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News Analysis

More Incriminating Info on Radical Imam Praised by Gov. Christie

NJ Gov. Chris Christie with radical imam Mohammad Qatanani who has ties to Hamas.

NJ Gov. Chris Christie with radical imam Mohammad Qatanani who has ties to Hamas.

by: 
Ryan Mauro

On May 28, we reported on how the New Jersey Attorney General met with three Muslim leaders to discuss his clearing of the NYPD of misconduct in its counter-terrorism efforts in N.J. These three leaders were an official from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the executive-director of the Islamic Society of Passaic County and Mohammad Qatanani, imam of the largest mosque in NJ who was praised by Governor Chris Christie when the Department of Homeland Security sought to deport him for his ties to Hamas.

Now, counter-terrorism reporter Patrick Poole is bringing attention to a July 24, 2008 report by the N.J. Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness titled, “HAMAS Sympathizers in New Jersey: Supporting Terrorism Abroad.” It was written shortly before Christie came to Qatanani’s defense. It reads:

“HAMAS supporters in this region may also be taking active leadership roles in their communities. A prominent example is Imam Mohammad Qatanani, who was well regarded in the local Palestinian community. Now, Qatanani is fighting deportation on the grounds that when he initially applied for U.S. citizenship in 1999, he may have misrepresented his ties to HAMAS. Israeli officials have presented a confession from Qatanani in which he admitted to bring a member of HAMAS. Questions regarding the Qatanani case are illustrative of the need to increase our intelligence collection vis-à-vis HAMAS, its supporters and presence in New Jersey.”

On June 24, Qatanani is scheduled to speak at Dar al-Hijrah in Virginia, a mosque with very strong connections to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. One of its former imams is Anwar al-Awlaki, who famously went on to lead Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula until he was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen. Its Outreach Director, Imam Johari Abulmalik, has spoken in support of violence that doesn’t kill the “innocent.” A 2002 Customs and Border Protection report said the mosque was “operating as a front for Hamas operatives in the U.S.”

You can read more about Dar al-Hijrah, the mosque that has booked Qatanani as a guest speaker by reading my article from May 2010 about how the Census Bureau was paying the mosque $23,000 per month since November 2008 to rent space in one of its buildings.

For more about Gov. Christie's ties with Qatanani read NJ Gov. Christie Courting Radical Islamist Cleric

 

Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org's National Security Analyst and is frequently interviewed on top-tier TV networks.