Politics
Islamic Society of Boston. Photo: Google maps Islamic Society of Boston. Photo: Google maps  

Bombing suspect’s imam affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood front group

Photo of Patrick Howley
Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

The imam of the Cambridge, Massachusetts mosque attended by Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sits on the board of directors of the Boston chapter of an organization founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of the terrorist group Hamas.

Dr. Sheikh Basyouny Nehela, the imam of the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) in Cambridge, which the Tsarnaevs attended, sits on the board of directors of the Boston chapter of the Muslim American Society, which also runs the ISB’s affiliated “Cultural Center.”

The Muslim American Society was founded in 1993 after secret regional meetings of underground Muslim Brotherhood members across the United States. The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood reportedly “operated under the name Muslim American Society.”

Muslim American Society leaders were instructed to state, if asked about the group’s views on terrorism, that the Society was anti-terrorism but that jihad was one of a Muslim’s “divine legal rights” for both self-defense and for the spreading of Islam.

In 2011, Dr. Sheikh Basyouny Nehela was also listed as the leader of an educational and spiritual program sponsored by the Muslim American Society’s Youth Chicago organization, which included a trip to Mecca and Medina and was described as “a chance to revive the spirit of unity and understanding, and to return home invigorated and full of passion to serve Allah.”

Dennis Hale, president of Citizens for Peace and Tolerance, alleged in 2008 that Hossam Al Jabri, then-president of the Muslim American Society’s Boston chapter, donated money to the nonprofit group the Holy Land Foundation, which was shut down by the U.S. government for providing more than $2 million to Hamas.

Former ISB board chairman Osama Kandil, meanwhile, co-founded the Muslim Arab Youth Association with Osama bin Laden’s nephew and others. The group held a conference at which a Hamas military leader called for the extermination of the Jews and at which more than $200,000 was raised for Hamas.

The Muslim American Society of Boston runs the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC), an expansion of the ISB, which opened in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 2009.