Last night, Paul Williams, Bos Smith and a couple of other great Americans met me at a watering hole to tell me what happened when they returned to the mosque where they had been previously restrained (originally reported here April 19th at Atlas). According to Paul Williams and Bos Smith, the following events occurred:
Bos Smith Paul Williams (right)
Here is their harrowing account:
AND BATTERY AT A BROOKLYN MOSQUE: PART I
PART I: MUSLIM GOES BESERK AT REPORTER’S REAPPEARANCE
by Bos Smith
An irate member of al-Taqwa, a controversial mosque in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, assaulted a reporter and attempted to break his camera.
“You can’t take my picture,” the Muslim screamed as he lurched at the reporter, pushed him into the street, and attempted to seize his camera. A swarm of Muslim men in Islamic garb emerged from the mosque to restrain their fellow congregant and to lead him away to a nearby exotic oil shop before blood was spilled.
This latest incident at Masjid al-Taqwa took place on Saturday, May 31, at 3:15 p.m. Several calls were made to the New York Police Department but the officer in charge of the on-going investigation of the Brooklyn mosque had not responded at the time of this article’s release.
Majid al-Taqwa, located at 1226 Bedford Street, is a concrete and brick building that once served as a clothing store. The interior is divided into spacious, windowless rooms that have been painted green and beige.
Before the outburst, the team of investigators was accosted by a street sentry named Muhammad, who watches over the entrance to the Islamic house of worship. Remembering the team from a previous incident, he yelled out, “You’re liars! Liars! Why are you putting out lies about us?’
Muhammad was referring to a story called “Escape from a Brooklyn Mosque” that was posted on Atlas Shrugs and ended up being carried by a host of leading news sources throughout the country, including National Review, The Weekly Standard, and Canada Free Press.
That story dealt with an incident that took place at the same mosque on April 19. On that occasion, the reporters were accosted by Mohammed and hauled off to the basement of the mosque for an interrogation by Ali Karim, the head of security at Masjid al-Taqwa.
“It was a hostile encounter,” Patrick Walsh, one of the members of the team recalls. “Karim was surrounded by a small army of Muslims in Ninja uniforms and they demanded answers to their questions before we were released.”
On this latest occasion, Mohammed pointed to the four security cameras at the entrance to the mosque and said: “We have everything on film. We are filming you right now.”
Along with the stationary cameras, four or five Muslim men appeared from the building with digital video cameras in hand. When one of our reporters responded by snapping his own pictures, the assailant – a pot-bellied man with a pony-tail and foreign accent – rushed toward him while yelling: “You can’t take my picture! You have no right to take my picture.”
The New York police have confirmed that several members of the Brooklyn mosque, including Ali Karim, are “bad actors” and “convicted felons.” Karim is a small, muscular man with a wispy black beard that has been dyed red with henna. He holds a 7th degree black belt in karate. At the mosque, Karim teaches classes in such subjects as Commando Warfare, Gun Techniques, Urban Survival Skills and Tactical Law Enforcement Techniques. Reports have surfaced that Karim and his associates represent a small guerilla army in the midst of the Brooklyn ghetto
The latest episode raises new concerns about the Masjid al-Taqwa and its imam Siraj Wahaj – concerns that have been intensified by confirmation from the NYPD that the mosque is “a subject of serious interest.”
The place has played host to a number of notorious exponents of radical Islam, including Clement Rodney Hampton-El (Dr. Rashid), a key player in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Mr. Hampton-El is presently cooling his heels in a federal slammer since he was found guilty of seditious conspiracy. Wahaj appeared as a character witness for Hampton El at the trial.
Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman visited Masjid At-Taqwa on many occasions while serving as the imam of the nearby Masjid al-Farooq at 554 Atlantic Avenue, several blocks from Masjid At-Taqwi. On the second floor of Rahman’s mosque, al Qaeda had opened an office under the name of the al-Kifah Refugee Center. It became a favorite haunt for members of Wahaj's congregation.
In one of his sermons to the congregants at al-Taqwi, the fiery sheikh suggested that Muslims should rob banks to benefit Islam.
In 1995, Sheikh Rahman was hauled into federal court as the alleged architect of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and for planning to blow up the United Nations, the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the George Washington Bridge, and buildings throughout Manhattan. At his side was his good friend Siraj Wahaj who provided testimony of the sheikh’s good character.
