With the Islamic connection seemingly undeniable in the Asan Akbar grenade case—the black Mulim engineer was heard by other soldiers immediately after the attack ranting, “You guys are coming into our countries and you're going to rape our women and kill our children.” (notice “you guys” and “our”)—the question that must be asked is “where is the Saudi money?” In the case of Akbar, the answer is “everywhere.”
Akbar grew up attending a Saudi-funded mosque in South Central Los Angeles, and then he went 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. 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’s unlikely.
Attending the mosque across the street from his place, Akbar spent a lot of time during his formative years at the Bilal Islamic Center, according to the center’s Imam, Abdul Karim Hasan. When asked about any possible Saudi connection to his mosque, Hasan—perhaps understandably defensive in the 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 web site 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 “Shari’ah” (Islamic law of the kind found in Saudi Arabia)—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 King Fahd Mosque in Culver City (roughly 30 minutes from South Central LA), according to a source at the latter mosque—which is not just named after King Fahd, but 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.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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