D.C. churches help 9/11 mosque grow Despite FBI warnings

D.C. churches help 9/11 mosque grow

Despite FBI warnings, Christians extend helping hand to terrorist  magnet

Posted: September 11, 2011
9:00 pm Eastern

© 2011 WND

Christian houses of worship are lending their parking lots to a radical  Washington-area mosque that aided some of the hijackers who attacked the  Pentagon on Sept. 11, despite warnings from FBI agents and local anti-jihad  watch groups that such brotherly outreach is only helping the Islamic center  expand and potentially attract future terrorists.When Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center was first built two decades ago in a quiet  neighboorhood in Falls Church, Va., it quickly attracted throngs of Muslim  worshipers. The mosque eventually outgrew its parking lot, so much so that it  violated local ordinances. The traffic congestion disturbed residents, and they  complained to zoning authorities.

The mosque had no extra land to widen its parking lot, so officials turned to  neighboring churches for help. The First Christian Church and the Falls Church  Church of Christ offered their large parking lots on Fridays, the Muslim  Sabbath. They’ve also agreed to accommodate overflow parking during the busy  Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Thanks to their kind gestures, the mosque has continued to grow, and now is  one of the largest in the country.

It’s also one of the most dangerous.

Almost since its opening in 1991 – made possible by a generous grant from the  Saudi Embassy – Dar al-Hijrah has been a hive of terrorist activity.

From 2000 to 2002, it employed the notorious imam Anwar Awlaki as its prayer  leader. Awlaki counseled two of the 9-11 hijackers in closed-door meetings, and  helped them secure housing and ID. He also helped radicalize Fort Hood shooter  Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who also worshiped at Dar al-Hijrah.

The U.S. last year designated Awlaki a “key leader of al-Qaida” and froze his  assets. “Anwar al-Awlaki is extraordinarily dangerous,” said Stuart Levey,  Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

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Several other mosque members have been the subject of FBI terrorism  investigations, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a post-Sept.  11 al-Qaida plot to assassinate the president. Dar al-Hijrah’s leadership is  closely tied to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide jihadist movement.

“If we chained off our churches, they’d be out of business,” said an official  for one of the churches sharing their parking lots. He says it’s the duty of  Christians, however, to help their neighbors.


Mike Tune, pulpit minister of the Church of Christ, which in contrast to the  mosque has seen its own membership shrink in recent years, complains of trash  left behind by mosque worshipers. But he says mosque officials have been more  attentive to the problem lately.

Tune takes off most Fridays to avoid the traffic congestion. He seems less  concerned with the terrorist connections across the street, which have been  cataloged by FBI agents. Both the church and mosque front Leesburg Pike.

The minister says Dar al-Hijrah officials have asked to also use his church’s  10 upper-level parking spots reserved for ministers and official church  business. The church has declined those requests and been roundly rebuked by the  mosque and members of the local Muslim community.

Shutting down the entire parking lot would invite widespread scorn, Tune  worries.

“We’ve considered the public relations nightmare we’d encounter,” he said.  “It’s a no-win situation for us.”

On the other side of the parking controversy, the church has felt pressure  from local anti-jihad watchdog groups to shun the mosque.

James Lafferty, founder of Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force, or VAST, has  pointed out the danger of aiding a mosque that has proven ties to terrorism. But  he says his warnings have fallen on deaf ears.

“I offered all sorts of help and moral support,” Lafferty said, “and he  (Tune) just stopped talking to me.”

Lafferty says Dar al-Hijrah is an enemy outpost that promotes violent jihad.  He says it also promotes sedition against the U.S.

In fact, its spokesman Johari Abdul-Malik has called for Islamic supremacy in  America.

“We will see the day when Islam, by the grace of Allah, will become the  dominant way of life,” Malik told the Dar al-Hijrah flock in 2004. “You will see  Islam move from being the second-largest religion in America to being the first  religion in America.”

Federal investigators say Dar al-Hijrah – known by law enforcement as the  “Row Street mosque” – is a dangerous breeding ground for terrorists. Former  members include:

  • Fugitive Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook, a former mosque leader.
  • Ismail Elbarasse, a founding mosque member, Saudi government employee, and  Muslim Brotherhood leader who was arrested for allegedly casing the Chesapeake  Bay bridge for attack.
  • Abdelhaleem Ashqar, mosque leader and suspected Hamas operative recently  convicted for obstruction of justice.
  • Mohammed al-Hanooti, a longtime mosque leader and unindicted co-conspirator  in both the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and recent Holy Land Foundation  terror finance case.
  • Top al-Qaida fundraiser Abdurahman Alamoudi, now serving 23 years in  federal prison for terrorism.
  • Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, the would-be President Bush assassin whose father worked  for the Saudi Embassy.
  • Abdullah bin Laden, Saudi nephew of the late al-Qaida kingpin whose name  appears on the federal terrorist watchlist.
  • Maj. Hasan, accused of murdering 13 and injuring 30 others in a  jihad-inspired shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas.
  • Hani Hanjour, 9/11 hijacker and Saudi national who flew the jumbo jet into  the Pentagon.
  • Nawaf al-Hazmi, 9/11 hijacker and Saudi national who joined Hanjour on the  Pentagon flight and acted as second in command of the entire al-Qaida operation  behind hijacking ringleader Mohamed Atta.

The mosque, in fact, helped Hanjour and al-Hazmi obtain housing in the area.

After Sept. 11, investigators found the fax number for Dar al-Hijrah in the  Hamburg, Germany, apartment of one of the planners of the Sept. 11 attacks – Ramzi Binalshibh, now a Gitmo detainee. Authorities believe instructions for the  plot may have been transmitted to Awlaki and-or the hijackers from Germany via  the mosque fax machine.

The mosque has never been raided by the FBI or local police and continues to  operate freely.

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