Joel Mowbray

  When he left for college in 1989, Akbar did not leave the Saudi-funded experience behind.  At the University of California at Davis, Akbar was seen as a devout Muslim by friends, and multiple reports state that he spent large amounts of time at the nearby Islamic Center of Davis.  The Islamic Center of Davis, as it happens, is home to the UC-Davis chapter of the Muslim Students Association, a Saudi-created and funded national organization with branches on campuses across the country.  It is also past and possibly present home to someone with surprisingly similar anti-American sentiment.

  In a puff piece in December 2000 on the Muslim students of the Islamic Center of Davis, then third-year law student Masood Khan spouted a vitriolic contempt for America that in many ways mirrors what Akbar said while cowering in the bunker after his killing spree.  “There have been over one million innocent Iraqis killed by the United States,” Khan said. “It’s a war crime.”  Not a far cry from the equally obscene comment from Akbar that “you guys” are going to “rape our women and kill our children.”

  While stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, Akbar was one of roughly 20 soldiers who attended weekly services—and his Muslim chaplain there was trained and certified by institutions with significant Saudi funding.  According to a military source, Captain Mohammed Khan trained at the Graduate School of Islamic Social Sciences (GSISS), which has a history of Saudi funding and was one of 24 Mulim organizations raided in the Justice Department’s Operation Greenquest last year, and he was certified by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which was not raided but is affiliated with the SAAR network (named for its wealthy Saudi benefactor Suleiman Abdel Aziz al-Raghi). 

  To be fair, at the time he received his training and certification, those institutions were the only option available to him.  But he appears to have some Wahhabist ties.  At an interfaith memorial service marking the anniversary of the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, Captain Khan read a statement from the Imam at King Fahd Mosque in Culver City—the same one that enjoys a close relationship with the Bilal Islamic Center.

  The web of Saudi money present at almost every stage of Akbar’s Islamic development does not necessarily mean that the Saudi cash fostered extremism at either Islamic Center Akbar attended or the chaplain training provided to Captain Khan—but the confluence of Saudi money must at least be scrutinized.  The memories of Captain Christopher Scott Seifert and Major Gregory Stone–the soldiers killed by Akbar—demand no less.

Joel Mowbray

Joel Mowbray, who got his start with, 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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