Ramy Zamzam, one of five young Muslim men from Alexandria, Virginia being held by Pakistani authorities under suspicion of trying to contact the terrorist organization behind the 2002 murder in Karachi of Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl, has family links to a notorious Virginia mosque once attended by alleged Fort Hood killer Maj. Nidal Hasan.
The five, aged 19 to 25, were reported Wednesday to have been arrested in a raid at the Punjab home of an activist with Jaish-e-Mohammed, “the army of Mohammed,” a major terror group seeking the transfer of Kashmir from India to Pakistan. The organization is banned by the government of Pakistan and listed as a terror outfit by the United States.
After all five left the country, family members reported them missing after discovery of what seemed to be a farewell video featuring Koran verses and war footage. Videotaped goodbyes to loved ones is a common practice among Mideast jihadist suicide bombers.
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Newsweek was informed by a source “familiar with the investigation” that the family of Howard University dental student Zamzam, and perhaps others of the five, attend the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque near Falls Church, Virginia.
Hasan, the accused Fort Hood shooter, was an attendee in 2001. The 9/11 commission deduced that two of the 9/11 hijackers, Hani Hanjour and Nawaf Al Hazmi, were worshippers there in the spring of 2001, and were in contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, Dar Al-Hijrah’s imam in 2001 and 2002. Al-Awlaki, who fled the U.S. for Yemen a few months after the 9/11 attacks, is now wanted there for suspected ties to al Qaeda.
The FBI also intercepted 10-to-20 e-mails over several months last year between al-Awlaki and Hasan, according to House Intelligence Committee ranking Republican Pete Hoekstra of Michigan. Last month, in the aftermath of the Fort Hood massacre, al-Awlaki, on his website, declared that Maj. Hasan “is a hero. He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people.”
Dar Al-Hijrah’s imam from 1995 to 1999 was Mohammed al-Hanooti, who was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and at a New Jersey mosque in 1993 hosted blind Egyptian Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, now serving a life sentence for his role in the 1993 bombing.
The $5 million Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center was built in the 1980s, financed in part by the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington.
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