Mosque Leader Says Chesser Was Stubborn In Religious Beliefs | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Mosque Leader Says Chesser Was Stubborn In Religious Beliefs

Play associated audio

By Jonathan Wilson

Zachary Chesser, the man from Northern Virginia charged with supporting a foreign terrorist organization, is set to make his second appearance in federal court this afternoon.

The head of the Islamic Center where Chesser once worked provided some insight into the 20-year-old past.

Muhammad Farooq is the president of the Islamic Center of Northern Virginia in Fairfax, and says Zachary Chesser was mostly quiet and friendly during his time as a caretaker there in 2009.

"I didn't see anything abnormal in him at that time," says Farooq.

But Farooq recalls that near the end of his 6 months working at the Islamic Center, Chesser, also known as Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee, showed increasing stubbornness in class at the mosque.

He says Chesser would focus on obscure verses in the Quran, sticking to his own interpretation even when his teachers pointed out how other verses contradicted his reading of the text.

"That is one reason why he also quit his job," he says, "because he realized we are trying to stay where the middle ground is."

Still, Farooq says Chesser's behavior never suggested he was capable of supporting terrorism.

Chesser faces up to 15 years in prison for allegedly trying to join the Somalia-based terror group al Shabaab as a foreign fighter.

NPR

Speed Dating For Seniors Who Aren't Interested In Slowing Down

A new film follows daters ages 70 to 90 looking for love in five-minute intervals. "Speed dating for seniors" may sound funny, but The Age of Love is really about our lifelong need for intimacy.
NPR

Eat Your Veggies! Even The Ones From Fukushima

Foods from Fukushima, Japan, are back to pre-accident levels of radiation but people still aren't eating them. One way to ease concerns: a chemical that blocks radioactive cesium from entering plants.
NPR

'Zionist Union' Party Creates A Stir In Israeli Elections

The opposition to Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party in the Israeli elections calls itself the "Zionist Union" as it looks to claim the country's middle-ground voters.
NPR

'Respect The Robot': Giant Robots Oversee Traffic In Kinshasa

Two giant robots have directed traffic in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo since 2013. This week three others joined them.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.