Dar Al-Hijrah: D.C.’s Own Terror Factory

Yet another senior U.S. al-Qaeda operative who attended and was actively involved at Dar al-Hijrah was Abdurahman Alamoudi, who is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for his role in a Libyan intelligence assassination plot that targeted Saudi Crown Prince (now King) Abdullah and was intended to utilize al-Qaeda operatives. Alamoudi had appeared with President George W. Bush just days after the 9/11 attacks despite statements he had made in 2000 expressing his support for Hamas and Hezbollah at a rally just steps from the White House. Alamoudi had been the most prominent Muslim-American political activist working in Washington, D.C., and was consulted by both Presidents Clinton and Bush.

After Alamoudi’s arrest, it was revealed that he was a financial conduit for Osama bin Laden who funneled money to the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman (who is currently serving a life sentence for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the follow-up “Day of Terror” plot). And in 2005, the U.S. Treasury Department identified him as a long-time top al-Qaeda fundraiser.

But al-Qaeda isn’t the only terrorist group that has benefited from Dar al-Hijrah’s institutional support for terrorism. Two U.S-based Hamas operatives, Abdelhaleem Ashqar and Ismail Elbarasse, are long-standing figures at the mosque. Ashqar served on Dar al-Hijrah’s executive board and Elbarasse was a founding member.

When Elbarasse was arrested in August 2004 as a material witness in a Hamas terror support case, Dar al-Hijrah financial documents were found during a search of his home. That search by federal agents also yielded a number of other items, including the archives of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in North America found in a sub-basement in Elbarasse’s home. Ashqar was sentenced to 11 years in prison for his refusal to testify before a grand jury about his knowledge of the Hamas networks in the U.S., though prosecutors had sought a life sentence.

So Dar al-Hijrah has not only produced actual terrorists and major terrorist support figures, but also one of the most notorious al-Qaeda leaders in the world today, Anwar al-Awlaki.

I’ll show in future articles here at PJM that Dar al-Hijrah is far from the only prominent mosque in America that has proven to be a reliable terrorist factory. If Congress is serious about addressing Islamic radicalization and homegrown terrorism, it can’t shy from the mountain of immediately available evidence.