Islamic Community of Tampa, Inc. (Al-Qassam Mosque)
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
This is a rare case in which the mosque's very name is a signal that it was led by radical Islamists. The mosque, according to Sami Al-Arian, was named after Izzedin al-Qassam. Al-Qassam, a Syrian killed fighting the British mandate in 1935, "is the main source of inspiration for the Islamic Jihad movement," Palestinian scholar Ziad Abu Amr wrote in his book, Islamic Fundamentalism in the West Bank and Gaza. "The Islamic Jihad's supporters have elevated him almost to a saintly status."
Al Qassam similarly is an icon to Hamas, which named its military wing after him.
Al-Qassam mosque was incorporated by Sami Al-Arian in 1992 under the name "The Islamic Community of Tampa, Inc." Al-Arian pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiring to make or receive contributions of funds, goods or services for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Federal investigators say that, at the time, Al-Arian was the North American leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
An initial member of the Board of Trustees of Al-Qassam Mosque, Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, has been the Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Syria since 1995. In addition, Al-Arian's brother-in-law Mazen Al-Najjar was a founding board member and served as mosque imam until 2001. Al-Najjar appears on the Islamic Community of Tampa's annual reports up until 2001, when he was arrested by the INS for a visa violation. Al-Najjar was deported by the U.S. in 2002 for staying in the U.S. after his student visa lapsed. In addition, he served on the PIJ's Shura Council, or governing board, and was indicted along with Al-Arian for providing material support to the PIJ. Since he was deported, Al-Najjar never stood trial on those charges.
See: US v. Sami Al Arian
 USA v. Al-Arian, 03-CR-77, "Exhibit A," http://www.flmd.uscourts.gov/Al-Arian/8-03-cr-00077-JSM-TBM/docs/2119866/1.pdf#page=23 (accessed June 8, 2010).
 Ziad Abu Amr, Islamic Fundamentalism in the West Bank and Gaza, (Indiana University Press, 1994).
 "Articles of Incorporation," The Islamic Community of Tampa, Inc., Secretary of State, Tallahasse, Fla., September 9, 1992.
 USA v. Sami Amin Al-Arian, 8:03-CR77-T-30TBM, "Plea Agreement," (M.D. Fla. April 14, 2006).
 USA v. Sami Amin Al-Arian, 8:03-CR77-T-30TBM, "Indictment," (M.D. Fla. Feb 20, 2003).
 "Articles of Incorporation," The Islamic Community of Tampa, Inc., Secretary of State, Tallahassee, Fla., September 9, 1992.
 Mazen Al-Najjar listed as VP on: Amended Uniform Business Report (UB), Filed December 21, 2001, Islamic Community of Tampa, Inc., Secretary of State, Tallahassee, Florida.; "Department of Justice Statement Regarding the Arrest of Mazen Al-Najjar," #606, U.S. Department of Justice, November 24, 2001, http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2001/November/01_ins_606.htm (accessed June 9, 2010).
 USA v. Al-Arian, 03-CR-77,"Superseding Indictment," (M.D. Fla. September 21, 2004).