Before John Owen Brennan became Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on March 8, 2013, he had spent 25 years with the CIA in a succession of positions, including as a Near East and South Asia analyst, station chief in Saudi Arabia, chief of staff to CIA director George Tenet, and director of the National Counterterrorism Center. After leaving government service in 2005, Brennan was CEO of The Analysis Corporation, a security consulting business. He returned to government service with the Obama administration as Homeland Security Advisor on January 20, 2009.
Peter Baker and Mark Mazzetti write for The New York Times that “in the 67 years since the C.I.A. was founded, few presidents have had as close a bond with their intelligence chiefs as Mr. Obama has forged with Mr. Brennan. It is a relationship that has shaped the policy and politics of the debate over the nation’s war with terrorist organizations, as well as the agency’s own struggle to balance security and liberty.”
Given Obama’s special bond with Brennan, if the latter is a Muslim convert, there are troubling national security implications.
Brennan’s questionable loyalty dates back to the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
On September 18, 2014, on the Ground Zero radio program, a whistle blower named Greg Ford of the 223rd Military Intelligence Battalion claimed that Brennan, as chief of the CIA station in Jeda, overrode concerns and ordered that the visas of the 19 plane-hijackers be stamped. At 1:32:47 into the interview, Ford talked about ISIS and how it was created. Someone called in with a question about 9/11. Ford said:
“All 19 high jackers? Where did they get their visas stamped before they came to this country to launch 9/11? They got their visas stamped in the CIA station in Jeda. And the second in command said ‘No way, absolutely we are not going to stamp those visas.’ And the fellow who was in charge, his name was John Brennan. He was the person who overrode those concerns and cautions and ordered those visas stamped in Jeda.”
There have long been rumors that John Owen Brennan is a Muslim convert. A member of this Consortium, John Molloy, Chairman of the National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition, has heard of those rumors from his military sources. Now, we have published confirmation from a credible journalist.
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and columnist. As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. He subsequently worked for the National Security Agency. (See his extended bio here.)
In a for-subscribers-only article for his news site, Wayne Madsen Report, on August 11, 2015, Madsen maintains there is “growing evidence that CIA’s John Brennan is a Wahhabist convert.”
Madsen begins by noting that Obama had wanted to appoint Brennan CIA director in 2009, but there was internal CIA and congressional opposition to his nomination, ostensibly because of Brennan’s involvement in “enhanced interrogation” techniques used against detainees after 9/11, but the actual reasons for the initial opposition remains unclear to this day.
When the Senate eventually voted to confirm Brennan in 2013, 34 senators voted no, including Rand Paul (R-KY), who attempted to filibuster the confirmation vote; Ted Cruz (R-TX); Charles Grassley (R-IA); Patrick Leahy (D-VT); Mike Lee (R-UT); Jeff Merkley (D-OR); Bernie Sanders (D-VT); and Richard Shelby (R-AL). Barbara Boxer (D-CA) did not vote. Madsen asks, “What did these senators actually know about Brennan, especially the Democrats, who decided Brennan was not for for the job?”
Madsen lists the following tell-tale signs of Brennan’s conversion to Islam:
- When Brennan, then Obama’s deputy national security adviser, was sworn in to head the CIA, “the Jesuit-educated former CIA officer opted to take the oath on a copy of the U.S. Constitution, not on the bible as every past CIA director, Christian and Jewish, had done.”
- Brennan is the highest-ranking U.S. official to have ever visited the Islamic holy city of Mecca, a privilege reserved only for pious Muslims and special guests of the Saudi King, who is the “Guardian of the Two Shrines of Mecca and Medina.”
- At the National Security Council and at the CIA, Brennan has forbidden the use of the term “jihadist” to describe Islamist terrorists, preferring instead the word “extremists.”
Madsen then presents the following “ample evidence” that Brennan is not just a Muslim convert, but a convert to Wahhabist Islam — the same sect as Osama bin Laden’s — who considers himself a “jihadist,” or “holy warrior”:
1.“The recent revelation by retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), that the Obama administration, including Brennan at the CIA, ignored the threat of the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), provides yet further proof that a Saudi and Wahhabist ‘Manchurian Candidate’ now occupies the director’s chair on the seventh floor of the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Flynn said that the White House and supporters of the Syrian rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, ignored the DIA’s SECRET report from August 2012 on the rise of the Islamist caliphate in Syria and Iraq and did nothing to stop it.” Flynn also asserted that the Obama administration funneled arms to Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Al Qaeda in Iraq.
2. Brennan has shuttled frequently between Langley, Jerusalem, and Riyadh to coordinate arms transfers and other logistical support to ISIL and their allied fighters in Syria and Iraq. Witnesses in Syria, the Golan Heights, Iraq’s Anbar province, and Iraqi Kurdistan to have seen CIA and Israeli Mossad commandos transferring weapons to ISIL and affiliated forces.
3. A few weeks before the Senate voted to confirm Brennan as CIA director, former FBI agent John Guandolo revealed that Brennan had, indeed, converted to Wahhabist Islam while he was CIA station chief in Riyadh. Guandalo quoted Brennan as having said that he “marveled at the majesty of the Hajj,” the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca that is reserved only for devout Muslims. Guandalo was quoted as telling a radio interviewer, “Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in an official capacity on the behalf of the United States in Saudi Arabia.”
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According to Madsen, there are other CIA converts to Muslim, including:
- The chief of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center under Brennan, who is known only as “Roger,” is a convert to Sunni Islam — a fact that was reported by The Washington Post. Roger’s career at the CIA started about the same time that Brennan joined the agency. Roger, whose real name is Michael A. D’Andrea or “Mike”, joined in 1979, Brennan in 1980. Both became fluent in Arabic. D’Andrea’s CIA nickname was “The Wolf.”
- Muhammad Abdel Karim Grimm, a chief CIA operative at the Munich Islamic Center (MIC), is a German Christian convert to Salafist Islam. The MIC was funded by the CIA during the Cold War as a Muslim Brotherhood operating cell in Munich which recruited Turkish Muslim CIA operatives from Germany’s Turkish “guest worker” community.
- Andrew Warren, who speaks six Arabic dialects and Persian, is another convert to Islam who rose in the ranks of the CIA. In 2008, Warren, the CIA’s station chief in Algiers, was ordered home by the ambassador after he was charged with drugging two Algerian Muslim women, having non-consensual sex with them, and filming the alleged rapes. Warren left the CIA and took a job with Citigroup in New York but quickly returned to the CIA after the 9/11 attack. In 2010, Warren received a 65-month prison sentence for “abusive sexual conduct” while in Algeirs and unlawful use of cocaine while possessing a firearm in Norfolk. He pleaded guilty to the two charges but prosecutors decided not to charge Warren with rape, which would have carried a life sentence. Madsen claims that according to “a well-placed U.S. intelligence source,” Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings was working on a story about Warren and Brennan before he died in a suspicious fiery auto crash in Beverly Hills, California in June 2013, a little over three months after Brennan became CIA director.
StMA’s article originally appeared at Consortium of Defense Analysts.