A lecturer at a CIA campus in Elkridge is under fire from a Muslim civil liberties group.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations sent an official request this week that a former CIA agent known as "Reza Kahlili" be released by the Department of Defense from his position as an instructor at the Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy in Elkridge for expressing anti-Muslim sentiment.
Kahlili is a native of Iran and former CIA agent, according to his book, A Time to Betray. On his blog of the same name, Kahlili wrote in 2011 about his religious conversion while a member of the CIA working in Iran: "During all those ensuing years as I witnessed unimaginable crimes committed by the clerics, I believed they misrepresented Islam...So I renounced Islam and began the quest to find the real God, the one who had blessed me so often in very dangerous times as a CIA spy."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations called the blog an "Islamophobic hate site" in a press release.
Another piece of writing—Kahlili’s July 22 article for The Daily Caller about mosques, universities and tech companies as havens for terrorism—was what prompted the council to contact the Department of Defense, according to a council spokesman.
“At the end [of the article], he...made the accusation against American mosques,” wrote Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in an email to Patch.
Kahlili said in his article that two sources confirmed that terrorist sleeper cells were coordinating out of mosques, including within the United States.
Kahlili—whom The Daily Caller identified in an article Tuesday as one of its freelance writers—was quoted by that publication as saying that he was surprised by the council's response: "If they truly care about the Islamic community in America and the sanctity of the Mosque, they should welcome such information and help authorities to weed out such operators from ordinary Muslims so that another 09/11 does not take place.”
Kahlilli is a paid lecturer on Iran for the Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy on Deerpath Road, where most instructors are videotaped. Kahlilli, however, delivers lectures via audio to protect his identity, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Last month, a teacher at another defense institution, in Virginia, was let go, according to Reuters, after a soldier brought to the attention of the Pentagon that the instructor was teaching that the United States was at war with Islam.
The Department of Defense could not be reached for comment.