Wahhabism in the War
by Stephen Schwartz
ON THE IRAQI WAR FRONT, Sunday, March 23 was a blood-red day for the terrorist Wahhabi movement, funded by "our Saudi allies" and aiming at control over world Islam.
First, terrorism struck in the early hours, from within the ranks of the U.S. armed forces. Army captain Christopher Scott Seifert, 27, was killed and 15 servicemen were wounded in an attack on the command area of Camp Pennsylvania, the rear base in Kuwait for the 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division. A second serviceman has now died of wounds suffered at Camp Penn.
One of the unit's members, Sgt. Asan Akbar, an American Muslim, is being held and is said to have been motivated in his bloody spree by Islamist views.
Sources within the American Muslim community say Akbar attended the student mosque at the University of California, Davis, which is controlled by the Saudi-created Muslim Students' Association (MSA). He also listed (under his original name, Mark Fidel Kools) an address at the Bilal Islamic Center in Los Angeles, which is reportedly under "official" Saudi ownership. The Bilal Islamic Center and its Saudi-trained imams are known for venomous preaching of extremism.
Media outlets in the United States have so far remained largely silent on the details of Akbar's background.
In a similar development on the same day in northern Iraq, Australian television journalist Paul Moran, along with at least one other person, was murdered in the Kurdish zone in a suicide bombing that left eight more people injured.
Kurdish officials blamed the atrocity on Ansar ul-Islam (Supporters of Islam), a terrorist group habitually described in the ever-cautious American media as "allegedly" linked to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.
However, more credible experts on Islam in Kurdistan have described the group as an activist component in the Saudi conspiracy to impose Wahhabism on the Kurds, who are traditional, Sufi Muslims. Kurdish Muslims have complained for the past year about desecrations of graveyards and other forms of aggression practiced by Ansar ul-Islam.
Proof of Saudi-Wahhabi complicity in the activities of Ansar ul-Islam has come with the naming of the bomber who killed Moran. He was a Saudi subject, Abd al-Aziz al-Gharbi, aged 23, from the Saudi city of Hail.
The identification of the Saudi terrorist was confirmed by the Saudi Information Agency, an independent journalistic enterprise, in a story bylined by Saeed al-Saleh and Ali al-Ahmed. A cousin of al-Gharbi said the terrorist had left Saudi Arabia last October after graduating from university, with the intention of joining Ansar ul-Islam.
The Ansar ul-Islam website took responsibility for the murder of the Australian journalist but did not immediately identify the terrorist involved.
The attack occurred the day after Ansar ul-Islam's base in northeast Iraq was hit by U.S. cruise missiles.
Although websites maintained by independent media and opposition groups are blocked in Saudi Arabia, the Ansar ul-Islam website remains accessible inside the kingdom.
The same day as the atrocity in the U.S. Army camp in Kuwait and the assassination of the Australian journalist, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Wahhabi extremist institution with official Saudi backing, announced it was resuming activities in Northern Iraq. WAMY also operates an office in Northern Virginia that has been the object of a U.S. investigation of terrorism funding. WAMY is headed by Saudi minister of Islamic affairs Saleh al-Alshaikh.
March 23 was a bad day for America, the Kurds, and other traditional Muslims, but a good day for the Wahhabis and their Saudi backers. We must not be diverted from the fight against Islamofascism by the challenges faced by brave coalition troops and the combative Iraqi people, who are themselves shedding their blood for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, in the war zone. A stab in the back is as dangerous as a direct military assault.