Two New York mosque leaders charged with conspiring to support terrorists. Amazing how they could have risen to the leadership of a Muslim religious center while so thoroughly misunderstanding Islam. Funny thing: the same thing happened in Lodi, California. And all over the world, as we document here every day, we see Islamic clerics — people who have dedicated their lives to studying and living out the religion — at the forefront of terrorist movements. And yet so many people refuse to see what is right in front of their faces: maybe they aren’t misunderstanding Islam at all. Aref and Hossain update from AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
ALBANY, N.Y. Sep 29, 2005 “” A federal grand jury has handed up new indictments charging two leaders of an area mosque with conspiring to support terrorists, the U.S. Attorney said Thursday.
The superseding indictment returned Thursday also charges Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain with attempting to provide support to Jaish-e-Mohammed, an Islamic extremist group based in Pakistan that is on the State Department’s list of designated foreign terrorist organizations.
Aref also was charged with making a false statement when he answered “none” to an immigration question asking him to list any organizations to which he had belonged. He also was charged with making false statements to the FBI when he was arrested in August 2004 and denied he was a member of the Islamic Movement in Kurdistan. At the time, he also denied knowing Mullah Krekar, believed to be the founder of Ansar-al-Islam, a radical Islamic fundamentalist group.
Aref, 35, who is the imam of the Masjid As-Salam mosque, and 50-year-old Hossain, a founder of the Albany mosque, have been free on $250,000 bond since shortly after their arrest in August 2004. Each originally was charged with money laundering and supporting terrorism. They were arrested after a yearlong FBI sting using an undercover informant.
The initial 19-count indictment accused them of working with an FBI informant who posed as a part-time arms dealer and proposed that Hossain hold money from the sale of a shoulder-fired missile that would be used to kill a Pakistani diplomat in New York City.