The Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) was established in 1981 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to help local Muslims “preserve their Islamic identity” and “observe their obligations as Muslims.” Promoting “a comprehensive and balanced view” of Islam’s “universal and timeless” teachings, ISB “strive[s] to embody the ‘middle path’ to which the Qur’an calls—a path of moderation that is free of extremism.”
ISB was founded by Abdurahman Alamoudi, a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah who is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence on terrorism charges. One of ISB’s original trustees (for at least 19 years) was Yusuf al-Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. At ISB’s Cambridge library in 2003, an official of the interfaith group Americans for Peace and Tolerance found a number of jihadi texts as well as writings by the late Muslim Brotherhood leader Sayyid Qutb, who pioneered the ideology that Islamic terror groups like al Qaeda embrace today.
ISB’s Cambridge mosque is operated by the Muslim American Society, which federal prosecutors have identified as a U.S. front for the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2009, ISB members founded a sister mosque, known as the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC), in Boston’s Roxbury section. Saudi funding sources supplied more than half of the $15.5 million that was used to create the new facility. Also key to ISBCC’s successful launch was Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s decision to make available, for a small fraction of market value, the land on which the Cultural Center was to be built.
Over the years, a significant number of ISB figures (in addition to the aforementioned Abdurahman Alamoudi and Yusuf al-Qaradawi) have been implicated in terrorist and/or extremist activities and affiliations. For example:
ISB made headlines in the spring of 2013, when it was reported that Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Chechen Muslim brothers who detonated a pair of deadly bombs at the Boston Marathon on April 15, had occasionally attended worship services at ISB’s Cambridge mosque. In the aftermath of the bombing, ISB advised its members: “If you get contacted by the FBI [in connection with its bombing investigation] … [y]ou have the right to legal representation. Please contact the ACLU—they have lawyers in the legal department who are present and ready to talk to you.”
For additional information on ISB, click here.