John Birch Society members and friends
who killed US soldiers at a base  in Chattanooga, Tenn., is
affiliated with the same Islamic group as the mosques patronized by
the Boston marathon bombers and the 9/11 hijackers who attacked the
Pentagon.Yet federal investigators have dismissed any possibility that the
Tennessee mosque was a source of radicalization or support for the
terrorist, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez.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.In 2007, the Justice Department designated NAIT as an unindicted
co-conspirator in the largest terrorist financing case in America
history, US v. Holy Land Land Foundation, which resulted in
convictions and imprisonment of several US-based Hamas terrorist
leaders. Current NAIT chairman Gaddoor Saidi also appears on the
government’s co-conspirator list.Court records detail money flowing through NAIT financial accounts
to Hamas. In the same exhibits from the trial, the Justice Department
lists NAIT and Saidi 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
While NAIT maintains its innocence, its repeated appeals to the
government to expunge its name from the co-conspirators list have
failed. A federal judge ruled there is “ample evidence” tying
NAIT to Hamas and the Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a worldwide jihadist movement whose credo
is “Jihad is our way, and death for the glory of Allah is our
The ethnic-Palestinian Abdulazeez expressed similar ambitions in his
Internet writings, in which he dreamed of fighting and dying in
“jihad for the sake of Allah.”
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 — including
the group’s spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who once issued a
fatwa calling on Muslims to kill US soldiers in Iraq.
Qaradawi’s name shows up in a mosque PowerPoint presentation
exhorting Muslim faithful to donate “in the cause of Allah.”
Abdulazeez and his family were longtime members of the Islamic
Society, which forces women to pray separately from men and wear head
Contradicting recent claims they had “minimal interactions” with
the 24-year-old jihadist, Facebook postings show mosque leaders once
held a well-attended graduation celebration for him.
Friends say Abdulazeez regularly prayed at the Islamic Society in
the months leading up to his attack on two US military sites.
The current mosque leadership is directly connected to NAIT.
The Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga grew out of a small
mosque founded by NAIT in 1997, the original deed reveals.
“NAIT bought the property in August of 1997 from St. John United
Methodist,” said Sheldon Wright, deputy clerk for the Hamilton
County, Tenn., register of deeds.
In 2007, the land for the new mosque was purchased by the “Islamic
Society of Greater Chattanooga Inc.,” which lists an address for
NAIT agent Arif Shafi. Shafi that same year filed the articles of
incorporation for the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga. The
state charter lists Shafi as both the “registered agent” for the
mosque and one of its “incorporators.”
Then, in 2013, NAIT sold the old mosque, Masjid Annour, moving it to
the new Islamic Society site. Shafi is represented in the transaction
as “the authorized agent of the North American Islamic Trust.”
Attempts to reach Shafi for comment were unsuccessful. Other Islamic
Society officials have asserted the mosque preaches peace and that
they saw no signs that Abdulazeez was involved in “extremism.”
This is a familiar refrain. Americans have heard the same line from
leaders of other mosques controlled by NAIT after their members, too,
carried out acts of terrorism. Among them:
* Islamic Society of Boston, where a dozen terrorists have
worshipped, including the marathon bombers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and
Tamerlan Tsarnaev and most recently the ISIS-inspired terrorist who
plotted to behead Boston cops.
* Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, where worshippers included
two ISIS terrorists who attacked a Dallas-area event and planned to
shoot up the Super Bowl.
* Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, where some of the 9/11 hijackers
worshipped and got help obtaining IDs and housing, following on the
heels of the Fort Hood shooter and several other terrorists who have
attended the mosque just outside Washington.
More interested in outreach, authorities overlooked these disturbing
After 9/11, the Pentagon even invited the Dar al-Hijrah cleric, who
ministered to the very hijackers who torpedoed the military
headquarters, to an interfaith luncheon. That same cleric, Anwar
al-Awlaki, would go on to head al Qaeda’s operations in Yemen
before a drone-fired missile finally caught up to him.
Muslim Brotherhood archives uncovered last decade in an FBI raid of
a terrorist suspect’s basement in a Washington suburb list NAIT as
one of the movement’s key fronts in the US. They also describe its
Islamic centers as “bases” from which to train and deploy its
“battalions” in jihad.
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. But is it enough for law enforcement to just take
their word for it?
We can’t let political correctness spare these mosques due
_Paul Sperry, Hoover Institution media fellow, is author of
“Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated