New York

Islamberg Sign in NY
Islamberg Sign in NY

 

The state of New York is home to two Fuqra/MOA compounds in Hancock, including the organization’s “Islamberg” headquarters.

A secret video titled “Soldiers of Allah” was filmed in the early 1990s and captured by law enforcement. It featured Sheikh Gilani and Islamberg officials in military attire urging Muslims to partake in violent jihad anywhere Muslims are oppressed, with particular emphasis placed on targeting India and Israel. Gilani instructed MOA members to form a “Soldiers of Allah” paramilitary force with no direct connection to MOA. The video offered guerilla warfare training to aspiring jihadists who do not belong to MOA and said the assistance could be provided by contacting MOA offices, including the one in New York.

A second video filmed in 2001-2002 showed women at Islamberg in military attire receiving guerilla warfare training, including knife combat and firing guns into a lake.

A December 2010 FBI counter-terrorism report confirmed that “the Muslims of the Americas terrorist organization” is headquartered in Hancock, where “Organized training is also conducted to include weapons training, tactics, hand-to-hand combat, rappelling, and live-fire exercises.” 

MOA has also had extensive activity elsewhere, particularly Brooklyn and Binghamton.  

Fuqra is believed to be responsible for an attack on an Iranian Shiite mosque in Queens on November 21, 1979. Fuqra members have been connected to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the follow-up “Day of Terror” plot to bomb four New York City targets.[1]

Fuqra/MOA members also got into a massive brawl with NYPD officers in 2002 when a MOA front was under investigation.

Islamberg and Maryamville

Fuqra/MOA’s national headquarters is a 70-acre commune named Islamberg in Hancock.

Another commune named Maryamville is right nearby on Maryamville Rd. in Hancock. The commune is named after Maryam Adams, a daughter of convicted MOA terrorist Barry Adams, who died in a car accident as a child with her brother, Hassan (MOA’s Ontario commune is named after him). The children were siblings of Hussein Adams, the current chief executive of MOA.

The Islamberg land was originally linked to a non-profit named Ikhwanul Muslimun, meaning “Muslim Brotherhood.” It was registered as a church on the property in 1974. It is unclear whether this is a direct link to the Muslim Brotherhood movement, but it is unlikely that such a name would be used for any reason other than affinity for the well-known Islamist movement.

The person who registered Ikhwanul Muslimun on the land that became Islamberg was contacted by the Clarion Project’s Ryan Mauro in April 2012. He said that the entity was inactive and set up a time when African-American Muslims were struggling to form their identity. He said that the organization was now the United Muslim Christian Forum, the name of MOA’s interfaith branch.

Islamberg is currently led by MOA executive director Hussain Adams, who says he moved to Islamberg in 2000.[2] He is the son of convicted Fuqra terrorist Barry Adams, also known as Tyrone Cole, who was involved in a plot to bomb the Hindu Festival of Lights in Toronto in 1991. He was deported from Canada to Trinidad in 2006.

A petition to the New York Supreme Court by MOA states that Maryamville is located on Maryamville Rd., Hancock, NY. It says that the market value of the land is $145,000 and the value of Islamberg is $403,000.

Islamberg has long been where membership dues and other financing for MOA is sent to.

In May 1989, the “naibs” (regional leaders) of Fuqra/MOA met in Islamberg to pool together various financial records, including receipts and expenditure documentation. A MOA directive issued after the meeting emphasized that every member of the organization is required to pay 10 percent of their earned income and those who refuse to pay dues must be reported to the “naibs.” The letter instructed leaders to emphasize to members the seriousness of not submitting the required payments.

There were various reports of a sudden movement out of MOA villages, particularly Islamberg, in early 2010. A former member said that Gilani had ordered the commune residents to disperse into the surrounding areas.[3]

ryan_islambergIt is possible that this movement was due to the release of the Christian Action Network’s film about Fuqra, Homegrown Jihad, and Ryan Mauro’s release of a video showing women at Islamberg receiving guerilla training. The movement may have been connected to a report claiming that some Islamberg residents had moved into the New York City area to conduct a tax fraud scheme.[4]

Communications with many law enforcement personnel in New York and elsewhere indicate that federal authorities are not sharing much information about MOA on the local level. The same appears to be true with political officials.

