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Rep. Jim Moran

An anti-jihad watchdog group has slammed two U.S. lawmakers for breaking their oath to protect the country by agreeing to appear as special guests at a fundraising dinner Saturday night for a radical Saudi-funded mosque tied to the 9/11 hijackers and the Fort Hood shooter, among other Islamic terrorists.

Reps. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Jim Moran, D-Va., have “trashed their oath to protect and defend the U.S.” by agreeing to attend the annual banquet for Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a large mosque in Falls Church, Va., a suburb of Washington, according to the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force, or VAST.

The group also criticized Virginia Democrat Gov. Tim Kaine for agreeing to attend the event, while praising Democrat Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia for withdrawing from the event following complaints from concerned constituents.

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“While brave young Virginia men and women are risking their lives to fight terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, Connolly, Moran and Kaine are yucking it up with them and slapping each other on the back over at the Marriott,” charged VAST Chairman James Lafferty.

He noted that the three politicians’ campaign war chests are heavily funded by radical Islamists who support the mosque.

“Look at their Federal Election Commission reports,” Lafferty said. “These spineless politicians are owned and operated by the radical Islamists and their sinister front groups.”


Rep. Gerry Connolly

Indeed, according to the book, “Muslim Mafia,” Connolly and Moran have received thousands of dollars in donations from several Virginia Islamists under federal investigation for financing terrorism. In addition, the book reveals, Connolly received an $18,758 windfall from the Saudi government’s U.S. public relations firm while fighting to keep open a Saudi-owned madrassa in Northern Virginia also tied to terrorism.

Dar Al-Hijrah hosted at least two of the 9/11 terrorists who attacked the Pentagon, as well as the Fort Hood terrorist and an al-Qaida sleeper agent convicted of plotting to assassinate President Bush. Ahmed Omar Abu Ali graduated valedictorian from the Saudi madrassa – Islamic Saudi Academy – in Alexandria, Va.

Lafferty says the mosque “has been directed by a string of radical imams, including former imam Anwar al-Awlaki, who has since been identified as a commander in al-Qaida” and is wanted in connection with the Christmas Day airliner attack.

A coalition of citizen groups including VAST, Act for America and the Center for Security Policy in Washington have organized a protest of the Dar al-Hijrah fundraiser at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Fairview Park Marriott, 3111 Fairview Park Dr. in Falls Church.

Federal investigators say Dar al-Hijrah is a breeding ground for known terrorists, including:

  • Fugitive Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook, a former mosque leader.

  • Top al-Qaida fundraiser Abdurahman Alamoudi, now serving 23 years in federal prison for terrorism.
  • Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, the would-be al-Qaida presidential assassin.
  • Mohammed al-Hanooti, a current mosque leader and unindicted co-conspirator in both the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and recent Holy Land Foundation terror finance case.
  • Ismail Elbarasse, a founding mosque member and leader who was arrested for allegedly casing the Chesapeake Bay bridge for attack.
  • Abdelhaleem Ashqar, mosque leader and suspected Hamas operative recently convicted for obstruction of justice.
  • Abdullah bin Laden, nephew of the al-Qaida kingpin whose name appears on the federal terrorist watchlist.
  • Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, accused of murdering 13 and injuring 30 others in a jihad-inspired shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas.
  • Hani Hanjour, 9/11 hijacker and Saudi national who flew the jumbo jet into the Pentagon.
  • Nawaf al-Hazmi, 9/11 hijacker and Saudi national who joined Hanjour on the Pentagon flight and acted as second in command of the entire al-Qaida operation behind hijacking ringleader Mohamed Atta.

The mosque, in fact, helped Hanjour and al-Hazmi obtain housing in the area.

After 9/11, investigators found the phone number for Dar al-Hijrah in the Hamburg, Germany, apartment of one of the planners of the 9/11 attacks – Ramzi Binalshibh, a Gitmo detainee.

Constructed with $5 million from the Saudi Embassy and run by radical Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Dar al-Hijrah is “a terror mill and a direct threat to national security,” says terror expert Paul Sperry, co-author of “Muslim Mafia,” an expose on the radical Muslim Brotherhood and its front groups in America.

Once a month, Dar al-Hijrah’s lead imam – Shaker Elsayed – meets with top officials with the Council on American-Islamic Relations on the first floor of its Washington headquarters, Sperry notes. The Justice Department says Saudi-funded CAIR, which operates a booth at Dar al-Hijrah, is a terrorist front group for Hamas and its parent the Muslim Brotherhood.

Elsayed has said Muslims have the right to use violence: “We do have license to respond with all force necessary to our attackers.”

He also says he believes in the teachings of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, which he describes as “the closest reflection of how Islam should be in this life.”

The late al-Banna taught that “Islam wishes to do away with all states and governments anywhere which are opposed to this ideology and program of Islam. Islam requires the earth – not just a portion, but the entire planet.”

Another imam at the mosque, Johari Abdul Malik, has preached to American Muslims that they are within Islamic law to “blow up bridges” and other infrastructure. “You can do all forms of sabotage,” he said at a 2001 Hamas conference.

He has also called for Islamic supremacy in America.

“We will see the day when Islam, by the grace of Allah, will become the dominant way of life,” Malik told his flock in 2004. “You will see Islam move from being the second largest religion in America to being the first religion in America.”

Malik, who also acts as the mosque’s official spokesman, is a close friend of the former Dar al-Hijrah imam al-Awlaki, who privately ministered to the 9/11 hijackers. After the attacks, Awlaki fled to London, where he gave a sermon extolling the virtues of martyrdom.

In an interview with author Sperry, Malik defended his friend’s sermon, arguing Muslims who die while fighting unbelievers in the cause of Allah are no different from U.S. Marines fighting and dying for America in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“That’s the same thing as telling Marines in this country semper fidelis,” Malik told Sperry. “Telling people to give their all for their faith is not an unusual idea.”

His mosque handled the funeral services of Maj. Hasan’s mother when she passed away in 2001. It was then that Hasan fell under the spell of Dar al-Hijrah cleric Awlaki, aka Anwar Aulaqi, who corresponded with Hasan in some 20 e-mails in the months leading up to Hasan’s alleged massacre.

One of al-Qaida’s top Western recruiters, Awlaki is considered a rock star among jihadists and has cultivated fans among CAIR officials. CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper’s protege Ismail Royer and his terrorist cell chauffeured Awlaki around Washington in October 2002 as he looked for new terrorist recruits, according to Sperry. Prosecutors also found Awlaki’s phone number stored on their cell phones.

Royer, who was personally recruited by Hooper and worked under him at CAIR’s headquarters, is serving 20 years in federal prison. Internal CAIR memos show Hooper is heading his appeal effort within CAIR.

According to “Muslim Mafia,” prosecutors have told the federal judge hearing Royer’s case that Royer is an “inveterate liar” and has not cooperated with terrorism investigations as promised in a plea bargain.

CAIR is Dar al-Hijrah’s top defender in Washington, and routinely runs interference between law enforcement and the mosque. Dar al-Hijrah, in turn, attends CAIR’s annual fundraising dinners and is a major supporter of the front group.

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