In a Feb. 2, 1995, letter to defense lawyers in the landmarks-bombing case, then-U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White named about 170 people as "un-indicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators." Imam Wahaj was on the list.
Other infamous characters reportedly made their way to the Bedford Street mosque, including Imam Gulshair el-Shukrijumah, whose son Adnan has been singled out by the Justice Department as “the next Muhammad Atta.” Gulshair, it turns out, served a stint as imam at another radical Brooklyn mosque - - the now defunct Masjid Nur a-Islam, at 21 Church Street.
Another visitor, according to informed sources, was Sheikh Gilani, the founder of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, who served as the imam of yet another Brooklyn mosque - - the Yasin Masjid at 777 Saratoga Avenue, which served as a recruiting center for paramilitary Islamic compounds that remain in existence throughout the country. One such compound dubbed Islamberg is located in a rural area outside of Hancock, New York.
Since the time of its inception, Jamaat ul-Fuqra has been responsible for more terror attacks on American soil (30 and counting) than all other terrorist groups combined. Members of ul-Fuqra, which maintains headquarters in Pakistan, have been convicted in US courts of such crimes as homicide, conspiracy to commit murder, firebombing, gun smuggling, grand theft, counterfeiting, and workers’ compensation fraud. Others remain leading suspects in criminal cases throughout the country, including ten unsolved assassinations and seventeen fire-bombings. Some of the better-known adherents of ul-Fuqra are Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, and John Allen Muhammad, the Beltway sniper.
But what of Wahaj? Is he an exponent of radical Islam - - a man who poses a threat to millions of Americans?
He is a well-known and welcome figure in Washington DC. He was the first Muslim cleric to offer the invocation at the opening session of Congress. He has dined with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and serves on the boards of no less than five major Muslim organizations. He has received commendations from the Brooklyn police for eradicating crime from the Bedford-Stuyvesant area. In 2003, Siraj Wahaj Day was celebrated in Brooklyn in recognition of what one borough official called a “lifetime of outstanding and meaningful achievement.”
But tell-tale proof that Wahaj is neither a moderate Muslim nor model citizen has been unearthed from the imam’s association with known terrorists and from his own sermons and statements
In sermon, Wahaj proclaimed that the "real terrorists" are the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency. In another, he said, "In time, this so-called democracy will crumble, and there will be nothing. And the only thing that will remain will be Islam." He proclaimed that a society governed by strict Islamic law, in which adulterers are stoned to death and apostates beheaded, would be vastly superior to American democracy.
To a Muslim audience in New Jersey, Wahaj advocated the idea of Muslims forming a coup to take control of the federal government. “If we are united and strong,” he said, “we’d elect our own emir [leader] and give allegiance to him. Take my word for it, if six to eight million Muslims united in America, the country will come to us.”
His so-called “moderate” interpretation of the Qu’ran became clear by this remark: "If Allah says 100 strikes, 100 strikes it is. If Allah says cut off their hand, you cut off their hand. If Allah says stone them to death, through the Prophet Muhammad, then you stone them to death, because it's the obedience of Allah and his messenger -- nothing personal."
Wahaj informed an audience of black women wearing Muslim head coverings in Orlando, Fla., that Islam condones a man's marrying up to four wives, and that this rule, when introduced in the seventh century, served as a restriction on arrangements involving even more wives per husband.
And there are the national organizations to which Wahaj remains affiliated. He served as emir (president) of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which has been charged with funneling millions to terror groups, and as an advisory board member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has been labeled by author and counter-terrorism expert Steven Emerson as a “radical fundamentalist front group for Hamas.”
Such extremist statements and affiliations remain secondary to the fact that the mosque retains a small army of guards (some with questionable backgrounds), a multitude of security cameras, and a host of sentries who remain on the look-out for kafirs (non-Muslims), cops, and reporters intent upon uncovering the truth about radical Islam on American soil.
(Bos Smith holds a law degree from Wake Forest University. He serves in the securities division of a major Wall Street investment bank. The research for this article was conducted in preparation of Within the Belly of the Beast: Jihad in America. Questions and comments may be directed to [email protected]).