destroy the lives of anyone who objects by publicly humiliating them, getting them fired from their jobs, and forcing them to move away.
Guandolo and his team are leading just such a training session at an undisclosed location this week. According to an email Guandolo sent to Understanding The Threat subscribers, right-wing conspiracy theorist and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn is participating in the July 19-21 session:
The training promises to “organize communities into operational forces to identify roots of corruption & dismantle the hostile networks behind it, and re-establish a Republican form of government at the local level.”
Flynn has been a subject of scrutiny for the House Jan. 6 committee, which last week revealed Flynn’s participation in a December 2020 meeting with former President Donald Trump in which he spewed voter fraud conspiracy theories and urged Trump to seize voting machines. That same month, Flynn also urged the former president to declare martial law. When questioned by the committee whether he believed the violence on January 6, 2021, was justified, Flynn pleaded the Fifth Amendment.