Something is terribly wrong with the Virginia state legislature.
On Wednesday, March 5th, in House Joint Resolution 484, the elected representatives of the people of Virginia commended the notorious, terror-tied Dar al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church.
Dar al Hijrah has a history of ties to multiple known and convicted terrorists, led by its former Imam, Anwar al-Awlaki, who became head of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, before he was killed in a US air strike in 2011.
It was this institution that the Virginia House and Senate agreed to commend by voice vote.
This amounts to an official government endorsement of an entity whose members and employees have been tied to Jihad for many years.
In addition to the fact that an Imam at Dar al Hijrah mosque from 2001-2002 was Anwar al-Awlaki, not just an Al Qaeda terrorist, but the leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the mosque has a macabre history and other Imams that have preached there have expressed violent extremist views as recently as 2013:
- While an Imam at Dar al-Hijrah, Anwar al-Awlaki, was the primary spiritual mentor to two of the 9/11 hijackers: Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf Al-Hazmi. They both worshiped at Dar al-Hijrah in the months before taking part in the September 11th terrorist attacks.
- One of the founding members of Dar al-Hijrah, Ismail Salim Elbarasse, was sentenced to jail for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury in a terrorism financing case in 1998.
- In October 2004, Aldurahman M. Alamoudi, who attended the Dar al-Hijrah mosque, wassentenced to 23 years on terrorism charges.
- Ahmed Omar Abu Ali taught Islamic studies to children at Dar al-Hijrah. In September of 2005, he confessed to being a member of Al Qaeda and masterminding a plot to assassinate President George W. Bush. He is serving a life prison sentence.
- A board member of Dar al-Hijrah, Abdul Halim Al Ashqar, was convicted on contempt and obstruction charges in a terrorism case involving the HAMAS terrorist organization and sentenced to prison in November 2007.
- In November 2009, Major Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 US soldiers and wounded 39 others in a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas. Hasan attended Dar al-Hijrah when Anwar al-Awlaki was the Imam there.
- In December 2009, five young men from northern Virginia, led by dentistry student Ramy Zamzam, were arrested in Pakistan while attempting to join jihadist terrorist organizations.Zamzam grew up attending the Dar al-Hijrah mosque. Zamzam and his four co-conspirators were sentenced in June 2010 to 10 years in prison.
- In February 2010, Dar al-Hijrah hosted a fundraiser for a convicted terrorist, Sabri Benkahla, who was sentenced to 10 years for perjury and obstruction of justice in a terrorism case involving a Virginia jihad cell.
- In February 2012, Amine El Khalifi, an illegal alien who attended services at Dar al-Hijrah, was arrested in a plot to bomb the US Capitol. In September of that year, he wassentenced to 30 years in prison.
Other Imams at Dar al-Hijrah have expressed extremist views as well:
• Imam Sheik Shaker Elsayed of Dar al-Hijrah called for armed jihad in a speech at a high school in Alexandria, Virginia in February 2013.
Dar al-Hijrah is affiliated with three Muslim Brotherhood front groups (The Muslim Brotherhood has been designated a terrorist organization by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.) in the United States:
• The Muslim American Society
All three of these organizations were named as unindicted co-conspirators in the largest successful terrorism financing prosecution in US history: the US v the Holy Land Foundation.
This hardly seems like the type of organization that any governmental body in the United States—on any level—should be praising.
The members of the Virginia legislature—especially the leadership in both the House and Senate—should be ashamed. They should move right away to rescind the unjustified honor that they bestowed on Dar al-Hijrah and replace it with a resolution condemning the mosque’s numerous ties to terrorists and extremists.