Ex-FBI agent: CIA nominee Brennan converted to Islam, visited holy sites

Special to WorldTribune.com

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the CIA is
said to have secretly converted to Islam in Saudi Arabia.

A former FBI agent reported that CIA nominee John Brennan secretly
converted to Islam between 1996 and 1999 when he served as CIA station
chief in the Saudi capital of Riyad. John Guandolo, the former FBI agent,
said Brennan visited the Saudi cities of Mecca and Medina, permitted only to

John Brennan, nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama to be the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Feb. 7.  /Alex Wong/Getty Images North America
John Brennan testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Feb. 7. /Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

“The facts [have been] confirmed by U.S. government officials who were also in Saudi Arabia at the time that John Brennan was serving,” Guandolo said.

Brennan, 57, has served as the White House chief on counter-insurgency and was said to be close to Obama. In 2010, Brennan, fluent in Arabic, told an audience at New York University that he visited Mecca and Medina during the Muslim pilgrimage, cities banned to non-Muslims.

“The video confirms Brennan converted to Islam,” Guandolo said in a
radio interview on Feb. 9.

There was no confirmation of Guandolo’s assertion. A leading Islamist
lobbyist, Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations and a convert himself, said he was unaware that Brennan became a Muslim. The White House did not respond.

Guandolo, a security consultant forced to resign the FBI in 2009, did
not provide details of Brennan’s conversion. Guandolo, based on talks with
CIA staffers, said he believed that Saudi officials persuaded Brennan to
become a Muslim.

“Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in a senior official
capacity in Saudi Arabia,” Guandolo told radio interviewer Tom Trento. “His
conversion to Islam was the culmination of a counter-intelligence operation
against him to recruit him.”

As a Muslim, Guandolo said, Brennan became friendly with members of
Hamas, designated a terrorist group by the State Department. Brennan, meant
to succeed David Petraeus, has also deemed the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah a
political group that could be swayed to stop attacks on Western interests.

“He has interwoven his life professionally and personally with
individuals that we know are terrorists,” Guandolo said. “He has given them
access to the National Security Council and National Security [Council] staff.”