In a documentary about MOA that aired on The Blaze in 2014, Ryan Mauro of the Clarion Project interviews the mayor of the village of Deposit, N.Y., adjacent to Islamberg. The mayor says that he was told that local police has a positive relationship with Islamberg and that productive communication had been established in recent years.

Mauro showed the mayor declassified FBI documents about MOA’s terrorist history, resulting in a clear look of shock and concern. He said he had never been informed of any of this information, even the publicly-available facts.[5]

History

Islamberg has always been the headquarters of the Fuqra/MOA organization, including at the height of the group’s terrorist and criminal activity in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.

MOA-affiliated sources who were/are in the organization during different time periods all say that Islamberg operates as the “central hub” of all operations and that key operatives involved in criminal and terrorist activity repeatedly traveled to Islamberg and consistently communicated with its officials.

A declassified FBI report from 1988 refers to a violent incident involving Fuqra members from the Masjid Yasin mosque in Brooklyn on January 19, 1973. The extremists tried to rob a sports store and held hostages for two days. One police officer was killed and two were wounded.

A bloody gun battle took place at the Masjid Yasin Mosque between Gilani supporters and Muslim rivals on February 4, 1974.

In February 1982, Sheikh Gilani preached at the Masjid Yasin Mosque that was located at 52 Herkimer Street in Brooklyn, N.Y. According to a 2003 FBI report, Gilani admonished Muslim-Americans for not “so far gone forth to jihad (war) for the pleasure of Allah.” The report says that four people died in a bloody gun battle at Masjid Yasin on February 4, 1974. Another FBI report from 1988 states that the shootout took place between supporters of Gilani and Muslim rivals.  The 2003 report states that police found a large amount of rifles, shotguns and pistols stored at Masjid Yasin. It said that the mosque was of concern to the authorities since 1973.

The New York Water Supply Bureau investigated Islamberg as a possible terrorist threat to the water supply starting in 1988. A report by the Bureau discloses that there was a fire inside of one of Islamberg’s trailers on December 24, 1988. The Islamberg residents did not report the fire. The local fire department only showed up because a neighbor called about smoke emanating from the compound.

Islamberg denied the firefighters access to the inside of the compound. Live ammunition was heard being discharged due to the flame, proving that weapons were being stored inside Islamberg. The New York Water Supply Bureau was later reprimanded for its investigation.

Declassified FBI documents from this time state that MOA members engage in welfare fraud, robberies of drug dealers, bank robberies and murders. A reliable confidential informant said that all MOA members were ordered to get jobs, preferably ones where there are no records of employment and income, and file for welfare.

The source said all of the welfare proceeds go to the organization and that the majority of members of the Philadelphia branch are involved in it. The source said that the MOA mosque in Philadelphia was providing $28,000 per month to the New York City headquarters of the organization.

The FBI report says that the source reports that the senior “naibs,” or regional leaders of MOA, are all based in the New York City mosque, with Abu Muhammad, Pat Hasib and a man named “Sadik” (the pronouncing of the name) being major leaders. The informant said that “Sadik” was allegedly involved in nine bank robberies in New York. The mosque was also the home base for MOA’s 786 Security front.

In August 1987, two MOA members named James Hobson and Abraham Benn Benn were involved in a car crash near Wallkill, N.Y., where MOA had a Quranic Open University site. The driver was said to have fallen asleep at the wheel.

A search of their vehicle found documents regarding surveillance techniques, political assassinations, the Fuqra organization and revolutionary material. They also found books titled “Hostile Espionage Organization, Characteristics of Agent Communications and of Agent Handling in the United States of America;” “Counterintelligence Corps Booklet” and “Handbook of Open Sources.”

