There’s a fascinating story in GlobalPost today about a Vermont native named Theo Padnos, who moved to Yemen, pretended to have converted to Islam, and studied among radical Muslims for some period of time. Padnos explains:
I wanted to know about the Quran. I wanted to know about spiritual experience in Islam. I wanted to travel across the nation. I wanted to do all the things that the converts wanted to do. I just did not believe in the god and the prophet and all that stuff.
Among Padnos’ fellow students was Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, formerly Carlos Bledsoe, who later killed a soldier and wounded another at a U.S. military recruiting center in Little Rock, Ark., last June.
To be sure, Padnos’ tale is an unlikely one. So I was especially impressed with the efforts GlobalPost and reporter David Case undertook to verify it.