Rep. Scott Peters, a California Democrat, held a meeting at the San Diego Islamic Center to field concerns from the Muslim community about President Donald Trump and looming White House policy.
The facility itself is controversial. As one constituent who attended the gathering said, the facility has ties to the September 11, 2001, terrorists.
Basically, the gathering was a sympathy fest – a chance for Peters to demonstrate his compassion for those of Islamic faith who feel uncomfortable about Trump.
Peters, for example, told the crowd of about 150 that he shares their concerns about the new White House and president.
“It’s hard when he gives things like the wall or this Muslim ban,” he said, CBS8 reported. “These extreme ideas of blowing up national debt, and it’s hard to work with him.”
Not all those in attendance were on board with the messaging of Peters.
“While many who attended were passionate, one attendee caused some fireworks while holding a 9/11 sign.
“‘I think many of your constituents would be shocked by the symbolism of holding our town hall in this place, this Mosque has connections to the 9/11 terrorists,’ said Roger Ogden.”
The San Diego Tribune reported, in a two-part series in 2011, the ties of the city to the 2001 terror attacks on American soil.
Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi national who lived in the United States since the early 1990s, and who previously worked for the Saudi government in civil aviation, was suspected by locals of spying on San Diego County students for the Saudi royals.
From the Tribune:
“As Newsweek reported, on the same day in early 2000 that al-Bayoumi visited the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles for a private meeting, he went to a restaurant and ended up at a table next to [hijacker Khalid] al-Mihdhar and [hijacker Nawaf] al-Hazmi. He told authorities later it was a chance meeting in which he and the two al-Qaida operatives struck up a friendly conversation, and he asked them whether they wanted to move to San Diego.
“Al-Bayoumi set the two terrorists up in an apartment in Clairemont near the San Diego Islamic Center mosque, and he paid $1,500 to cover their first two months of rent.
“When asked after the attack in 2001 about al-Bayoumi’s possible role in 9/11, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore, who was then the local head of the FBI, told Newsweek the local investigation had found no evidence that al-Bayoumi was involved in the attack.
“Later, a former top FBI official told Newsweek, ‘We firmly believed that (al-Bayoumi) had knowledge (of the 9/11 plot).’” …
“During a one-week visit to San Diego, yet another mysterious Saudi, Saad al-Habeeb, purchased a building in El Cajon with a $450,000 cashier’s check for use as a mosque and community center for San Diego’s Kurd Muslims.
“His motivation for this gift was never explained, but it was given on the condition that al-Bayoumi be set up as the building’s maintenance manager and given a private office at the mosque, with a phone and a computer. But leaders of the Kurd mosque said at the time that al-Bayoumi was never seen in that building, and al-Habeeb disappeared.”