On Tuesday, police say Akayed Ullah attempted to commit a suicide attack (reportedly on behalf of ISIS) near the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. Luckily, he had very little success, and nobody was killed. Several people were injured.
Questions continue about how Ullah was radicalized into strapping a homemade pipe bomb device to his midsection and attempting to kill as many innocents as possible. According to the criminal complaint against him, Ullah’s radicalization process began in at least 2014, when he viewed pro-ISIS materials online. In what was likely meant to be a post-successful suicide attack note, Ullah declared a victory of sorts against the United States, writing a message to President Trump on Facebook declaring that the commander-in-chief had failed to protect his nation.
But not much has surfaced about Ullah’s activities since his arrival in the United States. We do know that he worshipped at a radical mosque.
Ullah attended the Masjid Nur Al-Islam in Kensington, Brooklyn, according to the New York Times. A regular attendee, he “was close to the mosque’s Imam and was often seen with him at afternoon prayers,” the report adds.
Once funded by the government of Saudi Arabia, Masjid Nur Al-Islam appears to be a hotbed of terrorist recruitment.
A former imam at the mosque was under FBI surveillance for some time. He once testified as a character witness for Clement Rodney Hampton-El, or “Dr. Rashid,” who was later convicted in a plot to bomb landmarks throughout New York City.
Adnan Gulshair el-Shukrijumah, the imam’s son, grew up in the U.S. and went on to become a senior member of al Qaeda. After he fled the country, the Department of State put up a $5 million bounty for information about his location. El-Shukrijumah was later killed in a raid on his location near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Another former attendee of the mosque, Abdul Rasheed, was convicted of plotting to blow up the Holland Tunnel and the United Nations building.
In addition to that, a New York City Policy Department counter-terrorism intelligence document lists five associates of the mosque under a “most dangerous” category, according to the book Enemies Within, which was written by two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists.
Lately, mosque leaders have been engaging in sketchy activities, which the NYPD is surely now scrutinizing in the wake of yesterday’s attempted bombing. Just last week, the imam at the mosque shut down the facility and banned anyone from entering the building.
Worshipping at radical mosques appears to run in the family. Ullah’s brother attends the same mosque where the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing once preached, according to the New York Post.
The most interesting stories aren’t told in the headlines. They’re in the FOOTNOTES!
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