Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Nashville
A counter-terrorism expert researching extremism at U.S. mosques claims authorities in Nashville, Tenn., ignored his report of child abuse by teachers at a local mosque due to fear of retribution from Muslim organizations such at the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Dave Gaubatz, a former Air Force special agent, told WND he informed the local prosecutor, the FBI and Sgt. Brooks Harris of the Metropolitan Police Department in Nashville of a 7-year-old girl who says teachers at the Al-Farooq mosque “hit the children” during Shariah, or Islamic law, lessons.
Harris insists he was not initially given enough information to pursue the case and denies he said anything about fearing legal action from the Council on American-Islamic Relations – CAIR – or any other Islamic groups.
Gaubatz stands by his claims and insists he gave Harris all of the necessary information to pursue the allegation in March. Gaubatz posted audio of the child on his blog in which she allegedly mentions her “husband” and says her legs hurt from the beatings. Gaubatz said other mosque attendees confirmed that some worshippers practiced polygamy.
The mosque reportedly is frequented by many Somalis, and Islamic websites say services are offered in Somali.
As WND reported, Gaubatz set out last month on a “counter-terrorism tour” across America in which he planned to visit a mosque in each state in 50 days to assess their threat to the nation’s security.
Gaubatz said his female researcher, who had been going to the Nashville mosque several times a day for classes and lectures, informed him of the child’s abuse claim March 9. The child said the Islamic teachers were hitting the students.
Hear recording of child’s claim of abuse, courtesy of Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugs blog:
Harris agreed to forward the abuse report to the Department of Children’s Services, according to Gaubatz. But Gaubatz told WND that when he inquired last Wednesday at DCS, he was told the agency had no record of anyone from the Nashville Police Department filing such a report.
The Department of Children’s Services did not respond to WND’s request for comment.
Harris confirmed to WND that he did not pass Gaubatz’ information to DCS. But said he did forward it to the police department’s Youth Services commander, who gave it to the DCS. He also said that he requested more data from Gaubatz, which was not provided until after Gaubatz went public with his information, through his blog.
Gaubatz said that on April 11 the female researcher filed a report with the Department of Children’s Services. The colleague received a reply from DCS saying the report “will not result in an assessment or investigation” because it “does not provide information necessary to locate the family.”
Harris contended that it was only last week, more than a month after Gaubatz’ first communication, that he received “descriptive information that should help the appropriate investigator(s) from DCS identify and interview the alleged victim.”
Gaubatz claims, however, that “from day one” he provided Harris with the location of the mosque, the name of the child, phone numbers and details of the family. He provided WND with the same information, as well as a sworn affidavit and his correspondence with Harris.
“I was concerned for the children, because I understand Shariah law and know many Somalis follow Shariah very closely, and ‘child marriages’ are common in Somalia and Saudi Arabia,” Gaubatz said.
Gaubatz also said that in February he witnessed an incident at the Al-Farooq mosque in which abuse may have occurred, although he did not see any violence. He heard a male teacher screaming in Arabic, followed by the yell of a female child. When he turned, he saw the teacher standing over the crying child, who he estimated was between 8 and 10 years old. The teacher was carrying a stick about one foot long, he says.
While he did not see any physical contact, “from the reactions of the other children, I believe this happened,” he said.
Gaubatz also reported that radical Islamic literature and audio tapes were present in the mosque library.
“I saw children being taught in the library of Al-Farooq,” he said, noting they were “surrounded by material teaching violence” from well-known Islamic preachers such as Ali Al Timimi and Sayid Abul Maududi.
Maududi is the founder of the radical Pakistani party Jamaat-e-Islami. Al Timimi, according to federal prosecutors, was the spiritual leader of the Virginia Jihad Network, who encouraged members to wage jihad in the U.S. and India.
Gaubatz said his researcher was shown by member of the mosque where to get similar materials.
“My female researcher was escorted by an Al-Farooq worshipper to a Somali store ‘hidden’ in a section of Nashville that could only be located if taken there. The worshipper informed my researcher the ‘store’ had moved because of ‘government problems,’” Gaubatz wrote on his blog.
Gaubatz said “bootleg” copies of Islamic lectures and films were provided at the store. The researcher also said the store was involved in financial transactions, such as sending money from the U.S. to Somalia and other locations.
Harris said he asked Gaubatz for further proof that extremism was being preached at the mosque, insisting the radical Islamic literature in the library was not illegal or enough to warrant an investigation.
The officer said his staff listened to the recording of the child’s purported reference to a husband “hundreds of times.”
“The word that sounds like husband doesn’t make sense in that context, if you read a transcript,” he said. “The word she uses is aunt in her native tongue.”
Harris accused Gaubatz of making “inflammatory accusations against both Al Farooq and Islamic Center of Nashville.”
“I wish you were here to see how little he has provided … pages copied from the Quran, photo of an audio tape, names of extremist authors, and three or four short audio/video clips totaling perhaps three minutes taken somewhere,” he told WND. “He has refused to place me in contact with his ‘counter-terrorism team’ that was here after he left so that I might interview them in an effort to corroborate what he has said.”
Gaubatz clarified he never expected Harris or the FBI to conduct an investigation into the mosque having Islamic jihadist material. His primary concern was the abuse claim.
“It is the responsibility of law enforcement and child protective services to investigate child abuse,” Gaubatz said. “I gave them everything I had from minute one.”
Referring to the raid on the compound of Warren Jeff’s polygamous sect in Texas last year, he said, “If law enforcement can raid a non-Muslim compound and remove 500 women and children from this compound based on an anonymous call, should authorities not immediately act if a former federal agent with a Top Secret clearance provided a sworn affidavit and audio of a child?
“Does this child, the parents and the imam of the mosque not deserve at least an interview?” Gaubatz asked. “The idea that Harris and CPS did not have enough info to locate the child is ridiculous.”
Gaubatz also provided WND with excerpts, scanned images and titles of literature available at the mosque he described as radical Islamic.
He reported that one 15-page pamphlet, titled “Warning Against Prohibitions,” stated that if you find anyone engaging in homosexual acts “kill the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.”
A Maududi book available at the mosque, “Call to Jihad,” states: “That Jihad is obligatory on all the Muslims does not necessarily mean that all of us should take arms and proceed to the battlefront. Jihad is a very wide term and its connotation is not confined to just the clash of arms only. In fact it denotes the entire war effort which is made to uphold our cause and win victory over the enemy. Out of the many and varied fronts of war, battlefield is just one of them. Warfare requires total effort and all sections of people-nay, each and every citizen in the rear-must contribute his share, however humble, to strengthen the capability of those fighting on the front line.”
Harris said that based on the evidence provided and Gaubatz’ “refusal to respond to several key follow-up questions” he saw no reason for an investigation by the Nashville Police Specialized Investigations Division.
He also contended Gaubatz was apparently “backing away from his single most critical assertion,” that the mosque was teaching children to kill non-believers.
“I am not backing off of anything I have ever said,” Gaubatz replied. “I saw the children in this room with complete unrestricted access to the materials that advocate killing people, implementing an Islamic Ummah (community) under Sharia law in the U.S.”
Harris emphasized to WND that his department has had “excellent relations with both mosques [Gaubatz] has targeted.”
He noted Wednesday that Al-Farooq had invited him and law enforcement investigators from several agencies to meet with the mosque’s board members in the library that afternoon.