Well in advance of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings in April, federal law enforcement officials were warned on numerous occasions that radicalization was taking place within the Boston Islamic community.
It was a subject that many law enforcement officials chose to ignore or failed to acknowledge out of fear of being branded anti-Islamic or out of complacency, counterterrorism experts told TheBlaze TV’s “For The Record,” an investigative news magazine show that airs tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET.
The failure to act on evidence that Islamic radicalization was taking place in Boston led to the deaths of three people and more than 265 wounded attendees who were caught in the path of flying shrapnel from two homemade pressure cooker bombs, experts said. When the dust settled, the people of Boston and its survivors, many of whom were severely maimed, questioned why federal and local law enforcement missed so many warning signs.
On tonight’s show, “For The Record — System Failure: The Boston Bombing,” TheBlaze network exposes the radicalized foundation of the Islamic Society of Boston, where the Tsarnaev brothers attended mosque services.
For more than a decade, there was evidence that members of the mosque were being radicalized. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, young brothers and ethnic Chechen immigrants who allegedly orchestrated the marathon bombings, weren’t the only terrorists who attended services at the Islamic center.
One member was Afia Siddiqui, known as “Lady Al Qaeda,” who was captured in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2008 with plans to target Americans in Afghanistan, as well as plans to target major landmarks in New York City. Tarek Mehanna, an American pharmacist living in the Boston area who attended the mosque, was also found guilty of providing material support to Al Qaeda. He is serving a 17 1/2-year prison sentence.
Ilya Feoktistov, a researcher with Americans for Peace and Tolerance, held several briefings with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security on radicalization in the Boston area. He noted that the Islamic Society of Boston was founded by Abdurahman Alamoudi, who was later sentenced to 23 years in prison for providing funding to terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda. Alamoudi was an Islamic-affairs adviser and a State Department “goodwill ambassador” to Muslim nations under former President Bill Clinton.
Alamoudi was also an adviser in President George W. Bush’s cabinet with close ties to many Republicans and Democrats. In 2000, he purchased from the city of Boston a parcel of prime real estate for a mere 10 percent of its $2 million dollar value in order to build the Islamic Society of Boston center. In 2002, the Islamic Center of Boston broke ground for the new $200 million mosque project.
Its sister mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, located across the river in Boston, was founded in 1981 by Alamoudi. Prior to being arrested on terrorism charges, he was considered an upstanding citizen and liaison between the city of Boston and the Muslim community. He developed a close relationship with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (D), an advocate of the mosque project.
“He’s the model for deception, and this topic should be called deception,” Jacobs said. “(Alamoudi) was in both White Houses as an adviser. He got Clinton to give him the ability to choose which Muslim chaplains would be the ones to operate in the Army. So Alamoudi is the key and should be the poster boy of radical Muslim penetration into American society.”
Another of the original founders of the Boston mosque was Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, a spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, an anti-American and anti-Jewish Islamic radical who calls for the destruction of the United States and Israel.
“I will shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews,” al-Qaradawi says in a video sermon posted online. “The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. This was divine punishment for them.”
Feoktistov said Muslim radicalization and extremist ideology had found a home in America and it was difficult to believe that such “horrible ideology” found its way “into the cradle of liberty in Boston.”
Ahmed Mansour, an Islamic reformer who founded the Islamic Quranic Center, told “For The Record” that the Islamic Society of Boston is a center where radicalization takes place. He fled Egypt in 2002 after receiving multiple threats against his life by members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
He said his first encounter with the Islamic center in Boston was during his time at Harvard, when he was studying law. One day as he passed the mosque, he decided to stop at the center for a sunset prayer.
“I went upstairs to a room, and I find that this room is full of Arabic newsletters, talking about attacking America, attacking Jews, attacking Christians, you know, talking about Jihad, I was so scared when that happened,” Mansour said.
In 2009, Jacobs and his organization conducted a formal briefing with the FBI, for more than an hour and half, on radicalization in the Boston area. “For The Record” has the PowerPoint the group used during the presentation.
“The FBI called us and asked to be briefed on it,” Jacobs said. “We showed them who was in control of the mosque.”
However, during a congressional briefing after the Boston bombings, FBI Director Robert Mueller told Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican with the House Judiciary Committee, that he did not know that some of the founders of the Islamic Society of Boston were connected to terrorism.
Under questioning, Gohmert directly asked Mueller is he was “aware that those mosques were started by Alamoudi?”
“I’ve answered the question sir,” said Mueller, who appeared agitated.
“You didn’t answer the question, were you aware those mosques were started by Alamoudi?” Gohmert pressed.
All Mueller said was “no.”
Stephen Coughlin, who served as an intelligence analyst in the Pentagon focused on terrorism and Islamic law, said “the FBI is driven by ideological requirements that gets in the way of their doing their job to support and defend the constitution and protect American citizens.”
Despite everything Jacob and Feoktistov did to warn the FBI and DHS it fell on deaf ears.
Jacob said the Boston bombing made him feel like “he failed” and they both warn that the threat is not over.