Inside the FBI’s Terrorism Factory
by William Norman Grigg
As an ex-convict, Newburgh, New York resident James Cromitie was thankful to find a steady job. As a Muslim convert, he was particularly grateful that he could wear his kufi – a knit skullcap akin to a yarmulke – at work without provoking his supervisor’s disapproval. Some of the customers, however, took unintended offense.
“They know I’m a Muslim,” Cromitie told Maqsood, a friend he had met at the local mosque, in an October 19, 2008 phone conversation. “My boss say, ‘Hey, Abdul, I want you to go help this lady.’ And then she look at me [and says], ‘Oh. What is you, Muslim?’ I’m like, ‘Yes.’ ‘Oh, I’ll get someone else to help me…. They really don’t like Muslims.”
When Maqsood asked why people “don’t like Muslims,” Cromitie, displaying a touch of frustration, replied: “Only Allah knows…. I think they think that we are better than them, but we don’t think that.” He went on to describe a few workplace conversations in which he described some teachings and practices of his faith; one of those chats was with an individual Cromitie described as “some guy I talked to, [a] nice Jewish guy.”
This conversational thread proved irresistible to Maqsood, who eagerly seized it and gave it a stout yank. According to Maqsood, a wealthy man from Pakistan who claimed to be a Muslim religious scholar, the Prophet Mohammed “has forbidden us to have these, the Jews, Yahuds, because they are responsible for all of the evils in the world.”