Commentary Magazine


The CIA’s Muslim Terror Head

In some quarters of the right it is considered, so to speak, an article of faith that the war against al-Qaeda and its ilk is really a war against Islam, and that no Muslim can possibly be trusted to be an ally in this fight. Even talk of allowing Muslim judges in Afghanistan to issue warrants for “night raids” has been greeted with contempt by some even though many Muslim Afghan soldiers now go out on those raids. Indeed, thousands of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers have lost their lives fighting alongside American allies against our mutual foes in extremist groups such as al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the Mahdist Army.

Further discrediting the anti-Muslim propaganda is the fact disclosed yesterday by the Washington Post that the long-serving head of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center–the architect of policies which have sent countless jihadists to an early grave in drone strikes–is himself a Muslim. He converted after marrying a Muslim woman while serving abroad.

The Post quotes CIA Director David Petraeus as saying, “No officer in the agency has been more relentless, focused, or committed to the fight against al-Qaeda than has the chief of the Counterterrorism Center.” The fact that the officer in question is a Muslim should hardly be cause for comment–except to the extent that it unsettles some objectionable assumptions about where most Muslims supposedly stand in the battle against violent extremists.


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