Retired from the Marine Corps and the FBI after nearly two decades of service, John Guandolo writes for and manages UnderstandingTheThreat.com, a website he founded to provide information about counterterrorism to the American public to safeguard them. With the same goal, John Guandolo also leads the Strategic Engagement Group, a national security firm in Virginia.
Interpretation of terminology varies by culture. To effectively plan counterterrorism strategies, it is important to have a good understanding of those differences. For example, the words “peace” and “truce” are both used in Western civilization as well as Islamic law, also known as Shariah. In Western culture, “peace” refers to the end of war. It represents freedom. The term “truce” is defined as a mutual agreement to cease fighting.
Under Shariah, peace can only be achieved when dar al harb no longer exists. Dar al harb is the house of war and consists of all individuals who do not abide by Islamic law. Those who live by Shariah, such as Hamas and other Jihadist groups, must uphold the Shariah code of taking action to obliterate the house before they can achieve peace, or dar al Islam.
Shariah states that a truce is permissible when its Jihadi devotees require a moment to regroup. A truce does not result in cessation of fighting permanently. Instead, it offers time for planning, strategizing, and rearming to continue warfare with the intention of eliminating dar al harb.
John Guandolo formerly served as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In that capacity, he focused on counterterrorism. John Guandolo is also knowledgeable about counterintelligence, which he frequently reports on for the online news network Brietbart.
The story of Jill Kelley, published on Brietbart, offers a good example of how the American counterintelligence system is flawed. While there are no indications that Ms. Kelley committed acts that would harm Americans, her ability to gain access to high-level U.S. officials is worth discussing.
Ms. Kelley, formerly Jill Khawam, is of Lebanese descent. She married a Florida oncologist; together, the couple has hosted numerous social gatherings in their home. Their guest lists have included high-level military and government officials, many of whom do not hesitate to respond immediately when she calls. Unofficially, she served as an unpaid social liaison, according to the U.S. military. The U.S. Central Command described her as a volunteer and private citizen.
Ms. Kelley appears harmless. She carries herself well and easily earns the trust of others at her social gatherings. From the standpoint of national security, however, she raises many flags, which were not addressed prior to her gaining access to influential members of government. A background check of Ms. Kelley never occurred because she presented herself in a kind and likeable manner. However, her actions resemble those of a person conducting an intelligence-gathering operation for the Russians or the Muslim Brotherhood.
John Guandolo utilizes decades of experience in counter-terrorism and other national security matters when helping his clients through the Strategic Engagement Group. Over his career, John Guandolo has worked closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a special agent and member of its SWAT team, and has published commentaries on FBI counter-terrorism.
The FBI’s roots go back to the early 20th century, when it was called the Bureau of Investigation. Before its founding, the federal government created an organization called the Department of Justice, which was tasked to enforce legislation passed by congress. However, the department had no police with which to carry out investigations. In fact, it relied on private contractors and agents on loan from other government organizations. The creation of the Bureau of Investigation marks the first time the Department of Justice got its own agents.
By the mid-1930s, however, the government re-christened the Bureau of Investigation as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the moniker it retains to this day. In modern times, the FBI continues to function as a police force dedicated to enforcing federal law by investigating crimes varying widely in nature, from insurance fraud to terrorism.
John Guandolo writes on issues related to counterterrorism on his website UnderstandingTheThreat.com and through outlets like breitbart.com, where he has published works on the Muslim Brotherhood organization’s activities in the United States. When not writing, John Guandolo provides security training to national and state leaders through the Strategic Engagement Group, where he serves as vice president of strategic planning.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a pan-Islamic political organization with parties in many countries. It was founded in the early 20th century in Egypt and reached a pinnacle in 2012 when Mohammed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood candidate, won the Egyptian presidential election. However, he was deposed by the Egyptian military in 2013 and later tried and sentenced to death.
Both inside and outside of Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has been linked to terrorism. Moreover, in the United States, a federal case against the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) found that the HLF, which posed as a humanitarian nonprofit, was functioning in America as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.
A United States Marine Corps veteran, John Guandolo possesses expertise in strategic threat management and counterterrorism. John Guandolo launched the site UnderstandingtheThreat.com to impart his knowledge. He also publishes works on these subjects on Breitbart.com.
According to Mr. Guandolo, the definitions of “peace” and “truce” are different in some Eastern cultures. In particular, those following Islamic law do not understand “peace” to mean “freedom from warfare.” They also do not view a truce to be an action derived from a mutual agreement to cease fighting.
Muslims must follow jihad teachings to eliminate societies practicing other religions. Jihad represents warfare, which is acceptable in territories living in “dar al harb,” one of two worlds outlined in the doctrine. Devout followers must forcefully take action to annihilate that world, which consists of non-Muslims, in order to achieve peace.
In the same respect, Mr. Guandolo says, “truce” takes on a different meaning under Islamic law. Rather than serving as a tool to gain peace, it is valued for its ability to halt fighting temporarily for jihad members to regroup during times they feel their efforts may not be successful. Jihad members use these times to strategize and rearm themselves to continue warfare.
A retired US Marine Corps officer and counterterrorism specialist, John Guandolo maintains responsibilities as founder of UnderstandingtheThreat.com. Also a prolific author of numerous texts on national security matters, John Guandolo penned an article entitled “What Hamas Means by ‘Peace’ and ‘Truce’.”
Between many languages, there is a difference of translation that often hinders us from understanding words in the same way that foreigners do. This discrepancy in interpretation is what Guandolo explored in his 2012 article on the Islamic meanings of “peace” and “truce.”
In the Western translation of these words, peace connotes either an agreement to cease war or an absence of war altogether. Often times, parties will agree to end fighting with a truce, but these must always arise through a mutual decision. These definitions differ from the Islamic interpretation, which holds its roots in Islamic law, also known as sharia. These principles split the world into dar al Islam (“house of peace”) and dar al harb (“house of war”). According to Islamic Law, true peace can only arise when the dar al harb (individuals not living under the influence of Islamic law) is eradicated, most often through jihad.
Also different from the Western interpretation is the Islamic meaning of “truce,” which involves a brief period of reprieve from fighting between those who practice Islam and those who are opposed to it. Often, these truces hold additional motives such as biding more time for Islamic forces to regain strength or anticipating that the opposed party will convert to Islam.
Retired U.S. Marine Corps officer and former FBI special agent John Guandolo has devoted his career to keeping others safe. In addition to his extensive work as a counterterrorism expert, both with the FBI and as the founder of the counterterrorism-education website www.understandingthethreat.com, John Guandolo has also served as an instructor in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid for the Red Cross.
The American Red Cross is one of the country’s largest nonprofit organizations, and it uses its reach to mobilize donors and volunteers to alleviate human suffering around the globe. As part of this endeavor, the Red Cross offers CPR and other first-aid training.
The organization’s CPR training is available in person, online, or in a mix of both formats, which allows people who may not be able to get to a particular facility to receive the training. The in-person classes are held in many locations and at convenient times. They involve hands-on teaching by experienced instructors, and participants get full certification. The interactive and customizable online classes can be taken at the user’s convenience. Because they do not involve a live instructor, they do not result in certification. A third option is a blend of the two, with some classes taken online and some with an instructor. People opting for this methodology receive full certification.