They also had two rifles and a handgun, blank birth certificates and driver’s licenses from various states. The FBI report states:

“Also present were photographs of children training with firearms at an unknown outdoor facility and photographs of an outdoor training camp with armed guards dressed in army fatigues standing guard in front of the main gate to the FUQRA camp, located at Tompkins, NY.”

In 1990, MOA terrorists linked to the Colorado branch murdered a rival Islamic cleric, Imam Rashid Khalifa, in Arizona. Around the time of the murder, someone in Arizona made a quick one-minute call to MOA terrorist Nelson Wanamaker in Colorado Springs and then a one-minute call to someone in Deposit, N.Y., the town next to Islamberg.[6]

On October 8, 1992, state and local law enforcement launched Operation Mountain Storm and raided a 101-acre MOA terrorist training camp in Buena Vista, along with two MOA safehouses in Colorado Springs and two in Williamsport, Pennsylvania were raided on October 8, 1992, by state and local law enforcement in an initiative titled Operation Mountain Storm. Seven members were prosecuted.

The terrorist and criminal activities by Colorado Fuqra members were linked to Islamberg.

A 1993 Colorado law enforcement report identified Islamberg as “the largest Fuqra compound and suspected center of Fuqra activities in the United States.”[7]

Susan Fenger, the former Chief Criminal Investigator of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, told Ryan Mauro of the Clarion Project: “While developing the money laundering aspect of my case against Fuqra members [in Colorado], I was able to trace funds obtained from illegal sources (such as falsified and fraudulent workers compensation claims) to the New York compound, where the main financial accounting took place and from there to Pakistan into Gilani’s hands.”

One of the revenue streams that went from Islamberg to Sheikh Gilani in Lahore, Pakistan, was a $14,700 transfer by MOA terrorist Edward Ivan McGhee. The money was transferred using a MOA-owned security company named Professional Security International. Various documents obtained by authorities showed that the Colorado branch was integrated into the MOA network, with Islamberg at the top.

Law enforcement sources say that MOA had several members working as prison chaplains in New York in the 1980s and early 1990s and they helped recruit converted inmates. Parolees would be encouraged to make contact with Fuqra/MOA individuals and attend their mosque. MOA-affiliated sources say that the organization continued to recruit in the prison system this way long after the early 1990s.

2003 FBI Counter-Terrorism Investigation into MOA and 786 Security in Brooklyn

Declassified FBI reports obtained by Prof. Ryan Mauro of the Clarion Project show that Fuqra/MOA and a network of front companies were under counter-terrorism investigation in 2003. One file has the heading, “American Islamic Radicals.”

The investigation was centered around 786 Security, a MOA front led by Hussein Abdallah, also known as “K1” in the organization. In an obvious reference to Abdallah, the FBI says that the leader of the company is a high-ranking member “of a radical Islamic extremist group, Jamaat-Ul-Fuqra (JUF), also referred to as The Muslims of America (MOA).

It says that MOA is believed to set up security companies in order to receive weapons licenses. The companies are diverse, ranging from schools to parking lots to surgical equipment providers. The shell companies are used to launder money from illegal activities.

786 Security is specifically “suspected of laundering money in support of domestic terrorism activities.” It lists 41 judgements and the estimates of the number of employees range between 80 and 110. One file estimated the company’s revenue s $4 million.

The FBI reports state:

“The MOA in New York is involved in continuous criminal activity to include money laundering and wire fraud. It is suspected that the MOA in New York have laundered and transferred money through 786 Security and transported these funds on their person through Canada to Pakistan.

It is believed that [redacted] and MOA members located at 786 Security have had direct contact with [redacted] and/or terrorist organizations in Pakistan who provide both moral and material assistance. JUF [Jamaat ul-Fuqra] members also appear to be somewhat of a U.S. based host network used as a point of contact for overseas terrorist cells. The links and/or associations are mostly seen through weapons training.”

