Ties between US Mosque and Islamic terror suspect ignored

Main: An FBI investigator investigates the scene of a shooting outside a military recruiting center on Friday, July 17, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez of Hixson, Tenn., attacked two military facilities on Thursday, in a shooting rampage that killed four Marines. (AP Photo/John Bazemore). Top Right: This April 2015 booking photo released by the Hamilton County Sheriffs Office shows a man identified as Mohammad Youssduf Adbulazeer after being detained for a driving offense. A U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity identified the gunman in shootings at two Chattanooga military facilities as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, who shares the same age and address as the man in the photo. (Hamilton County Sheriffs Office via AP)

The gunman who killed US soldiers in Chattanooga, attended a mosque that’s part of the same Islamic group associated with the mosques used by the Boston marathon bombers and 9/11 hijackers who attacked the Pentagon, according to property records.

“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 (NAIT),” according to the NY Post.

But apparently federal investigators have dismissed any possibility that the Tennessee mosque was a source of radicalization or support for terrorist, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez.

Records show that NAIT holds title to more than 300 mosques and has helped finance more than 500 Islamic centers in America. Imams insist that none of them preach hate.

However 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 — like Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who once called on Muslims to kill US soldiers in Iraq.

In 2007, the Justice Department designated NAIT as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist financing case in America history, which resulted in convictions and imprisonment of several US-based Hamas terrorist leaders. The current NAIT chairman also appears on the government’s co-conspirator list. The Justice Department lists him 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.”

Court records show money flowing through NAIT financial accounts to Hamas. NAIT maintains its innocence. However, repeated appeals to the government to expunge its name from the co-conspirators list have failed.

Abdulazeez and his family were reportedly longtime members of the Islamic Society. Mosque leaders claimed they had “minimal interactions” with the 24-year-old jihadist, but according to posts on Facebook, those same leaders once held a graduation celebration for him. Other Islamic Society officials have stated the mosque preaches peace and that they saw no signs that Abdulazeez was involved in “extremism.”

According to the Post article, the land for the new mosque was purchased by the “Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga Inc.” in 2007.  State records show that in 2013 NAIT sold the old mosque moving it to the new Islamic Society site.  The NAIT agent and one of its “incorporators,” listed in the state charter, could not be reached for comment.

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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