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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 04, 2003

The House that Raised Akbar

The G.I that tossed the grenade into his fellow-Americans' tent has roots that point back to Saudi money, according to this NROarticle

With the Islamic connection virtually undeniable in the Asan Akbar grenade case, the question inevitably arises: Where is the Saudi money?

Akbar is the black Muslim Army sergeant who, after killing two and wounding 14 of his fellow soldiers when he hurled a grenade into a tent in Kuwait, ranted, "You guys are coming into our countries and you're going to rape our women and kill our children." So, what about the Saudi money? It's not so much a case of paranoia, as it is a realization that Saudi money has an eerie habit of popping up around Islamic extremism the world over. And in the case of Akbar, the answer is: everywhere.

Akbar grew up attending a Saudi-funded mosque in South Central Los Angeles, and later moved to a mosque dominated by a Saudi-created and -funded organization. In the military, his Muslim chaplain at Fort Campbell was trained and certified by Saudi-funded organizations set up by a Muslim activist with deep Saudi ties. It's possible that all this Saudi money produced no Islamic extremism at any of these points in Akbar's life — but empirical evidence suggests that that's unlikely.

Attending the mosque across the street from his home, the young Akbar spent a lot of time during his formative years at the Bilal Islamic Center, according to the center's imam, Abdul Karim Hasan. Hasan, in a phone interview with NRO, recalls a "reserved" and "studious" boy. But when asked about any possible Saudi connection to his mosque, Hasan — perhaps understandably defensive, in the current anti-Saudi climate — is quick to say that he does not take money from the "Saudi government," though he conceded that he receives funds from Saudi "individuals." That's not entirely true, however.

According to the website of the Islamic Development Bank — a multibillion-dollar investment outfit run by many Arab governments, but based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia — Bilal Islamic Center recently received a $295,000 grant from ISD to build a new school. Considering the stated purpose of ISD — to advance Muslim communities in accordance with sharia (Islamic law) — one wonders what the center's new school will be teaching. But it's not just the money that raises questions. Bilal Islamic Center "works closely" with the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City (roughly 45 minutes from South Central LA), according to a source at the Culver City mosque — which is not just named after King Fahd, but is also funded by him. And based on the annual statement released by the House of Saud on its efforts to spread Islam throughout the world, Bilal Islamic Center is also funded by the kingdom (under the name "Bilal Mosque of Los Angeles"), although the exact amount is not specified.[more]