Property records show the mosque attended by the terrorist who killed US soldiers at a base in Chattanooga, Tenn., is affiliated with the same Islamic group as the mosques patronized by the Boston marathon bombers and the 9/11 hijackers who attacked the Pentagon.
Yet federal investigators have dismissed any possibility that the Tennessee mosque was a source of radicalization or support for the terrorist, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez.
The trustee of the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga, like the Boston and Virginia mosques attended by other terrorists, is the North American Islamic Trust.
In 2007, the Justice Department designated NAIT as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist financing case in America history, US v. Holy Land Land Foundation, which resulted in convictions and imprisonment of several US-based Hamas terrorist leaders. Current NAIT chairman Gaddoor Saidi also appears on the government’s co-conspirator list.
Court records detail money flowing through NAIT financial accounts to Hamas. In the same exhibits from the trial, the Justice Department lists NAIT and Saidi among “members of the US Muslim Brotherhood,” alongside NAIT’s parent the Islamic Society of North America — from which the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga derives its name.
While NAIT maintains its innocence, its repeated appeals to the government to expunge its name from the co-conspirators list have failed. A federal judge ruled there is “ample evidence” tying NAIT to Hamas and the Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a worldwide jihadist movement whose credo is “Jihad is our way, and death for the glory of Allah is our greatest ambition.”
The ethnic-Palestinian Abdulazeez expressed similar ambitions in his Internet writings, in which he dreamed of fighting and dying in “jihad for the sake of Allah.”
In 2009, when Islamic Society leaders were raising money from Chattanooga Muslims for construction of their new mosque, they invoked the names of major Muslim Brotherhood figures — including the group’s spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who once issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill US soldiers in Iraq.
Qaradawi’s name shows up in a mosque PowerPoint presentation exhorting Muslim faithful to donate “in the cause of Allah.”
Abdulazeez and his family were longtime members of the Islamic Society, which forces women to pray separately from men and wear head coverings.
Contradicting recent claims they had “minimal interactions” with the 24-year-old jihadist, Facebook postings show mosque leaders once held a well-attended graduation celebration for him.
Friends say Abdulazeez regularly prayed at the Islamic Society in the months leading up to his attack on two US military sites.
The current mosque leadership is directly connected to NAIT.
The Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga grew out of a small mosque founded by NAIT in 1997, the original deed reveals.
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