And he still ended up becoming a Misunderstander of Islam! “Terror suspect attended 2008 Islamic ‘knowledge fest’ in Houston,” from CNN, December 30:
(CNN) — The man accused of trying to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner on Christmas Day attended an Islamic “Knowledge Fest” in Houston, Texas, in 2008, according to one of the organizers of the event.
Yasir Qadhi, who was an instructor at “Ilm Fest,” said the 16-day conference organized by the Al Maghrib Institute was a series of courses and workshops to teach young Muslims “the nuts and bolts of Islam.”
Suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab attended some of the classes that Qadhi taught during the event, which ran from August 1 to 17, 2008.
“He was a very quiet individual, tight-lipped and shy, and he did not ask a single question during the discussions,” Qadhi said in an exclusive interview with CNN. “He barely interacted with the other students at the conference.”
AbdulMutallab was not a visible presence during the conference and did not attend all the sessions, recalled Qadhi.
Qadhi recalls speaking to AbdulMutallab and remembers that he was “very reserved in his responses.”
AbdulMutallab also attended two seminars organized by the Al Maghrib Institute in London in the months before the event in Houston, Qadhi said.
One of the events was on the life of the Prophet Mohammed, and the other course was on the first chapter of the Koran.
“This was mainstream Islamic stuff,” said Qadhi….
Qadhi, of New Haven, Connecticut, has been involved in de-radicalization efforts in the United States and was a leading participant in the U.S. Counter-Radicalization Strategy conference organized by the National Counterterrorism Center in the summer of 2008.
“It’s ironic that he came to us,” said Qadhi of AbdulMutallab….