SYDNEY, Australia – An irrefutable link to radical Islam has emerged with the Boston bombing brothers, with evidence that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was heavily influenced by a radical Islamic leader in Australia, Sheikh Faiz Mohammed, who repeatedly has called for the overthrow of the West and establishment of Islamic law .
Australian and U.S. authorities are investigating the possibility of direct communication between the deceased Tsarnaev and Mohammed, given it is clear that Tsarnaev engaged with the online teaching of the cleric on a consistent basis leading up to the attacks last week. In an interesting twist, both men shared a passion for boxing.
Mohammed is considered by several intelligence agencies as the “new Anwar al-Awlaki” , and noted for his worldwide influence in former U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s 2011 book “Ticking Time Bomb: Counter-Terrorism Lessons from the U.S. Government’s Failure to Prevent the Fort Hood Attack.” He studied Islam in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.
His lectures frame the United States as the enemy of all Muslims, including those living in the United States and Americans living in other Western countries. He has regularly broadcast the sermons of al-Awlaki in the past, and was asked to remove them by Australian police .
Commonly referred to as Sheikh Faiz in the Australian Muslim community, and widely regarded as the country’s most dangerous sheikh , he has earned the ire of both his home state and federal government repeatedly, with several leading lawmakers making it clear he is not welcome in Australia.
Despite this, and police raids and investigations, it appears the sheikh remains a resident and citizen of Australia; his current whereabouts unknown. With the temperature rising after a string of inflammatory fatwas, Mohammed left Australia to Lebanon in late November 2005, returning in 2011 .
If connected directly to the Boston bombing, this would not be his first involvement in terror. He was directly linked to a convicted Muslim terrorist whose plot to destroy the Israeli embassy in Australia’s capital city was foiled.
It is clear that the sheikh has a prominent international presence, with videos showing lectures in Malaysia and the UK. In a British documentary called “Undercover Mosque,” Mohammed is broadcast saying “there is nothing more beloved to me than wanting to die as a Muhajid.”
DVDs of his lectures were found being sold by children in the parking lot of a Birmingham mosque in the UK.
Immediately following the Benghazi attacks, the sheikh was linked to the Sydney riot and attempted attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sydney. Militant followers of Mohammad were key players in the first event of its kind on Australian soil. The Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah (ASWJ) and the self-styled Islamic Brotherhood Worldwide were believed to be behind a text message circulated bringing forward the protest.
Preaching an extreme version of Sunni Islam known as Salafism, Mohammed has a long record of providing religious justification for Islamist terror violence, releasing DVDs urging parents to have their children die as jihadist martyrs, as “soldiers defending Islam,” and for young Muslims to declare jihad to kill infidel “non-believers.”
Claiming Jews are “pigs,” he further asserted that “anyone who tries to play with the sacred code of Shariah is kaffir… the only law for him is beheadness (sic), execution.”
He has also called for the decapitation or beheading of Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
In his preaching, the sheikh has described inmates of Guantanamo Bay as better Muslims than those in Australia, who would not forsake their lifestyles for martyrdom.
“The brothers in Cuba are better than us,” he said. “They are being examined through the best examination (a reference to God’s judgment) and the like of them worldwide.”
On rape, he said “she (the victim) has no one to blame but herself. She displayed her beauty to the entire world.
“Strapless, backless, sleeveless, showing their legs, nothing but satanic skirts, slit skirts, translucent blouses, miniskirts, tight jeans: all this to tease man and appeal to his carnal nature.
“Would you put this sheep that you adore in the middle of hungry wolves? No… It would be devoured. It’s the same situation here. You’re putting this precious girl in front of lustful, satanic eyes of hungry wolves.”
At least one of the sermons of the sheikh found on Tsarnaev’s YouTube playlist discussed the armies of Khoresan, a reference to a Muslim prophecy of an army from Central Asia that would inflict defeat upon the enemies of the faith, considered a direct reference to al-Qaida by Islamic experts .
In addition, Tsarnaev also posted a video of Mohammed teaching that Muslims are not proper followers of the faith unless they completely adhere to the entirety of the Sunnah – or rulings of Islamic scholars. These rules are not listed in the Quran.
Several other videos on Tsarnaev’s YouTube list have been deleted, with each video showing the message: “This video is no longer available.”
In another video that caught the attention of the now deceased bomber, Mohammed angrily condemns Harry Potter films, accusing them of promoting paganism, and accusing the main character of idolatry and labeling him an enemy of Allah.
According to Middle Eastern sources, there have been lingering suspicions that Mohammad is linked to Shaker al-Absi, an official from Fatah al-Islam, , a pro-al-Qaida group.
Mohammed has made no public comment or appearance since the Boston bombings. His whereabouts remain unknown, and previous places of worship, preaching and attendance, as well as key members of the Islamic community in Australia claim to have not seen him in months.