In Minnesota, Federal prosecutors are attempting to fight a motion for pre-trial release of three defendants accused of attempting to join the Islamic State. ABC News reports:
Three men accused of trying to leave Minnesota to join the Islamic State group have not renounced the group’s violent ideology, and proposals for their pretrial release won’t adequately protect the community or guarantee that they’ll show up for court, prosecutors said in a court filing Tuesday.
The document was filed in advance of Wednesday hearings on defense attorneys’ proposals to release Hamza Naj Ahmed, 21, and Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman and Hanad Mustafe Musse, both 19. The men, Americans of Somali decent, are among seven people recently charged with plotting to join the terror group in Syria.
The proposals were crafted by the defense with input from Somali community members and religious leaders. They include options for housing, religious education, volunteering and other activities that defense attorneys say are designed to steer the men in a positive direction, assure the community’s safety and ensure the men attend court hearings.
It will not surprise regular readers of the Free Fire Blog to learn that at least one of the community members involved in the effort to get Islamic State sympathizers out of jail has potential ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The ABC News story interviews Sheikh Abdisalam Adam, who “has filed papers supporting Musse’s and Ahmed’s plans and says his goal is to ‘try to redirect their desire for meaning and social engagement into something more productive here at home.'” While the ABC News article declines to mention Adam’s affiliation (noting only that he is the imam of “another mosque”), it would probably be of interest for readers to know that he is the chairman of the Islamic Civic Society of America (ICSA), which runs Dar al-Hijrah Mosque, in Minneapolis. Dar al-Hijrah is located at 504 Cedar Avenue, immediately adjacent to the site of a mysterious New Year’s Eve 2014 explosion at an apartment building owned by a Somali individual suspected by the Treasury Department of helping to finance Al Shabaab, according to watchdog group Judicial Watch.
As Judicial Watch notes in its April 2nd, 2015 press release the Dar al-Hijrah mosque posted a series of web links on its page, including to the Muslim Brotherhood’s main website Ikhwanweb.org. The website also linked to Al-Islah, the Muslim Brotherhood political party of Somalia, and multiple high profile Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including Tariq Ramadan, Yusuf Al Qaradawi and Tariq Suwaidan, as well as to known U.S. and U.K Brotherhood fronts, including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the Muslim American Society (MAS), and the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB). These links were present on the website from at least April 7th, 2007 to May 17th, 2014. During the same period Adam was listed as the Mosque’s Director, under the mosque’s “Biography” page.
Judicial Watch is currently engaged in a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit against the Department of Justice in an attempt to acquire information regarding the investigation in the explosion.
In addition to his association with a mosque which openly directed web visitors to the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Abdisalam Adam was also a director of ARAHA, the American Relief Agency for Horn of Africa. ARAHA partners with charities including the Zakat Foundation, the charity Baitulmaal (not to be confused with Baitumal Inc, a financial services company which engaged in support for Al Qaeda and Hamas), and Life for Relief and Development (LRD).
Interestingly, these organizations not only cooperate but have had interlocking leadership. ARAHA’s executive Director Mohammed Idris was also Vice Chairman of LRD from 2006-2014 while also serving as head of ARAHA, and the head of Baitulmaal, Abdallah Boumediene was a board member of LRD from June 2012, until at least December 2014, when he served as CEO.
LRD was raided by the FBI in 2006, and in part agents were looking for ties between LRD and Iraq’s Muslim Brotherhood party known as the Iraqi Islamic Party. Another target in the same raid was Muthanna Al-Hanooti, a LRD employee, formerly executive director of CAIR-MI and the son of the late Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheikh Mohammed Al-Hanooti. The younger Al-Hanooti was alleged to have been working as an agent of influence for Saddam Hussein’s regime, and was eventually sentenced to 1 year in prison for violating sanctions law. Ironically current CAIR-MI executive director Dawud Walid would later join LRD as a board member.
Adam’s association with groups who themselves are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood certainly raises eyebrows, particularly as he attempts to intervene on behalf of terror suspects. Releasing such suspects on bail would never have been a good idea. But releasing them into the custody of “community leaders” who link themselves with the Muslim Brotherhood, is even more dangerous.