Islamic Association of Long Island
|The Islamic Association of Long Island|
|Location||10 Park Hill Drive, Selden, New York|
|Country||United States of America|
The Islamic Association of Long Island (also known as the Selden Masjid) is a mosque at 10 Park Hill Drive in Selden, New York, eastern Long Island, 65 miles east of New York City. It was founded in 1974 and is the oldest chartered mosque on Long Island.
 The mosque is in a white wooden building that was converted from a Fundamental Bible Believing Church, and draws about 400 people to Friday prayers. It offers prayers five times daily, Saturday Islamic School, Sunday School, Muslim Boys and Girls Youth Group, and summer school.
Janitor arrested for sexual attack
In April 2009, the mosque's live-in janitor since 2001, Niamatullah Ibrahim, allegedly sexually attacked a 13-year-old boy inside the mosque, said Suffolk County Police. The boy was at the mosque for instructional classes, and "the assailant was a fairly large man who basically took this young boy by the hand and forced him into a private room, where he subjected him to sexual contact," said Detective Sgt. Michael Fitzharris. Ibrahim was charged with first-degree sexual abuse and third-degree aggravated sexual abuse following a one-month investigation. He pleaded not guilty in Suffolk County First District Court in Central Islip, and was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail.
Nayyer Imam, a pharmacist who is president of the Islamic Association of Long Island, which operates the mosque, said: "I'm in shock. I don't know what to really say. It is very disturbing news." He said Ibrahim traveled once a year to Pakistan to visit his wife and young children. Imam said the mosque would hire counselors to interview children and parents to check for other possible victims.
Former attendee became al-Qaeda member
Bryant Neal Vinas (also known as Ibrahim, Bashir al-Ameriki, and Ben Yameen al-Kanadeeis) is an American who converted to Islam in 2004. He attended the mosque regularly from approximately 2004/05 until 2007, when he left for Pakistan. In Pakistan, he became an al-Qaeda member. He was arrested and pleaded guilty in January 2009 to participating in and supporting al-Qaeda plots, including volunteering detailed information about the operation of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) system to a senior al-Qaeda leader, to help plan a bomb attack on an LIRR commuter train in New York's Penn Station.
Mosque president Imam remembered Vinas as "very nice and always smiling, innocent". Imam said he talked regularly to FBI and Homeland Security officials, and said: "I keep an eye like a hawk on this place". On the other hand, a former FBI counter-terrorism official said "there could be a person in the mosque who has some radical thoughts and ideas who the imam knows nothing about," and that suspected extremists had in fact been identified at the mosque.
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