FBI, Westboro Baptist Church members participate in training sessions
Westboro Baptist Church, known for controversial protesting, demonstrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court in March.
June 29th, 2011
04:07 PM ET

FBI, Westboro Baptist Church members participate in training sessions

By Jeanne Meserve, CNN Homeland Security Correspondent

Washington (CNN) - A law enforcement official confirms members of the Westboro Baptist Church, known for its controversial practice of picketing military funerals, participated in training for law enforcement officials at Quantico Marine Base in Virginia.

The sessions were discontinued this spring after Tom Browne, assistant director for the FBI, voiced strong opposition to bringing the group to a military facility.

Members of Westboro were "respectful" when they were on the base and did not cause any disruption, according to the official. He adds, "It wasn't the purpose to give them another outlet to vent their views. It was more academic."

The story about staff training sessions between the FBI and Westboro Baptist Church members was first reported by NPR News on Wednesday.

Read the full here about the FBI and Westboro Baptist Church training together
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • United States • Virginia • Westboro Bapitst Church

soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. James Black


    July 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  2. wewhodream

    This isn't an article, it's an outline of an article. It says nothing about WHY they are training. Bare bones. Journalism, we hardly knew ye.

    July 3, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  3. WonderSpring

    America is obssessed with this church... I guess Americans are bored in spite of all the internal and external crises. Wow...

    July 2, 2011 at 2:00 am |
  4. Reality

    And the stupidity of Westboro Baptists continues as now the FBI has their pictures, finger prints and DNA on file!!!

    July 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  5. Marie Kidman


    July 1, 2011 at 11:12 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.