John Guandolo – Distinctions between Jihadis and Extremists

Based in Northern Virginia, John Guandolo guides the national security consulting firm Guandolo Associates, LLC, which works with clients in the law enforcement, business, and military communities. John Guandolo is also author of the 2013 book Raising a Jihadi Generation and founder of Understanding the Threat. He recently wrote a blog entry on titled, “Sharia Adherent Muslims Are Not ‘Extremists.’”

Mr. Guandolo points out that “violent extremism” is a nonsensical term, as it paints with a broad stroke anyone willing to further their beliefs through acts of violence. Under this terminology, members of the U.S. military and other legitimate forces could be classified as such. The correct terminology for those who follow Sharia (Islamic Law) and use violence for their ends is rather “Jihadis.” These Islamists do not consider themselves “extremists” at all. For them, “terrorism” involves the killing of a Muslim without just cause. Mr. Guandolo notes that an Oslo, Norway, Muslim Peace Conference in 2013 made this clear, as participants expressed their support of Sharia and its related punishments.


Author: John Guandolo

John Guandolo, a counterterrorism consultant at Strategic Engagement Group, Inc., also contributes his time to the Centennial Institute as a Strategic Threats Consultant. The institute, part of Colorado Christian University, works to promote the public understanding of freedom, family, and faith issues. This is accomplished through research, policy analysis, and seminars and conferences with students, staff, faculty, and outside experts such as John Guandolo. He also co-authored Shariah: The Threat To America: An Exercise In Competitive Analysis (Report of Team B II). As Vice President of Strategic Planning and Execution at Strategic Engagement Group, John Guandolo assists law enforcement, government, military, and intelligent community leaders on how to prepare for and respond to terrorist threats. Prior to accepting a position with Strategic Engagement Group, he served the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Subject Matter Expert. During his time in this role, he developed the agency's first training course on the threat of Muslim extremism and issues posed by the rise of Islamic law. John Guandolo joined the agency as a Special Agent, where he led SWAT team operations, participated in investigations, and served as an Advanced Capability Medic. His accolades include two Awards for Investigative Excellence, given by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, and the Defender of the Homeland Award, given by United States Senators John Kyl and Joe Lieberman. John Guandolo graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1989 and was a Company Commander during his senior year. He is a member of the Force Recon Association, a non-profit fraternal organization that promotes the fellowship of those who have served in military reconnaissance units. John Guandolo also holds membership in the Knights of Columbus, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and the Order of St. Crispin. He enjoys hiking, competing in triathlons, and camping.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s