FALLS CHURCH, VA (WUSA9) – A week before Donald Trump’s inauguration, a top FBI official paid a visit to Falls Church mosque Dar al Hijra to reassure the Muslim community that stopping hate crimes is one of the agency’s biggest concerns.
Over the past year, this country has seen a 6% increase in hate crimes, including a 67% increase in hate crimes against Muslims, according to the Virginia Attorney General’s office.
Longtime Dar al Hijra Imam Johari Abdul-Malik embraced Paul Abbate, head of the FBI’s Washington field office, who, this week, was appointed executive FBI Assistant Director for Criminal Investigations Worldwide.
“The essence of why we’re here is to keep you safe,” Abbate told the congregates as they gathered on the prayer rugs.
Joined by his team and Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler, Abbate spoke to about a thousand people at one of three prayer services.
Speaking to WUSA9 afterward, he said the FBI is committed to stopping hate crimes and that people coming forward to report suspicious activity is key.
“We want them to come forward. We want to engage with them. So that if there’s anything we can do to prevent acts of violence of harm coming to people or communications, that’s what we’re all about,” said Abbate.
Abbate also told the worshippers that the FBI is hiring and looking to diversify its ranks to better reflect the communities it serves.
His presence and words eased the fears of many.
Sarah Moustafa said she has been concerned, given the political climate this past year.
“Now, I feel like this kind of support there is a plus side, even though there is so much negativity, people are coming out showing us there are good people,” she said.
“We’re so happy, we have support and help from official in Washington,” said Hesham Hassan.
“This is our country. It’s a great thing. Big support for Muslims, actually.”
Abbate said his team has had an on-going relationship with the mosque. Whose leaders asked him to come deliver this message today.
“For people to see in the flesh, to press the flesh, to look in someone’s the eye and get a sense of the veracity of what they’re saying, it makes a tremendous a difference,” said Imam Johari.
About the mosque Abbate has such a cozy relationship with. Well, most recently, it’s where the Capitol suicide bomber prayed prior to attempting his jihad. But there is much, much more.
Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va., is a known breeding ground for terrorists, including:
* Fugitive Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook, a former mosque leader to whom CAIR funneled at least $40,000.
* Top al-Qaida fundraiser Abdurahman Alamoudi, a one-time CAIR director now serving 23 years in federal prison for terrorism.
* Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, the would-be al-Qaida presidential assassin who trained with a cell led by a former CAIR official.
* Mohammed al-Hanooti, a current mosque leader and unindicted co-conspirator in both the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and recent Holy Land Foundation terror finance case.
* Ismail Elbarasse, a founding mosque member and 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.
* Abdullah bin Laden, nephew of the al-Qaida kingpin whose name appears on the federal terrorist watchlist.
* 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.
After 9/11, investigators found the phone number for Dar al-Hijrah in the Hamburg, Germany, apartment of one of the planners of the 9/11 attacks — Ramzi Binalshibh, a Gitmo detainee who will soon stand trial in Manhattan, if the Obama administration has its way.
Constructed with $5 million from the Saudi Embassy and run by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Dar al-Hijrah is a terror mill and a direct threat to national security. Yet the only thing standing in the way of the mosque and justice is CAIR, which also happens to be a threat to national security.
CAIR maintains a booth at the mosque, and coordinates fundraising with it. Last year the group listed Dar al-Hijrah among its main supporters — along with the Saudi Embassy. The mosque’s leaders are listed as VIP contacts in CAIR’s executive Rolodex.
And more, via Dar Al-Hijrah: D.C.’s Own Terror Factory:
But al-Qaeda isn’t the only terrorist group that has benefited from Dar al-Hijrah’s institutional support for terrorism. Two U.S-based Hamas operatives, Abdelhaleem Ashqar and Ismail Elbarasse, are long-standing figures at the mosque. Ashqar served on Dar al-Hijrah’s executive board and Elbarasse was a founding member.
When Elbarasse was arrested in August 2004 as a material witness in a Hamas terror support case, Dar al-Hijrah financial documents were found during a search of his home. That search by federal agents also yielded a number of other items, including the archives of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in North America found in a sub-basement in Elbarasse’s home. Ashqar was sentenced to 11 years in prison for his refusal to testify before a grand jury about his knowledge of the Hamas networks in the U.S., though prosecutors had sought a life sentence.
When five young Muslim-American men were captured in Pakistan in December 2009 attempting to join up with a terrorist group, it was no surprise that they were quickly linked to the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia.
Newsweekreported that at least one of the men attended Dar al-Hijrah, while another recent report indicated that the others attended an associated spin-off mosque in Alexandria. They were also all leaders of Muslim Student Association chapters in the Washington, D.C., area (I have reported on the MSA’s extensive terror ties here at PJM).
The Pakistan Five case was not Johari Abdul-Malik’s first go-around with this sort of thing. After Dar al-Hijrah attendee Ahmed Omar Abu Ali was arrested in Saudi Arabia and confessed to being part of an al-Qaeda cell that was planning to assassinate President George W. Bush, in an interview with the New York Times Abdul-Malik compared Abu Ali to civil rights icon Rosa Parks.
During his trial, current Dar al-Hijrah senior Imam Shaker el-Sayed served as the Abu Ali family spokesman and chauffeur. Abu Ali was convicted on a range of terrorism charges and sentenced to a 30-year prison term. A federal appeals court overturned the sentencing, and ordered the district judge to impose a life sentence in accordance with federal sentencing guidelines.
Even more notorious than Ahmed Omar Abu Ali is former Dar al-Hijrah Imam Anwar al-Awlaki… Awlaki was the imam for Dar al-Hijrah in 2001 and 2002, during which time he was spiritual leader to at least three of the 9/11 hijackers. Two of them, Nawaf Alhazmi and Hani Hanjour, followed the imam from San Diego to Virginia and attended the mosque.
During Awlaki’s tenure at Dar al-Hijrah, he was known for fiery anti-American sermons, but after the 9/11 attacks he told the New York Times that such sentiments “we won’t tolerate anymore.” That didn’t prevent him from — a couple weeks later — defending the Taliban in an online chat for the Washington Post and tellingNational Geographic magazine that Israel was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
One of Awlaki’s Dar al-Hijrah terror protégés was Fort Hood killer Major Nidal Hasan, who attended the mosque while Awlaki was the imam. The pair were in email communication before Hasan’s attack, which killed 13 armed service members. After the Fort Hood massacre, Johari Abdul-Malik was once again cited in a PBS Newshour report claiming that Awlaki had been radicalized after he had left the mosque’s employment and claiming that FBI harassment had driven him to al-Qaeda. After the Fort Hood killings, Awlaki called Major Hasan “a hero” on his website.
A quick search for Abbate shows he spends an inordinate amount of time with Muslims – particularly at terror-linked mosques. Where are his sympathies? Do they align with the new administration? With the protection of America? From Muslim terrorists?
Shocker. A reader reminds us we found Abbatte doing the same in Dearborn in 2013: Dearborn: New FBI Special Agent in Charge panders to Muslim community
Contact Your Elected Officials 0r for better results, just tweet it to Donald Trump or a member of his team.