RealNews

Brooklyn Mosque Becomes Terror Icon

A Farooq Mosque in Brooklyn, a six-story converted factory trimmed in orange and gold, has been many things to many people during its life: a mystery, a noisy neighbor, a source of suspicion, and, for thousands of Muslims who live or work along Atlantic Avenue, the main street of Arab Brooklyn, a place of worship. Last week, the mosque became, not for the first time, a symbol of terror. A federal affidavit unsealed on Tuesday describes links between the mosque, several Brooklyn businessmen and a cleric in Yemen who, prosecutors say, claims to have funneled more than $20 million to Al Qaeda. “They did their fund-raising right here in our own backyard,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said. But while Al Farooq has been the spiritual home of some infamous men — including, briefly, the blind Egyptian sheik eventually convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the man who killed Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1990 — the role of the mosque and its members in supporting more recent terrorist activity remains unclear. The affidavit filed by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn last week against the cleric, Sheik Muhammad Ali Hasan Al-Moayad, details the government’s contention that he provided support to terrorists, but contains little evidence that the mosque itself played a significant role. Full Story

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