The New Jersey mother of a top Islamic State commander says she tried to warn her son about a mosque he attended prior to his transformation into “Abu Hamza al-Amriki.”
Zulfi Hoxha, who was raised in the Garden State and graduated from Atlantic City High School in 2010, joined the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, in April 2015. His mother, an Albanian immigrant named Ltefaji Hoxha, agreed to speak about the 25-year-old terrorist with Philadelphia’s NBC News affiliate.
“I am upset,” Ms. Hoxha said Wednesday from her Margate home. “No good. I’m very upset.”
She told a reporter that her warnings about a nearby mosque years ago went unheeded.
“He hated people. That mosque … he hated,” she said. “I don’t know why. I said, ‘Don’t go there. No mosque.’ It’s not looking good.”
Abu Hamza al-Amriki was first identified by The Atlantic for a Jan. 13 story, which gleaned information from court documents involving convicted terrorist David “Daoud” Wright of Massachusetts.
Ms. Hoxha said she last spoke to her son a year ago, during which time he claimed to have “stopped it” regarding terrorism.
Islamic State propaganda released in May suggests otherwise: He was shown calling for “lone wolf” attacks within the U.S. in a video titled “We Will Surely Guide Them To Our Ways.”
“I’m overwhelmed with that. I know the family. I’m shocked, as any small-town mayor in America would be,” said Margate Mayor Michael S. Becker, the station reported.
A spokeswoman for the FBI declined to discuss potential investigations involving Abu Hamza al-Amriki with NBC-10.