The British-led investigation has played a part in identifying a number of US-based terrorists and helped the authorities in Washington to break up an al-Qaeda cell operating in Falls Church, Virginia.
The agents are particularly keen to discover if the visitors included Mohammad Sidique Khan, leader of the July 7 suicide bombers, who is alleged to have travelled to America’s East Coast to meet fellow militants and stage a series of attacks on synagogues.
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Neither the FBI nor police would comment on the investigations into Khan’s alleged visits to the US in 2002, but, in Falls Church yesterday, residents blamed “foreign agitators” for encouraging young men from the city’s Muslim community to join extremist groups linked to al-Qaeda.
In the Falls Plaza shopping mall, most preferred to chat about their historic city’s latest civic award for its floral displays and not its reputation as the jihad capital of America.
Over the past few months, 11 men who regularly attended the same Islamic Centre in Falls Church have been convicted of terrorism charges. Seven reportedly went to training camps in Pakistan, including one used by Khan.
Their trials exposed a network stretching from this placid commuter belt serving the US capital ten miles away, passing through British cities and on to jihadi camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
A twelfth man from this city of barely 11,000 residents, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, was jailed for 30 years in March for plotting to assassinate President Bush and being a member of al-Qaeda. FBI investigators claim in The One Percent Doctrine that Abu Ali, 24, was in regular e-mail contact with Khan.
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The National Security Agency is accused of bugging mosques and private homes where al-Tamimi preached, including the Dar al-Hijrah centre on the edge of Falls Church. This glass-fronted mosque acquired its notoriety in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks when it was discovered that the imam, Sheikh Anwar al-Awlaki, was the spiritual mentor to two of the hijackers.
Gates of Vienna has a series of reports on Jamaat ul-Fuqra:
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