The Bangladeshi immigrant suspected of attempting to commit a suicide bombing at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan this Monday was reportedly a frequent patron of the Masjid Nur Al-Islam, a still-open mosque in Brooklyn linked to radical Islamic terrorism.
“One man, who has worshiped at the mosque for 15 years and gave his name only as Mohammad, said Mr. Ullah prayed there regularly, especially during Ramadan,” The New York Times reported this week, referencing suspect Akayed Ullah.
Mohammed further claimed Ullah had been close to the mosque’s imam and “was often seen with him at afternoon prayers,” according to the Time
While millions of American Muslims likely frequent mosques on a regular basis, this particular mosque sticks out like a sore thumb because of its ties to terrorism.
Besides being funded by the Saudi Arabian government, the mosque has hosted a bevy of sinister characters over the years, according to Conservative Review.
hese include a former imam who had been under FBI surveillance; the imam’s son, who “went on to become a senior member of al Qaeda”; a former mosque attendee who “was convicted of plotting to blow up the Holland Tunnel and the United Nations building”; and five former associates who’ve been classified by the NYPD’s counter-intelligence unit as “most dangerous.”
Did Ullah become radicalized at — and because of — the mosque? We don’t know yet. A complaint filed against him by the Department of Justice this week stated only that his radicalization began around 2014 when he reportedly came into contact with the Islamic State group’s notorious propaganda, as reported by Breitbart.
Note that Ullah immigrated to the United States via a family visa in 2011, three years before his radicalization allegedly began. Moreover, an investigation this week by law enforcement officials in Bangladesh found that he displayed no signs of extremism prior to immigrating to the states.
“We did not get any information to indicate that he was radicalized in Bangladesh,” one official said to the Dhaka Tribune, a Bangladeshi paper based in the nation’s capital city of Dhaka. “We assume that he became radicalized in New York. We are trying to learn more.”
Bangladesh’s Foreign Ministry likewise told the U.S. State Department that Ullah was a “home-grown US terrorist.” It may very well be right.
Ullah’s relatives in Bangladesh informed the authorities that he didn’t start acting odd until the death of his father, Sanaullah Miah, a reported “freedom fighter” who died of cancer in New York City.
“He started exhibiting and increased interest in religion after that,” the Tribune noted. “He told his family members to offer prayers regularly and put pressure on them to follow Salafism, an ultra-conservative branch within Sunni Islam.”
But his relatives were adamant that, at the time, they didn’t fully realize what was happening to him.
At this point it appears fairly evident that Ullah was a homegrown terrorist who somehow, someway acquired a hatred for America while living in the United States.
This raises many valid concerns, the most prominent being that perhaps a ban on immigration from terror-prone nations just isn’t enough to curb terrorism; perhaps we need to go a step further.