The Islamic Society of Bay Ridge (ISBR) has â€œa long history of association with radical Islamic organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, going back almost 20 years,â€ said Patrick Dunleavy, former Deputy Inspector General for the New York Department of Corrections and author of The Fertile Soil of Jihad.
In 1994, Lebanese-Palestinian immigrant Rashad Baz fired upon a van full of Hasidic Jews on the Brooklyn Bridge, killing a 16-year old, in retaliation for a events in Hebron, Israel.
According to two witnesses, the attack came shortly after he attended an ISBR service where the speaker said, â€œThis takes the mask off the Jews,â€ and â€œIt shows them to be racist and fascist, as bad as the Nazis. Palestinians are suffering from the occupation, and itâ€™s time to end it.â€ A witness said he left the service in a rage. Two of Bazâ€™s family members helped him hide his weapons and were in contact with a Hamas member. Hamas and Hezbollah praised the attack.
In 1998, a speaker at ISBR reportedly said that Jews murdered Mohammed, Islamâ€™s founder, and will forever wage war against Muslims. The speaker vocally supported jihad against Israel and distributed Hamas propaganda.
The ISBRâ€™s imam from 2002 to 2006, Reda Shata, originally came from Egypt. The New York Times reported in 2006 that he views Hamas â€œas a powerful symbol of resistance.â€ He was under NYPD surveillance as a â€œTier One Person of Interest.â€ Those that qualify for this designation have a â€œthreat potential based on their position at a particular location, links to an organization, overseas links and/or criminal history.â€
In June 2003, four suspected members of Hamas were arrested in front of the mosque. That same year, Mohammed El-Mezain spoke at the mosque. A NYPD intelligence report describes El-Mezain as the â€œsuspected North American leader of Hamas.â€ He was convicted in 2008 for fundraising for Hamas.
In 2004, Shata described a Palestinian mother who carried out a suicide bombing as a â€œmartyr.â€ The bombing killed four Israeli security personnel and injured Israeli and Palestinian civilians. He also spoke at a 2004 memorial service for Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a founder and spiritual leader of Hamas that was killed in an Israeli airstrike. He said the â€œlion of Palestine has been martyred.â€
In August 2004, two men were arrested for planning to bomb a New York City subway station. One of the plotters worked at a bookstore adjacent to ISBR, where the two met. During the trial, the defense attorney said that among the â€œentire Muslim community in Bay Ridge, the thought that the American government was responsible for bringing down the towers on 9/11 was common.â€
On Memorial Day in 2006, graffiti praising the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was sprayed on cars, trees and homes. Notably, only houses that displayed the American flag were victimized. A 12-year old boy was arrested. In May 2006, a rally was held in Bay Ridge where demonstrators chanted, â€œFrom the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,â€ which obviously requires the elimination of the state of Israel. In January 2009, a hacker struck the Bay Ridge Jewish Centerâ€™s website and displayed the words, â€œDeath to Israelâ€ and â€œFor Palestine For Gazza [sic] For Hamas.â€
 Mauro, Ryan. â€œThe NYPD vs. a â€˜Moderateâ€™ Hamas Supporter,â€ RadicalIslam.org, May 14, 2012. https://www.radicalislam.org/category/tags/sheikh-reda-shata
 â€œBrooklyn Bridge Killer Finally Admits He Picked Targets of 1994 Attacks Because They Were Jewish,â€ Daily Mail, March 26, 2012. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2120479/Rashid-Baz-1994-Brooklyn-Bridge-killer-finally-admits-chose-targets-Jewish.html#axzz2JiBTanuv
 Heilman, Uriel. â€œMurder on the Brooklyn Bridge,â€ Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2001, p. 29-37, https://www.meforum.org/77/murder-on-the-brooklyn-bridge.
 â€œAn Imam in America: To Lead the Faithful in a Faith Under Fire,â€ New York Times, March 6, 2006.Â https://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/06/nyregion/06imam.html?pagewanted=all#
 Sullivan, Eileen. â€œNYPD Spied of Cityâ€™s Muslim Anti-Terror Partners,â€ Associated Press, October 6, 2011. https://www.ap.org/Content/AP-In-The-News/2011/NYPD-spied-on-citys-Muslim-anti-terror-partners
 NYPD Intelligence Strategy Report,â€ May 15, 2006, obtained by the Associated Press, hosted at PrivacySOS.org, https://www.privacysos.org/sites/all/files/NYPD_racist.pdf.
 â€œAn Imam in America.â€
 Rubinstein, Dana. â€œBay Ridge Man Guilty in Terror Bomb Plot,â€ Brooklyn Paper, https://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/29/21/29_21guilty.html.
 Lysiak, Matthew. â€œHomes Defaced of Those Who Flew Old Glory,â€ New York Sun, June 12, 2006. https://www.nysun.com/new-york/homes-defaced-of-those-who-flew-old-glory/34224/
 â€œNew York Palestinians Remember Al-Nakba,â€ Workers World, May 16, 2006. https://www.workers.org/2006/world/al-nakba-0525/
 Muessig, Ben. â€œHacker Changes Temple Home Page to Pro-Hamas Message,â€ Brooklyn Paper, January 12, 2009. https://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/32/2/32_2_bm_hacker.html