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
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 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