The brothers accused of the Boston Marathon bombings attended a mosque in Cambridge, Mass., linked to other radical individuals and groups.
The Islamic Society of Boston mosque has been associated with several people investigated for terrorism, including its first president, Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who was convicted of plotting to assassinate a Saudi prince, reports USA Today.
Its sister mosque in Boston, the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, has invited speakers known to defend terrorism suspects, the newspaper reported.
Charles Jacobs, head of the interfaith group Americans for Peace and Tolerance, told the newspaper, “We don’t know where these boys were radicalized, but this mosque has a curriculum that radicalizes people. Other people have been radicalized there.”
The FBI has not implicated either mosque in terrorist activity, but USA Today cites several cases in which mosque attendees and officials were involved in terrorism, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate Aafia Siddiqui, who prayed at the Cambridge mosque. She was arrested in 2008 in Afghanistan . She had cyanide canisters and plans for a chemical attack in New York City in her possession.
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The Cambridge mosque reportedly was founded in 1982 by students at MIT, Harvard, and other Boston-area schools. The sister mosque was established in 2009.
Both also reportedly are associated with the Muslim American Society, an organization founded in 1993 that describes itself as an American Islamic revival movement.
Zhudi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, told USA Today that its teachings make some followers feel “like their national identity is completely absent and hollow, and that vacuum can be filled by (radical) Islamic ideology, which is supremacist and looks upon the West as evil.”
Anwar Kazmi, a member of the Cambridge mosque’s board of trustees, told the newspaper the mosque is moderate and condemns the Boston bombings. On Monday, the mosque reportedly e-mailed members a warning that the FBI may question them.
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