Tag Archives: Mohammed Al Hanooti

President Obama Chose Terror-Tied Mosque for First U.S. Visit, Snubs Reformers

February 3, 2016, President Obama visited an American Mosque for the first time. However, the visit has been marked with criticism since the mosque is known to have ties to terrorist organizations.

The Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) has been around for several decades, but those who come through and preach inside its doors have been known to support terrorist organizations.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism lists one particular individual of interest as Mohamad Adam el-Sheikh, a Sudan native who actively participated in the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sudanese branch. El-Sheikh served as imam for the ISB twice, 1983-1989 and 1994-2003. During his time with ISB el-Sheikh also served as a regional director for the Islamic American Relief Agency, which has been cited by the Treasury Department as having ties to Al Qaeda (AQ).

Not only was El-Sheikh employed with IARA, but also during his time at ISB, the mosque actively issued an action alert calling on its members to support Chechen jihadists financially, through IARA. The alert also encouraged financial support to other known terror finance entities: Qoqoz.net (a website tied to the Al Qaeda-linked Caucasus Emirate), Benevolence International Foundation (designated as a terror finance entity by the Treasury Department) and Islamic Relief Worldwide, an Islamic charity suspected of terror finance ties and designated by Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

The action alert also called for support for the American Muslim Council, an organization founded by convicted Al Qaeda financier Abdurrahman Alamoudi.

While serving as imam, El-Sheikh helped found the Northern Virginia-based Dar Al-Hijrah mosque. This mosque was once led by Anwar al Awlaki, an American al Qaeda affiliate who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011, and was attended by Nidal Hassan, the Ft. Hood shooter. However, these are not the only notable individuals linked to terrorism who have passed through or served at the mosque:

  • Mohammed Al-Hanooti, named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, served as imam in 1999. Al-Hanooti was also active in the Muslim Brotherhood’s efforts in Palestine. Al-Hanooti served as President of the Islamic Association Palestine where he raised around $6 million for Hamas-linked entitles.
  • Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, convicted in 2005 of providing material support to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, and conspiracy to assassinate President Bush, served as an Islamic studies teacher and camp counselor for the mosque.
  • A member of Dar Al-Hijrah’s Executive Committee, Abelhaleem Hasan Abdelraziq Ashqar, was convicted in November 2007 of contempt and obstruction of justice for refusal to testify before a grand jury with regard to Hamas.

In 2004, El-Sheikh spoke about the Islamic justification for suicide bombing, telling the Washington Post, “if certain Muslims are to be cornered where they cannot defend themselves, except through these kinds of means, and their local religious leaders issued fatwas to permit that, then it becomes acceptable as an exceptional rule, but should not be taken as a principle.”

This was not the only controversial statement made by an ISB member. Yaseen Shaikh, a resident scholar of ISB, was videoed giving a sermon condemning homosexuality. It would seem odd that President Obama would honor this group despite his stance on gay rights.

The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch lists as the most damning tie to ISB as Maqbool Patel, the long-time ISB President. Maqbool has been an activist for the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a group associated with the American Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Southeast Asia’s Jamaat-e-Islami. Just this past December Patel spoke at an ICNA convention in Baltimore.

The President has claimed he seeks set and example for tolerance and inclusion, but even members of the Islamic community are outraged by the visit. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, told Fox News on Sunday “As a Muslim American I’m just insulted, this is disgraceful that this is one of the mosques — or the mosque — that he’s chosen to visit.”

It is troubling to think that the Obama Administration did not look into the mosque’s history. There are several examples the Administration could have drawn from, but instead they chose to look past this and try to promote tolerance and inclusion with a group that has spoken out against gay rights and justifies terror.

Director of Mosque Linked to Muslim Brotherhood Seeks Release of Islamic State Supporters

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.

Major U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Leader Mohammed Al-Hanooti Dies

Mohammad Al-Hanooti, a major leader in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, has died, according to funeral arrangement announcements released by Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church, Va. Al-Hanooti was an un-indicted co-conspirator in both the 2008 Holy Land Foundation Hamas Financing Trial and the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing plot. Hanooti was a member of the Palestine Committee, of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, which was established in order to support Hamas. As part of his role on the Palestine Committee, Hanooti was president of the Islamic Association Palestine (IAP). According to a 2001 FBI Memo, Hanooti had helped to raise $6 million for Hamas-linked entities.  Hanooti was also caught on a wiretap discussing raising funds for the defense of Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook. Hanooti was also a member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), and Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and his Virginia office was located next door to the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), and Muslim American Society (MAS),which Hanooti was the prayer leader at the Dar al-Hijrah Mosque, until 2000, when he was replaced by the now late Al Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki. Hanooti would come to be described as the Mufti of the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Hanooti was also an attendee of the 1993 Philadelphia Meeting, where Palestine Committee members discussed supporting Hamas, and discussed the establishment of an organization which would eventually become the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

The passing of Al-Hanooti is a reminder that a changing of the guard is underway regarding the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. Increasingly the early members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, such as Al-Hanooti, and others like Maher Hathout, are aging and passing away. As we get further away from the generation that produced the Muslim Brotherhood documents submitted in the Holy Land Foundation Trial, it will require increased effort to identify and track younger U.S. Brotherhood members. These younger Brothers will have risen to prominence with newly established organizations during a period where they were accustom to the risk of surveillance of their radical activities that the earlier generation had not experienced. As a result open source researchers into the Muslim Brotherhood’s U.S. networks will need to redouble their own efforts.