- Member of the Portland Seven terrorist group
- Sympathized with the Taliban and al Qaeda
- Son of former Black Panther leader Kent Ford
Born in 1971, Patrice Lumumba Ford was a member of the Portland Seven, an Oregon-based cell of Islamic extremists charged with conspiracy to levy war against the United States, conspiracy to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda, and conspiracy to contribute services to al Qaeda and the Taliban. Ford’s fellow Portland Seven members included Maher Mofeid Hawash, Habis Abdulla Al-Saoub, Ahmed Abrahim Bilal, Muhammad Ibrahim Bilal, Jeffrey Leon Battle, and October Martinique Lewis.
A native-born American black Muslim, Ford was the son of onetime Black Panther leader Kent Ford, who named him after Soviet friend and radical African leader Patrice Lumumba, the first Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Patrice Lumumba Ford enrolled at Morehouse College in 1989 but dropped out shortly thereafter. He later attended Portland State University, where he majored in Chinese and International Studies. During his college years Ford converted to Islam and began to pray at the Islamic Center of Portland, most of whose members were Arab and North African immigrants. He subsequently studied for three semesters at the Hopkins center in Nanjing, China, where he met local female journalist Xie Chunlin. Ford (who had previously indicated that he wanted to marry a “real” Muslim -- not a “fake” American one -- someone who carries an AK-47 assault rifle and is “ready to run and blow something up”) brought Xie back to Portland and married her in 2000. He supported himself and his new wife by selling cellular telephones. The young radical was also embraced as an intern in the office of Portland Mayor Vera Katz.
In October 2001 Ford and his five male accomplices traveled to China and then Pakistan, in hopes of gaining entry from there into Afghanistan, where they planned to join the al Qaeda forces that were engaged militarily against American soldiers. Upon finding that they were unable to enter Afghanistan's sealed-off borders, however, all except Al-Saoub returned to the U.S. between December 2001 and February 2002.
In October 2003 Ford pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to levy war against the United States. The following month, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison.