Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Did Disciples of Awlaki Bury the Boston Bomber? (No Way, Says a Group Rep.)

By Paul Iorio

For sale, as recently as 2007: al-Awlaki's works, on sale for
$36 from a bookstore associated with the organization that arranged
the burial of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The Islamic group that arranged the burial of Boston Marathon

bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev once sold the works of terrorist

Anwar al-Awlaki through an associated bookstore.

A store that shared the same name, web address and contact

information as the organization – the Islamic Society of Greater

Richmond (ISGR) – sold Awlaki’s “The Hereafter,” a multiple-CD

set of the militant imam’s lectures, as recently as 2007, when he

was imprisoned for terrorism and was known to have backed al-

Qaeda causes. The group charged $36 for the seven-tape set

and album.

Awlaki would later found the jihadist magazine Inspire, which

is where the Tsarnaev brothers learned how to make the

pressure cooker bombs that killed three people and injured

hundreds on April 15 in Boston. Awlaki also preached regularly

at a mosque in northern Virginia.

This reporter called the ISGR for comment and received a

return call from someone who would not give his name but

described himself as a “manager” of the group. He contended,

somewhat unconvincingly, that even though the bookstore was

physically adjacent to the ISGR and shared the same web

address, it was a separate operation. And he emphatically

dismissed any link between Awalki and his organization.

It's worth noting that I reached that ISGR representative

via the contact information on the bookstore's page. The store’s

online form, through which customers can buy the books, lists

the ISGR’s phone number and address as its own phone number

and address.

And the ISGR rep dismissed any suggestion that their sale of

Awlaki’s works created the appearance that a loyal soldier of

Awlaki was buried by his disciples of Awlaki. Further, he

denounced Tsarnaev’s terrorist acts.

The work that was sold was Awlaki’s “The Hereafter,” from

Al-Basheer Productions; a website specializing in Islamic

books said the work described “the events that occur just

before death and the events that come after it.” And it

has sequences about the supposedly hellish fate of those

who don’t believe in Islam.

The ISGR was reportedly the only Islamic group in the Virginia

area that would aid in the burial. The cemetery that it

landed for Tsarnev is The Al-Barzakh Islamic Cemetery located

on Route 725 in Doswell in the state of Virginia. The burial

ground was established by the Islamic Funeral Services of

Virginia, which describes itself as a religious organization that

is exempt from paying U.S. federal income taxes because of

its 501(c)(3) status.

Its tax exempt status may be one reason why burial plots

were initially being offered “at [a] low introductory

price of $750 each,” according to the cemetery's antecedent

website, when the graveyard was being developed in 2006.

It is not known whether Tsarnaev’s burial plot was sold for

that sum. This reporter's phone call to the answering

machine of the president of the cemetery brought no comment.

The first page of the website selling Awlaki's works.


Awlaki's "The Hereafter," as advertised online.
[from the Al-Huda online bookstore.]


The egregiously misspelled website of the cemetery that
buried Tsarnaev. (Circa 2009.)


Initially, the tax-exempt cemetery was offering burial plots
for $750.