2002 Meeting with New York Law Enforcement

In 2002, Islamberg officials had a contentious meeting with local law enforcement and a FBI representative, which Fuqra Files has footage of. The MOA representatives were Public Relations Director Hasib Haqq and Abdu Mumin, a member of MOA’s 786 Security company in Brooklyn.

Haqq said that Gilani was “the most dynamic Islamic personality” to ever set foot in the U.S. and that the sheikh “is more important to me than my own life.” When one cop asked Haqq where his allegiance would be if Gilani declared jihad on America, he answered, “I don’t have a clue…Everything is based on Islamic Law.”

When asked about counter-terrorism cooperation, Haqq repeatedly gave an unclear answer, saying MOA would only tell the police about the illegal activity of a member if they “jeopardize the security of our organization.” Otherwise, it’d be handled internally.

Haqq said that Islamberg and other MOA villages give lodging to approved visitors for a few days without any questions asked as a religious obligation, so they cannot be held responsible for a terrorist or criminal briefly staying on their land. Several attending police officers pressed them on this, with one asking what they would do if a visitor had a piece of paper showing plans to blow up the U.S. Capitol.

Mumin replied that he’d assume the visitor was an “agent provocateur setting us up.” Hasib agreed, claiming that government agent provocateurs were responsible for acts of terrorism that Muslims are blamed for, such as the World Trade Center bombing.

The pressure continued. Haqq said, “I don’t know what I would do” because he’d consider the suspected terrorist to be a “brother.” He added that MOA believes that suicide bombings and killing innocent lives are wrong. The police continued to question him.

Haqq ducked the repeated questions by saying that MOA has not discussed whether they’d turn in a suspected terrorist to the police. He said he personally would not report a suspected terrorist unless there was “hard proof” that he was going to carry out an attack that violated Islam and the evidence, such as having a piece of paper mentioning a plan to bomb the Capitol building, could not be circumstantial.

After a heated back-and-forth, Haqq finally said he’d hand over a wanted criminal to the police “on the spot,” contradicting his earlier comments. He then blamed the police for Islamberg’s hostile attitude for them.

At one point in the meeting, Haqq told the police that he believed he’s being wiretapped by the government. He claimed that there is a global conspiracy against Islam that includes the American media and that he’s concerned that law enforcement will act against MOA on the orders of “special interests.”

He criticized the police for pointing out the MOA membership of various convicts, saying it is “bizarre,” irrelevant and biased because political affiliations of other criminals are never mentioned.

The police confronted the Islamberg officials about incidents where they were not cooperative.

One incident involved police asking to come into the compound to search for a MOA member that they suspected was hiding there. They were refused entry. Haqq disputed the officer’s account of the dispute, denying that the officer in question ever asked to enter Islamberg. Haqq did say he would not allow a police officer in if there was a warrant because they are “very protective.”

Another incident involved an ambulance and fire trucks being stopped at the gate and denied entry. Haqq also argued about that incident, arguing that the terrain prevented the vehicles from being able to come in.

Abdu Mumin was pointedly asked about the 786 Security company by one suspicious officer. Mumin confirmed that he is a security guard for it and that it is run by Khalifa Hussain Abdallah, a senior MOA official, but denied that the company is a MOA front. Mumin said he’s been in the security business since 1974 and also belonged to the Dagger Security Company that he says closed in 1980.

When questioned, Mumin confirmed that 786 has a security contract at Restoration Plaza and restores homes in Brooklyn and that many employees are MOA members, but not all. Hasib Haqq supported him in denying that 786 is a MOA front.

The questioning officer interestingly pressed Mumin on 786 Security being linked to a Dawah Center (MOA mosque) on Hancock Street in Brooklyn, which Mumin admitted to. Mumin and Haqq said there are no issues of concern with 786 Security except for with the IRS regarding taxes.

Haqq complained that Sheikh Gilani could not come to the U.S. because “it is not safe” for him. The truth was that Sheikh Gilani was prohibited from coming to the U.S.

He denied any MOA involvement in terrorism or guerilla training. He said that Gilani never promoted any criminal activity by any MOA member.

On the topic of firearms, Haqq admitted, “I love shooting” but said he was too poor to buy ammunition to do much.

He said that Islamberg residents may have firearms in their homes but he doesn’t know because MOA leadership doesn’t inspect the homes. He said that MOA sends money to Pakistan and Kashmir, but only for charity and records of contributions are not kept because giving should be done anonymously.

He admitted that the annual Boy Scouts retreat involves firing guns, but claimed that each participant only fires a few rounds and none of the guns are automatic.

Human Rights Abuses

A former MOA member who served as a NYPD informant and lived at Islamberg for two years spoke about his experience publicly for the first time to Martin Mawyer in 2012. The individual, Ali Abdel-Aziz, described widespread abuse, forced marriages and militant brainwashing. He said that almost all of the children are homeschooled and illiterate. He said that he saw a 50-year old woman tied to a tree and whipped for violating the strict moral code based on Sheikh Gilani’s interpretation of Islamic Sharia Law.[8]

More information from Ali Abdel-Aziz’s account is available on this website.

Ali Abdel-Aziz’s testimony is supported by MOA literature that was seized by law enforcement in the early 1990s and published by the Clarion Project. The documents showed that MOA, then known as Fuqra, had an Islamic Sharia court that would enforce the moral code and one MOA newsletter even had a picture of a member about to be lashed 20 times at a Fuqra site in South America. It said members would be published for sins that are not prohibited by the U.S. government, such as gambling, alcohol consumption and adultery. The authorities even obtained a note from the Colorado camp where someone complained about the unnecessary whippings of children.[9]

A woman who was raised in Fuqra villages spoke to the Clarion Project’s Ryan Mauro and substantiated these accounts. She spoke of a cultish, abusive atmosphere where residents live in poverty under strict Islamic rules that even banned cabbage patch dolls and watching The Smurfs. She said the children were given a terrible homeschooling education and young boys were indoctrinated and trained for a forthcoming war. She personally witnessed the lashing of a woman in the basement of a mosque in New York. She grew up in the Michigan and Louisiana camps but said it was known that the group owned Islamberg and this was what life was like inside all of the camps.[10]

Another former MOA member who belonged to the group for nine years and was so devoted that he was sent to Pakistan to meet Sheikh Gilani in 1999 says that floggings are a common punishment. He was personally whipped 10 times. He said that another member named Sekou who lived at Islamberg, N.Y. was tied to a tree and whipped until he nearly passed out. He also described how children he saw are poorly educated and, in some cases, malnourished.[11]

Other MOA-affiliated sources have spoken of similar punishments in Islamberg and other camps, including beating violators of rules, imprisoning them in trailers and or even placing them in a coffin-like structure in the ground for 30 to 45 days with minimal food and water.

Paramilitary Training and Conduit for Training in Pakistan

MOA inherited members experienced in paramilitary training from the now-defunct Dar Ul-Islam movement in New York. Sheikh Gilani began recruiting from the group in 1978, leading to tension that ultimately resulted in its dissolution in 1982.

The Darl ul-Islam paramilitary structure included a “ministry of defense” named “Ra’d” (Arabic for “Thunder”) teaches young members self-defense and is seen a violent but disciplined force. Members of the militia protected women from assault and retaliated against opponents.[12]

A declassified FBI report from 1988 states, “the FUQRA organization is a close-knit organization which believes that the Islamic faith will dominate the world within this century. However, this domination will only come through violent confrontations. Based on this belief, Fuqra has developed paramilitary groups within the FUQRA organization.”

Convicted MOA terrorist Edward Flinton confirmed that the group provided paramilitary training to members in the 1980s and early 1990s, but downplayed its significance. He said that a member known as “Doorsman” in New York oversaw the training and instructed members on weekends, where they’d march in fatigue. Flinton said that some of the training by “Doorsman” happened in Queens. Flinton confirmed that he belonged to MOA’s New York “jamaat.”

