National Security Council staffer Fred Fleitz will leave the Trump administration to head up the anti-Muslim hate group Center for Security Policy.
On Monday, a press release issued by the Center for Security Policy (CSP) announced Fleitz would be taking over as president for Frank Gaffney, the prolific anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist who founded the group. Fleitz previously worked as senior vice president for policy and programs at CSP until May, when he was tapped by National Security Advisor John Bolton to serve as his chief of staff. Fleitz’s hiring was part of a disturbing trend of hate group staffers joining the Trump administration.
Gaffney founded CSP in 1988 after serving under President Ronald Reagan. While always a hawkish organization, CSP shifted its focus to fighting and vilifying Islam after 9/11. For the last decade, the group has been committed to retrofitting Cold-War era conspiracy theories to try and root out the Muslim Brotherhood operatives Gaffney thinks are embedded in the U.S. government and other institutions. He is convinced Muslims in America are engaged in a fifth-column plot called “civilization jihad” to supplant the country from within and usher in an Islamic theocracy.
Fleitz joined CSP in 2013 and has worked with Gaffney to stoke anti-Muslim paranoia. Fleitz and other anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists co-authored a report published by CSP in 2015 titled, “The Secure Freedom Strategy: A Plan for Victory Over the Global Jihad Movement.” One section of the report urges readers to be wary of engaging in interfaith dialogue with Muslims, claiming it is a tactic used by “stealth jihadists.”
Fleitz has also peddled a clash of civilization narrative about Islam and the West, once warning about what he said were “disturbingly high levels of support for the global jihadist ideology among Muslims in the United States.” He has also come under fire for disparaging Muslim communities in Michigan and Minnesota.
Gaffney will move into an executive chairman role at CSP, according to the press release. He will also continue to host CSP’s “Secure Freedom Radio.” Guests of the program range from anti-Muslim figures like Robert Spencer and John Guandolo to U.S. members of Congress. In 2015, Gaffney invited white nationalist Jared Taylor onto the show. John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have also been guests on the program.
For 30 years, Gaffney has positioned CSP as a prominent player in the organized anti-Muslim movement. Fleitz is scheduled to rejoin the anti-Muslim hate group Nov. 1.
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