From the Patriot Ledger, where reporter Lane Lambert digs into the background of co-conspirator Ahmed Abousamra (in the Tarek Mehanna case) and his association with former Sharon imam Muhammed Masood:
"SHARON — Back around 1995, before the FBI says his interests turned to terrorist training, 14-year-old Ahmad Abou Samra cut a fairly conventional adolescent figure around the Islamic Center of New England’s Sharon mosque."
"An honor student at Xaverian Brothers, a Catholic high school in Westwood, and the son of a leading Islamic Center board member, 'he seemed like a regular kid,' a longtime mosque member recalled.' "
"That seems to have changed by the time he graduated in 1999 from Stoughton High, where he switched for his senior year."
"Within a year, according to government documents, he was talking about jihad. Not long after, he allegedly praised those behind the Sept. 11 attacks."
"Today, Abou Samra is a wanted man. While he has yet to be charged, federal authorities this week named him a co-conspirator with Tarek Mehanna, the Sudbury man accused of plotting to attack shopping malls and target U.S. politicians, and charged with conspiring to provide support for terrorists."
And from whence, pray tell, did the jihadist adulation apparently come from?
"Ahmad Abou Samra and Mehanna were either in middle school or high school when they met at the Sharon mosque, which opened in 1993, when Abou Samra was 13 and Mehanna was 12. They had no connections when the Islamic Center’s mosque was in Quincy. Abou Samra grew up in Stoughton, where he was an honor roll student, as he was in high school. He was later a dean’s list student at Northeastern University."
"Longtime mosque members – who didn’t want to be identified – aren’t sure how well Abou Samra and Mehanna knew each other back then. One said former Sharon Imam Muhammad Masood played a key role in shaping Abou Samra’s turn to conservative Muslim practices."
Read the whole thing, there are more details on Abousamra's father, Dr. Abdul Abousamra, formerly a big kahuna with the Boston Muslim American Society and several other Islamic schools and organizations.
"Dr. Abou Samra was a member of the Islamic Center board of directors when Imam Masood was hired. (He left Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as his home south of Boston, in early 2007.)" (Ed note: he's relocated to Dearborn MI. More on Dr. Abousamra here.).
"By the time his son graduated from Stoughton High, the Syrian native was the board’s president and 'the linchpin of everything' that happened at the mosque, one member said – from the creation of an Islamic school to supervision of Imam Masood’s visa application as a religious worker."
"Imam Masood was picked up on immigration violations in November 2006. In January 2007 an attorney for the Islamic Center board confirmed that some former board members had been called to testify before a grand jury in connection with the imam’s violations."
"Criminal charges were filed against Imam Masood in August 2007, but he was never accused of having extremist ties. The Pakistan native pleaded guilty to visa fraud in October 2008 and returned to his home country, where he now lives."
There's a powerful ideology at work here, and until we call it out, we can't counteract and fight it.
I'm still waiting to hear how the MAS is going to root radicals and radical teachings from their midst. Are they going to dissolve the organization?