Washington: The US government led by President Barack Obama may face trouble for nominating John Brennan as the new CIA Director as a former FBI agent has claimed that the nominee has embraced Islam when he was performing his duty in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
According to the former FBI agent, John Guandolo, the incoming head of the CIA converted to Islam while working as a station chief in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s.
John Guandolo, who retired from the FBI in 2008, surfaced his claim about Brennan in a radio interview. He said that John Brennan – who has been nominated by President Barack Obama as the new director of the CIA – visited the Islamic holy cities of Makkah and Medina. Saudi officials also accompanied him who may have persuaded him to convert into a Muslim.
Guandolo said in the interview that Brennan visited the holy sites during the Hajj season when millions of Muslims converge on the Holy cities to perform a series of rituals. He was serving as the CIA station chief in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, between 1996 and 1999.
Non-Muslims are prohibited from entering Makkah, and are not permitted to enter the city centre, or sacred core, of Medina.
The ex-FBI agent said that Brennan is “unfit” to take charge of the CIA, and claimed that US government officials based in Saudi Arabia during that period “were direct witnesses to his growing relationships with individuals who work with the Saudi government and they witnessed his conversion to Islam.”
Brennan, 57, has spent more than three decades working in the US intelligence.
He was nominated as the new Head of the CIA on January 7 by President Obama, after predecessor General David Petraeus was forced to resign amid a scandal surrounding an affair with his biographer.
The CIA is yet to respond to Guandolo’s claims. However, it is inevitable that the claim is likely to create problems for Obama Administration for nominating “a Muslim” as the CIA new chief.