How the Saudis Radicalized U.S. Troops

[Middle East Strategy at Harvard] Gal Luft - While Muslim soldiers have served in uniforms loyally for decades, it is the rising number of Wahhabi-trained and converted Muslims that is a relatively recent phenomenon. Wahhabism is one of the most radical and puritan strands of Islam. The genesis of radical Islamic thinking within the military was in the 1990-91 Gulf War, when nearly half a million soldiers and marines were deployed in Saudi Arabia to liberate Kuwait and defend the oil kingdom from Saddam Hussein's aggression. The Saudis embarked on a well-orchestrated and generously funded effort sponsored by the Saudi government to convert as many American military members as possible to Islam. According to Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf's aide Rick Francona, "Americans who decided to convert to Islam were rewarded handsomely... including all expenses paid trips to Mecca, and payments as high as $30,000." The commander of Saudi forces in the Gulf, Prince Khaled bin Sultan bragged in his memoir that more than 2,000 American troops converted to Islam through this campaign. "These Muslim troops are now the messengers of Islam in the U.S. forces," said Dr. Abu Ameena Bilal Phillips, a Jamaican-born convert to Islam.

2009-11-13 06:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive