Al Qaeda: Catholics 'Fertile Ground'

An American spokesperson for Al Qaeda, Adam Gadahn, concluded last year that because of church scandals Catholics were “fertile ground” for conversion. According to newly declassified documents, Gadahn wrote to Osama Bin Laden in January 2011 and laid out reasons for reaching out to Catholics, particularly in Ireland, and urged Bin Laden to use public anger over the church’s mishandling of clerical abuse to encourage conversions to Islam. The letter was among files allegedly found at Bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout after he was killed by U.S. special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan, last May. The letter from Gadahn particularly highlighted reasons for approaching the Irish, noting Ireland was not a participant in “Bush’s Crusade wars” and “the increasing anger in Ireland towards the Catholic Church.” He noted the hunger of youths because of Ireland’s economic downturn and wrote that Irish people—”the most religious of atheist Europe”—were moving toward secularism. “Why do not we face them with Islam?” he asked.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Callanan, a professor and novelist from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will be awarded the $25,000 Catholic literary prize.
The EditorsJune 22, 2017
Retired San Francisco Archbishop John R. Quinn, left, is pictured in a 2004 photo in Saginaw, Mich. He died June 22 at age 88 in San Francisco. He headed the Northern California Archdiocese from 1977 until 1995. (CNS photo/Brett McLaughlin, Catholic Weekly)
Retired Archbishop John R. Quinn of San Francisco, who led the Northern California archdiocese for 18 years, died on June 22 after a long illness. He was 88.
Daniel Oreskes, Michael Aronov, and Anthony Azizi (foreground) with Daniel Jenkins and Jeb Kreager (background). Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Like all the best historical narratives, “Oslo” shows the intense fragility and contingency of human affairs
Rob Weinert-KendtJune 22, 2017
Senate proposal could “wreak havoc on low-income families and struggling communities, and must not be supported,” the bishops said in a statement released on Thursday evening.