The mosque attended by the two suspects in the Boston marathon bombings “has a curriculum that radicalizes people,” according to the interfaith group Americans for Peace and Tolerance.
The mosque has reportedly been associated with other suspected terrorists and is affiliated with the controversial Muslim American Society, APT says.
Among the former attendees of the mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge, Massachusetts, are Aafia Siddiqui, who was arrested for planning a chemical attack on New York City and Tarek Mehanna, who conspired to aid al-Qaeda.
The mosque’s first president, Abdulrahman Alamoudi, was jailed in 2004 for his role in a Libyan assassination plot against then-crown prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
APT reports that the Cambridge mosque’s sister mosque in Boston, the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, has hosted speakers who have defended terrorism. A former mosque trustee was seen on video calling on Allah to kill Zionists and Jews, the group says.
APT head Charles Jacobs says both mosques teach an anti-Western brand of Islam that includes mistrust of law enforcement and opposition to the American style of government.
APT’s director of research, Ilya Feoktistov, said funding for the Boston mosque came primarily from Saudi sources.
Yusufi Vali, executive director of the Boston mosque, rejected APT’s accusations. Speaking to USA Today, Vali accused APT of spreading “lies and half-truths in order to attack and marginalize much of the local Muslim community and many of its institutions.”
A statement from the Cambridge mosque confirmed that the Boston bombing suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, were “occasional visitors” but said neither expressed radical Islamic views.
“They never exhibited any violent sentiments or behaviors. Otherwise, they would have been reported,” said manager Nichole Mossalam.
Board of trustees member Anwar Kazmi told USA Today that the mosque condemns the marathon bombings. “This kind of violence, terrorism, it’s just completely contrary to the spirit of Islam,” he said.