Jews who emigrated to the Middle East between the first and second world wars had a secret "plan" to take over what is now Israel, and eventually "will be demanding" the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina, a Muslim imam said in a southern California mosque on Friday.

"Between World War I and World War II, so much of the immigration that came from Europe toward the Islamic world, whether North Africa or the Mediterranean area – Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and all of this ... Muslims were opening their homes and saying: Those are our brethren, persecuted by the Christians in Europe," Syrian-born Sheikh Mahmoud Harmoush said at the Islamic Center of Riverside, according to a transcript published by the Middle East Media Research Institute. A video of the sermon was first uploaded to the YouTube account of the Islamic center, which is where Syed Rizwan Farook, who carried out the December 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attacks with his wife, worshiped.

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