Consisting mostly of black Muslims who reside in North America and the Caribbean, Muslims Of America (MOA) — also known as Muslims Of The Americas — is the English name of the Pakistan-based Sufi Islamic organization Jamaat ul-Fuqr (JF), which was established in 1980 by Shaykh Mubarik Ali Gilani. In December 1993, Gilani reportedly took part in a conference of terrorist leaders in Khartoum, Sudan, where the attendees also included representatives of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Egyptian Islamic Jihad (and possibly al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden). Classified as “an international terrorist” in a 2006 report for law-enforcement, Gilani has derided the U.S. not only as a nation that nourishes the “roots” of the worldwide “evil” that jihadists are “fighting to destroy,” but also as “a pawn of hidden hands that use America’s wealth and the innocent blood of their sons and daughters to wage their wars against Muslims.” With similar contempt, Gilani describes Jews as “human Satans,” adding: “I have never seen, in the whole of my life or even in the past thousand years, a Jew who will tell the truth.”
JF carried out numerous terrorist attacks – including at least 10 assassinations and 17 firebombings – on U.S. soil in the 1980s and ’90s. As its reputation for violence and extremism grew, the organization began calling itself Muslims Of America. Its recruitment efforts have long targeted people with criminal backgrounds, and many of its members are prison converts to Islam.
In stark contrast to its blood-soaked roots, JF/MOA states that its mission is to help Muslim Americans “establis[h] and maintai[n] Islamic principles … while fulfilling and embracing [their] obligations as American citizens.”
But national security analyst Ryan Mauro asserts that JF/MOA is “actively trying to create miniature Islamic states inside the U.S.,” as evidenced by the fact that it has established at least two dozen “Islamic villages” or compounds known as jama’ats — closed-off communities that are used as paramilitary training sites for guerrilla warfare — located principally in rural areas of the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and southeastern United States.
In October 1992, law-enforcement authorities shut down a 101-acre JF/MOA commune in Buena Vista, Colorado, which, according to the Clarion Project, “was essentially a terrorist training camp financed through crime.” Investigators at the site found, among other things, a poem paying homage to Mubarik Ali Gilani and vowing that “the kafir’s [infidel’s] blood will not be spared.”
A 1998 U.S. State Department report characterized JF/MOA as an “Islamic sect that seeks to purify Islam through violence.” Similarly, a secret Canadian intelligence report in the early 2000s described it as a “militant” organization that saw itself as “God’s chosen instrument to defeat the enemies of Islam” and derail their “Satanic Zionist conspiracy.” Among JF/MOA’s most prominent terrorist members was Clement Rodney Hampton, who was involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and also conspired in a separate plot to blow up several additional targets in New York City.
FBI documents from 2003 show that JF/MOA, which portrayed the 9/11 terrorist attacks as part of a Satanic-Zionist conspiracy to wage war on Islam, was linked to al-Qaeda in Pakistan. Further, the organization has long been allied with, and supportive of, Hizbul Mujahideen, an Islamic terrorist group based in Pakistan and Kashmir.
A 2004 report funded by the U.S. Justice Department states that JF/MOA has raised a great deal of money by “defrauding a variety of social service programs, including worker’s compensation, public health care, welfare, and food stamps programs.” “Other crimes committed by Fuqra members,” says the report, “include the creation and use of false identification cards, birth certificates, and other forged documents.”
JF/MOA has likewise been implicated in scams to raise funds by means of insurance fraud, credit card fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. Further, it has engaged illegally in straw purchases of weapons and in conversions of semi-automatic firearms into fully-automatic guns. According to the Clarion Project, “seized MOA documents show a concerted effort to infiltrate law enforcement and establish security companies as fronts,” and at least two longtime members of the group managed to infiltrate Naval Air Station LeMoore and the Fort Irwin National Training Center, both in California.
JF/MOA today consists of approximately 1,000 to 3,000 members who reside in the aforementioned secluded “Islamic villages.” The residents live communally and insulate themselves from what they view as the corrupting influence of non-Muslim culture. One noteworthy law-enforcement report states that JF/MOA is set up like “classically structured terrorist cells.” This assessment is consistent with the contents of a 1980s videotape in which Mubarik Ali Gilani boasted of having developed “one of the most advanced training courses in Islamic military warfare,” and invited Muslims to contact JF/MOA’s offices in Pakistan or the United States and join the cause.
JF/MOA’s North American headquarters are situated in “Islamberg,” a 70-acre commune in Hancock, New York. Other key villages inhabited by members of the organization include “Ahmadabad West” (in Red House, Virginia); “Ahmadabad East” (in Meherrin, Virginia); “Islamville” (in York County, South Carolina); and “Hasanville” (in Ontario, Canada).
In November 2016, JF/MOA interpreted Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election as the fulfillment of apocalyptic Islamic prophecies centered around the inevitability of a final and decisive jihad against non-believers.
In April 2017, Ryan Mauro of the Clarion Project reported that: “A retired federal source with direct experience in dealing with [JF/MOA] states that law enforcement remains ‘very concerned’ about the group’s activity.”
In May 2017, 64-year-old Ramadan Abdullah, a long-time associate of JF/MOA, was arrested in Johnson City, New York, after attempting to steal four boxes of ammunition from a local store. Police subsequently obtained a search warrant for a storage locker that Abdullah was renting and found a large assortment of weaponry therein, including: 15 guns of various types, 64 high-capacity ammunition-feeding devices, flak jackets, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. A source inside JF/MOA claimed that those items were intended for the organization’s headquarters in “Islamberg.” Abdullah had been previously arrested in 1977 after he and an accomplice attempted to rob a candy store; when police searched Abdullah’s home following that incident, they found enough weapons-grade material to construct approximately 50 bombs.
Further Reading: “Jamaat ul-Fuqra” (GlobalSecurity.org); “Jamaat ul-Fuqra in U.S. Still Active Threat: Federal Source” (Clarion Project, 4-3-2017); “Muslims Of the Americas” (Clarion Project); “Gov’t Confirms U.S. Jihadi Cult Under Investigation” (Clarion Project, 11-26-2017); “What Does the Leader of ‘Muslims of the Americas’ Think?” (Clarion Project, 1-16-2018); “Jihadi Training Compounds, USA” (by Ryan Mauro, FrontPageMag.com, 11-2-2009); “FBI Links Jihadi Cult to Al-Qaeda” (Clarion Project, 12-12-2016); “U.S. Group Connected to Terrorists in Kashmir” (Clarion Project, 7-17-2017); “Jamaat ul-Fuqra in U.S. Still Active Threat: Federal Source” (Clarion Project, 4-3-2017); “Clarion: Jihadi Cult Associate Arrested in NY With Firearms Stockpile” (Breitbart.com, 7-3-2017).