Monday, January 31, 2005

Jihadists in New Jersey

Joel Mowbray writes about the activities of radical Muslims in New Jersey:

The former imam at the El Tawheed Islamic Center of Jersey City, Alaa Al-Sadawi, was convicted in July 2003 of attempting to smuggle more than $650,000 in cash to the terrorist Global Relief Fund in Egypt in April 2002.

One of Al-Sadawi’s former mosque-goers was convicted last March of murdering in the name of Islam. Alim Hassan, then 31, killed his pregnant wife, her mother, and her sister on July 30, 2002. He reportedly stabbed the women more than 20 times each because they refused to convert to Islam. According to reports, Hassan prayed regularly at El-Tawheed.

Al-Sadawi and Hassan were hardly the first Muslims in the area, though, to appear on authorities’ radar.

Mohamed El-Mezain, the former imam at the nearby Islamic Center of Passaic County, which has close relations with El-Tawheed, worked with the Paterson-based mosque to raise funds for Hamas in the mid-1990s, according to an FBI memo drafted in November 2001 by the FBI’s assistant director of counterterrorism Dale Watson. El-Mezain, who is no longer affiliated with the Islamic Center, was never charged or arrested.

The FBI document, which served as the basis for the U.S. government shutting down the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development in December 2001, cited a “reliable” source in noting that “during a speech at the Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC) in November, 1994, Mohammad El-Mezain, the HLFRD’s current Director of Endowments and former Chairman of the HLFRD Board, admitted that some of the money collected by the ICPC and the HLFRD goes to Hamas or Hamas activities in Israel. El-Mezain also defended Hamas and the activities carried out by Hamas.”

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