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.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

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

Marge Fenelon talks about her book “Forgiving Mother: A Marian Novena of Healing and Peace.”
Sean Salai, S.J.November 21, 2017
James Comey is perhaps a better Niebuhrian than Niebuhr himself.
Drew Christiansen, S.J.November 20, 2017
“Not everything that is technically possible or feasible is therefore ethically acceptable.”
Gerard O’ConnellNovember 20, 2017
I have been trying with all my heart—with all my mind, with all my soul, to live peaceably with a terror that has been grafted onto me.
Robert I. CraigNovember 20, 2017