The mosque’s name means “land of migration,” and every Friday more than 3,000 worshipers from more than 35 countries pack into Dar Al-Hijrahh’s prayer hall. Doctors from Pakistan kneel next to hotel workers from Sudan. Refugees from Somalia pray alongside naturalized citizens from Egypt. It was founded by a group of Arab college students in the 1980s. Through local fundraising drives and assistance from a few foreign donors such as the Saudi Embassy, the congregation bought 3.4 acres in Falls Church and began constructing a $5 million prayer hall. Today, its immense stone facade — chiseled with a verse from the Koran and adorned with a minaret and domes — is just off Leesburg Pike, hidden by evergreens. Its members are, for the most part, intensely committed to their faith and deeply conservative. Monday through Thursday, when many Muslims pray at home or near work, Dar Al-Hijrahh regularly draws 200 to 400 worshipers, with many rising before dawn to get to prayer.
The Post at that time did not identify the close ties between the mosque and the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. According to the Dar Al-Hijrah constitution, the mosque is affiliated with the following organizations:
All of the organizations are part of the US Muslim Brotherhood. In addition the Dar Al-Hijrah constitution mandates that the mosque’s nine member board of directors must include four members of the MAS including the National President or his/her designee and the National Executive Director or his/her designee. In 2004, the Washington Post did report on the ties between Dar Al-Hijrah and the MAS, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood group close to the Egyptian organization and again in 2005 when Shaker Elsayed, the former secretary-general of the MAS was appointed as the Dar Al Hijrah imam. The departing imam, Mohammed Adam El-Sheikh, was a Muslim Brotherhood member in the Sudan and one of the founders of both the mosque and the MAS. He left the mosque to become the executive director of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), another part of the US Muslim Brotherhood.
Anwar al-Awlaki, the American Muslim cleric of Yemeni descent who was linked to many terrorist plots and attacks and who was killed by a US drone strike in September 2011, had once been the Imam at Dar Al-Hijrah prior to 911. Other Individuals convicted/indicted in terrorism-related cases that have been known to have attended Dar Al-Hijrahh include:
- Abdurrahman Alamoudi, (a US Muslim Brotherhood. leader convicted in plot assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia)
- Mousa Abu Marzook (US Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas leader)
- Ismail Elbarasse (convicted of obstruction of justice in the Holy Land Foundation financing case)
- Abdelhaleem Ashqar (convicted of obstruction of justice in the Holy Land Hamas financing case)
- Randall “Ismail” Royer (convicted member of the Virginia Jihad Network)
- Ahmed Omar Abu Ali (al-Qaida operative convicted of plotting to assassinate President Bush)
Two of the 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Hani Hanjour were also known to have attended Dar Al-Hijrahh.
Dar Al-Hijrah has also held fundraising events to support the legal expenses of those on trial for terrorism offenses. For example, in February 2012 Dar Al-Hijrah was scheduled to host a fund-raising dinner for the ongoing legal fees of Sabri Benkahla, sentenced in 2007 to 10 years in prison for lying to authorities about training with militants in Pakistan. One of the three featured speakers was Jamal Badawi, a leader in many of the most important organizations of the Global Muslim Brotherhood