Frank Gaffney
When Senator Jon Kyl opens a hearing of his Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism this morning [Tuesday], the subject will be the penetration of the U.S. military's chaplain corps and American prison systems by radical Muslims (also known as Islamists). Unfortunately, a man as responsible as anybody for the recruitment, training and certification of Muslim military chaplains - Abdurahman Alamoudi - will not be there. He is currently in jail, awaiting prosecution on charges of illegal ties to terrorist-sponsoring Libya.

Alamoudi's indictment late last month came amidst a flurry of arrests of servicepersonnel connected to the detention center for Taliban and al Qaeda operatives in Guantanamo, Cuba. Prominent among these was one of Alamoudi's chaplain selectees, U.S. Army Captain James Yee, who is being held in a military brig on suspicion of espionage and other crimes.

These incidents put into sharp relief an issue with which Senator Kyl and other legislators (notably, Senators Charles Schumer, Arlen Specter, Susan Collins, Richard Shelby and Diane Feinstein) have become increasingly concerned in recent months: Have Islamists - many of whom are backed by Saudi Arabia - successfully established beachheads in such places as the Pentagon's chaplain corps and America's prisons, mosques and colleges with a view to dominating moderate Muslims and creating a potential terrorist "Fifth Column" within the United States?

It is regrettable that Alamoudi is unavailable to be cross-examined today by Senator Kyl and his colleagues since few people are more familiar than Alamoudi with the reasons for these concerns. He has, after all, been among the most industrious and best-connected of a small number of Muslim activists in this country who have championed Islamist organizations - including some officially designated as terrorist operations - and their causes.

According to an Islamic web site, islamonline, he was also the first endorsing agent for Muslim chaplains in the U.S. military. Even today, an organization Alamoudi founded, the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council, is one of only three approved by the Pentagon to certify Islamic chaplains like Captain Yee. The other two, the Islamic Society of North America and its Graduate School of Islamic Social Sciences, share a similar outlook and Saudi ties. Alamoudi was at one time "Regional Representative" for ISNA's Washington, D.C. chapter.

Frank Gaffney

Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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