Group says mosque accused Boston bombers attended has ties to radicals

April 24, 2013 at 11:15 AM
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BOSTON, April 24 (UPI) -- The mosque attended by the two brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings is associated with other terror suspects, an interfaith organization said.

Several people who attended the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge, Mass., have been investigated for terrorism, while its sister mosque in Boston, the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, has invited guests who have defended terrorism suspects, USA Today reported Wednesday.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev attended the Cambridge mosque and are accused of setting two bombs that killed three people and injured at least 260 others at the April 15 Boston Marathon. On Friday, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a shootout with police and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, later was captured.

Charles Jacobs, leader of the interfaith Americans for Peace and Tolerance that investigated the mosques, said the two mosques teach a type of Islamic thought that promotes grievances against the West, a distrust of law enforcement and opposition to Western government, dress and social values.

"We don't know where these boys were radicalized, but this mosque has a curriculum that radicalizes people. Other people have been radicalized there," Jacobs told USA Today.

Leadership of the two mosques is intertwined, and the ideology they teach is the same, Jacobs said.

Ilya Feoktistov, the Americans for Peace and Tolerance's research director, said more than half of the $15.5 million used to found the Boston mosque came from Saudi source.

Yusufi Vali, executive director at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, said his mosque does not preach radical ideology and isn't responsible for the acts of its worshipers.

"If there were really any worry about us being extreme," Vali said, U.S. law enforcement agencies would not partner with the Muslim American Society and the Boston mosque to hold monthly meetings to reach out to the Muslim community.

The two mosques are both affiliated with the Muslim American Society, an organization that describes itself as an American Islamic revival movement, USA Today said. The society also has been described by federal prosecutors as the "overt arm" of the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group.

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