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Residents of Orlando are making a commonsense effort to shut down the radical, terror-supporting mosque that helped spur Pulse nightclub terrorist Omar Mateen to commit the murders of 49 people. A group of neighbors have now launched a petition to get the place shuttered.
According to author Paul Sperry, fearing for their continued safety, a group of Orlando citizens want to shut down the mosque now in the middle of major terror investigation by the FBI.
“Many local residents say they feel afraid for their safety living near a mosque that has graduated two deadly terrorists in the past two years,” Sperry writes, “and where federal investigators are now actively questioning additional worshipers in connection with long-time member Omar Mateen’s June 12 massacre in Orlando.”
Orlando residents started a Facebook page they called “Close The Mosque,” but it wasn’t long before Facebook shut them down.
Still, despite being shut down by Facebook, the group is set to stage a protest outside the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce even as city officials try to block their efforts by withholding permits and the like.
“The mosque leaders in Fort Pierce are complaining and scared for their lives after two killers came out of there,” a local resident wrote on the now shutdown Facebook page. “Well, I got news for you: I’m scared your[sic] going to kill my kids, so pack up your things, close that mosque and leave town … your[sic] training future killers.”
Orlando resident Joel Matt added, “Time to shut that place down until further investigation is done.”
Sperry notes that this mosque has had problems with terrorism before.
On Friday, two FBI agents met with an unidentified member of the Islamic center, a fellow worshiper of Mateen, for more than a half hour before Friday prayers started. I’m told investigators plan to interview more members of the mosque this week. Agents are following up on a lead from a gun store operator, who told authorities he overheard Mateen, an Afghan-American, speaking to a possible co-conspirator “in a foreign language” several weeks ago when Mateen came into his gun shop looking to buy body armor and bulk ammo.
About two years ago, agents paid leaders at the same Islamic center a visit to investigate the mosque’s ties to another worshiper, Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, who is believed to be the first American suicide bomber in Syria. Mateen prayed alongside Abu-Salha, who left his car in the mosque parking lot before flying to Syria.
Despite this list of terror supporters in their midst, president and imam of the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, Dr. Syed Shafeeq Rahman, insists it is all merely “a coincidence.”
“This is a coincidence,” he said. “There is no teaching given about extremism in this mosque.”
Rahman’s clams, though, seem suspect especially since a local Orlando mosque hosted a virulently anti-gay Muslim speaker who said that gays should be given a death sentence only weeks before Mateen’s rampage killed 49.
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