Wilson, who said Army officials had briefed him on the case and provided a written account, confirmed earlier reports that the soldiers at the center of the case were Muslims enrolled in "Lima 09," a program launched in 2003 to train Arabic and Farsi speakers.
The conspirators were in the Armys 902nd Military Intelligence Groups MOS 09L program (Lima Nine), E Company, 187th Ordnance Battalion. Lima Nine was started because of the Armys desperate lack of linguists speaking Pashto, Dari or Arabic. To attract such recruits, military intelligence promises foreigners that if they join the Army as a translator they will get U.S. citizenship and a top security clearance. Candidates from Afghanistan and Iraq, including the Jackson Five, speak such poor English the Army puts them in Lima Nine and gives them English lessons, so they will have some hope of passing basic training. Clayton Leishman, program manager, said 34 recruits in the program last summer scored 50 in English, below the 80 required, but with 24 weeks of tutoring they would pass basic. Another program director, Lt. Col. Frank Deminth, said Lima Nine recruits are put on a fast track to U.S. citizenship, once they serve one day of honorable active duty. It is interesting to note that when these Muslims join Lima Nine they also are joining an Army intelligence group.