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Factsheet: Frank Wuco

Published on 08 Dec 2017

IMPACT: Frank Wuco is a senior adviser at the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance. He previously worked in the Department of Homeland Security, where he headed the Muslim Ban implementation task force. Before joining the Trump Administration, Wuco made a career as a radio host and by advising the U.S. military as a roleplaying, fictional “jihadist.” He has also made statements, at times sexually explicit, that advocate surveillance, violence, nuclear bombing, and discrimination against Muslims.

According to reporting in the Washington Post in November 2019, Frank Wuco is a senior adviser at the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance. While it is not known when Wuco left DHS to join the State Department, one State Department official who spoke with the Washington Post on the condition of anonymity said that Wuco “has been working at State since at least August.”

Prior to his current role at the State Department, Wuco was a senior White House adviser at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Beginning in April 2017, according to information obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Mother Jones, Wuco led the DHS “Executive Order Task Force.” According to DHS spokesperson Tyler Houlton, the task force was established to implement the “myriad specified and implied tasks derived from the President’s 14 Executive Orders.” These include the Muslim Bans on several majority-Muslim countries.

Before joining the Trump Administration in January 2017, Wuco advised “military officials and concerned citizens about the mindset of a violent jihadist” by role playing in accented English as a “jihadist” named “Fuad Wasul.”

Wuco previously worked as a naval intelligence officer for 23 years, followed by an advisory position under retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn at U.S. Central Command, a coalition of forces that formed after 9/11 to “fight terrorism.” As reported by Mother Jones, “Months after Flynn had written on Twitter that ‘Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL,’ Wuco said his old boss was ‘extremely grounded.’”

Wuco created “Wasul” during his time advising the military. According to reporting by Mother Jones, Wasul is a “fictional terrorist whose ‘model behavior’ led him to be released from US custody so that he could tour the United States to talk about jihad.” At times, Wuco co-hosted or guest hosted radio segments by roleplaying as Wasul.

Wuco also previously hosted two Tampa-based radio programs, the Need To Know! Show and the Frank Wuco Radio Show, and has made appearances on Fox News and Breitbart News.

According to the Center for New Community (CNC), Wuco is a “proponent of anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.”

In July 2012, Wuco appeared on Frank Gaffney’s Secure Freedom Radio program, in which he claimed: “The agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood is the Islamification of not just Egypt, but the planet. It’s a religious quest for them.”

According to a 2010 post on Wuco’s Need To Know! radio show blog, as reported by Mother Jones and Huffington Post, Wuco claimed that Muslims are “perfectly happy to subjugate and humiliate non-Muslim members of their societies,” and Muslims who live in the “West” “will make every effort to establish independent rule for their enclaves under Shari’ah law,” including through the use of violence.

On his former radio shows, Wuco interviewed various individuals who have been identified by the Center for American Progress’ (CAP) Fear Inc. report as players in the “Islamophobia Industry.” They include Robert Spencer, Frank Gaffney, Brigitte Gabriel and Walid Phares, in addition to John Guandolo, who the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) describes as an “anti-Muslim law enforcement trainer.”

As reported in Politico, “Wuco has said in statements to the media that there’s a strong connection between mainstream Islam and terror attacks.”

In June 2016, Breitbart News interviewed Wuco at the site of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. During the interview, Wuco stated that “there’s nothing radical” about Omar Mateen, the perpetrator of the shooting. “[Mateen] is a Muslim who is following the strictures of Islam and its guidance and prescriptions for violence and warfare against unbelievers,” said Wuco.

In a January 2015 appearance on Fox & Friends, Wuco commented on the attack at the Charlie Hebdo offices and a Hyper Cacher in Paris, stating that such attacks are an “not an ideological problem,” but “a theological problem.”

Wuco has advocated surveillance and discriminatory practices against Muslims in the U.S. During appearances on Fox & Friends in 2014, he referred to a policy of halting visas from “Muslim nations” as a “great idea.” In an appearance on Fox & Friends Saturday in November 2015, Wuco said, “I can only hope that some of these programs continue with other agencies,” referring to the surveillance of Muslims in New York City and New Jersey by the NYPD. NYPD’s surveillance against Muslims has been challenged successfully in multiple courts and, as reported in The Guardian, “never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation.”

According to reporting in Huffington Post, “Wuco’s dim portrayal of Muslims has also veered into the bizarre,” including sexually explicit references to Muslims. On the Frank Wuco Radio Show, Wuco moaned while singing, “oh baby, baby,” which he referred to as his “wargasm” theme song. He described a “wargasm” as “the feeling of ecstasy…as our fighting forces deliver death and destruction on those who would do us harm.”

In an archived blog post on the Need To Know! website, Wuco captioned a photo of Anwar al-Awlaki that read: “Is that a jambiya [Arabic for dagger] between your legs, or are you just excited at the thought of pickin’ up ho’s…?”

Wuco has advocated violence against Muslims. On one segment of the Frank Wuco Radio Show, as reported by Mother Jones, after Wuco stopped roleplaying as Wasul, Wuco referenced firearms and said: “There are times when I hear that guy’s voice and I just want to land one right between his eyes.”

As reported by Media Matters, Wuco in a January 2016 interview was asked about why the U.S. hadn’t yet turned Iran or Syria “into glass already.” Wuco responded that his preference would have been to drop “a couple of low-yield tactical nuclear weapons over Afghanistan the day after 9/11.”

Wuco has also made inflammatory and derogatory comments about African Americans, gay people in the military, and transgender people. In 2012, Wuco said that the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus will “invent” racism “where they absolutely cannot find it.” He also referred to the NAACP as “race and advantage hawkers.”

Last updated December 5, 2019