Speaking at an interfaith event at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) in mid-December, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren told a crowd of 2,600: “Now is a time when we must be willing to say loud and clear there is no room for bigotry anywhere in the United States of America — none.”
Ironically, the very room at the largest mosque in New England where she was making her speech has been the site of some of the most vicious religion-driven bigotry in Boston. A newly unearthed video reveals that when the politicians leave and the media cameras are no longer rolling, the ISBCC mosque serves as a forum for supporters of convicted Al Qaeda terrorists who use the mosque to call for jihad against America and demand that Muslims fight to bring this nation “to its knees.”
On September 24, 2011, the ISBCC hosted an event, titled, “Reclaiming Power and Protecting Our Communities,” which featured families of several convicted terrorists and Islamist hate preachers, who accused the Obama administration of a broad conspiracy to falsely convict and imprison American Muslims as part of a general war against Islam. Among the examples given at the at the ISBCC event were no fewer than twenty-two U.S.-based individuals convicted of material support for Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and several other designated terrorist groups.
Among these were Tarek Mehanna, whose brother spoke at the ISBCC event, Aafia Siddiqui, Tarik Shah, whose mother spoke at the event, Ehsanul “Shifa” Sadequee, whose sister spoke at the event, Yassin Aref, four leaders of the Holy Land Foundation, Abdulrahman Alamoudi, Syed Fahad Hashmi, whose brother spoke at the event, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, Sami Al Arian, Ziyad Yaghi, the North Carolina Seven, of whom Ziyad Yaghi was a part, and Mohammed Warsame.
All of these individuals have been sentenced to decades in prison for terrorism-related felonies. Their crimes and sentences are detailed in the links on their names.
After asking whether there were any law enforcement officers in the audience and insisting that no one tapes the event, the ISBCC speakers launched into extended tirades against the United States. The sister of Shifa Sadequee, sentenced to 17 years for material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba (the Pakistani terrorist group behind the Mumbai Massacre) denounced “the violence of the US government” for prosecuting her brother. “This community is under siege in all facets of its existence,” claimed the brother of Ziyad Yaghi, who got 15 years for trying to provide military equipment to Al Qaeda. “It’s become marginalized or criminalized to be Muslim in America right now. Why do I say this? I say this because of the various cases [of prosecuted terrorists] that you see on the wall.”
This topic was personal for ISBCC leaders. The mosque has had a long and intimate connection with several of the convicted terrorists who were defended and praised at the event. Among them is the founder of the Islamic Society of Boston, Abdulrahman Alamoudi, sentenced to 23 years for moving funds to Al Qaeda. In fact, since 9/11, thirteen leaders and worshippers at the ISBCC and its sister mosque in Cambridge have been either imprisoned, killed by law enforcement, or declared fugitives from the law because of their support for terrorism.
The major focus of the event, however, was the plight of two particular prominent worshippers at the Islamic Society of Boston: Tarek Mehanna and Aafia Siddiqui. An ISBCC preacher named Abdullah Faaruuq, who spoke at the event, told the audience that he was a close friend and mentor to Mehanna and Siddiqui.
Siddiqui, also known as Lady Al Qaeda, was once the most wanted woman in the world. She was also once a bright MIT undergraduate and Brandeis PhD with a promising future until she became involved with Al Qaeda supporters, began praying regularly at the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge, and became increasingly radicalized as a result. She’s serving an eighty-six year sentence for attempted murder of U.S. personnel in Afghanistan. Tarek Mehanna, serving seventeen years for providing material support to Al Qaeda in Iraq, had planned to machine gun shoppers in a suburban Boston mall. His accomplice, Ahmad Abousamra, who managed to flee the Boston area for Syria, was the son of the ISBCC’s then-vice president. He became a social media guru for the Islamic State and was killed by the Iraqi air force in 2015.
According to the FBI, “Mehanna and his coconspirators, who shared videos and took real pleasure in the deaths of American servicemen, seemed to delight in the most horrific atrocities.” But according to ISBCC preacher Abdullah Faaruuq, speaking at the ISBCC event that day, Mehanna was “the sweetest young man you’d ever want to know.”
The speakers at the ISBCC event lashed out at law enforcement for apprehending their terrorist friends and family. Mauri Saalakhan, an extremist preacher from Washington, D.C., after unveiling a huge banner demanding that the U.S. free Aafia Siddiqui, incited the attendees against the FBI:
We should not allow the FBI to have access to our masaajid [mosques] and centers. . . . As an agency, I think this organization is sitting on the precipice of evil.
He then called for violent jihad against the United States:
We have verses like ‘not equal are those believers who sit at home and receive no hurt, and those who strive with their property and their persons in the cause of Allah.’ . . . Just as the prophet and his companions had to struggle, just like Allah made them the best among mankind, struggle and sacrifice and pay a price. Some of them died, they were killed, they suffered all kinds of indignities, but at the end of the day because they were resolute in their faith, they ended up being victorious. Well, the same thing has to happen with us. We have to be willing to struggle and to sacrifice and to be made uncomfortable.
ISBCC preacher Abdullah Faaruuq took the threat of jihad even further:
Come and get me because I’m in a jihad straight up against any wrong doing wherever I find it. . . . You feel that you are a great nation now America, the land of – it is called the land of the free, the home of brave – I call it the land of the coward, the home of the slave. This is America. . . . We want to put the constitution, this one nation over God, we want to put this one nation over God instead of one nation under God. . . . This nation, by God, will be brought to its knees. . .
It bears repeating that the ISBCC is the largest mosque in New England and influences thousands among New England’s historically moderate Muslim community. Its leaders have been embraced by New England’s top civic leadership. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Boston Police Chief William Evans and Boston’s Jewish Community Relations Council have paid recent solidarity visits to the mosque. The Boston Globe and many other Boston media have written glowing articles about the mosque’s interfaith outreach efforts. And yet, the ISBCC is engaging in outright pro-terrorist indoctrination targeted at the Muslim community’s youth. Unfortunately, the Boston civic leaders who make interfaith pilgrimages to the ISBCC have not been very concerned about the mosque’s radical influence.