In 1991, Sheikh Gilani ordered all of the group’s boys of at least 12 years old to attend a camp from July 15 to August 15 at Islamberg, according to an official MOA notice. Gilani said he was personally supervising the program and attendance was “mandatory without exception.” Any parent who did not send their boy “will be dealt with according by El Sheikh,” it said.

The charge was $125 per boy and $100 for each additional boy in a family. The document listed Khalifa Hussain Abdallah, currently known as “K1” within MOA, as a point of contact. The notice said the boys would learn how to use rifles, parachuting, drill instruction, calligraphy and map reading. They’d also receive religious education and study the “anti-Islamic movement” and “Crusades up to the Gulf War.”

A Colorado law enforcement report written in 1993 explicitly referred to Islamberg as a “training compound.” It stated:

“Deposit, New York is a small town located outside of a known FUQRA training compound, also located near Hancock, New York. Previously obtained telephone records used as evidence in the Workers’ Compensation fraud case had shown that a number of telephone calls, originating from various identified FUQRA residences in Colorado Springs, Colorado, had been made to Deposit, New York and Hancock, New York.”[13]

In 2001, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office issued a memo warning that a Fuqra “covert paramilitary training compound” exists in New York.[14]

Also in 2001, ATF Special Agent Thomas P. Gallagher testified in court about the prosecution of two MOA members in Virginia who were arrested for gun trafficking. He said that “Individuals from the organization [MOA] are trained in Hancock, N.Y., and if they pass the training in Hancock, N.Y., are then sent to Pakistan for training in paramilitary and survivalist training by Mr. Gilani.”[15]

MOA members have gone to Pakistan as members of the Islamberg Hiking Club. An article by Sheikh Gilani recalls the club traveling through the Nagar Valley and Hunza on their way to China in the 1990s.[16]

A video that is believed to have been filmed in 2001-2002 shows a group of armed women at Islamberg being given guerilla warfare training while in military-style attire. The trainees are seen being taught by male instructors and marching in formation, practicing hand-to-hand combat, learning to use knives and swords, firing guns into a lake, etc. It was obtained in 2009 by Ryan Mauro of the Clarion Project through a law enforcement source. [17]

Mauro was also given a tape from 2002 by Islamberg’s International Quranic Open University and showed MOA leaders declaring that the U.S. is a Muslim-majority country and so, while MOA would never declare jihad against the “our country,” it would “not stand idly by” as a “hidden hand” manipulated the United States. The film was full of anti-Semitic propaganda and conspiracy theories.[18]

A 2003 FBI report said, ““Investigation of the Muslims of the Americas is based on specific and articulate facts giving justification to believe they are engaged in international terrorism…”

Documents from a 2003 FBI counter-terrorism investigation into Fuqra/MOA in New York State, particularly Brooklyn, say that the group has set up a network of security companies in order to obtain weapons licenses and launder money. The reports also warn of MOA’s links to other extremist organizations including Al-Qaeda affiliates and involvement in paramilitary training.

The FBI reports warn that MOA serves as a conduit to foreign terrorist organizations, including Al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Pakistan. It states:

“The MOA is a loosely structured U.S. based organization. Several current members in New York have been convicted of criminal acts to include murder and fraud. Recruitment most often occurs in prisons or neighborhood mosques. Once recruited, some members are selected to receive training in firearms and explosives in Pakistan.

While overseas, some of these recruits are then handpicked by high-ranking terrorist operatives, like that of Al-Qaeda, and are sent to receive more specialized training. Upon completing of their training, many of these recruits are ultimately asked to pledge ‘beyat’ [allegiance]. If they do not receive beyat, they become what source information reveals as a ‘friend of Al-Qaeda’ who are called upon no matter where he is living around the world to assist Al-Qaeda.”

In regards to MOA’s specific activities in New York, the FBI reports says:

“The MOA in New York is involved in continuous criminal activity to include money laundering and wire fraud. It is suspected that the MOA in New York have laundered and transferred money through 786 Security and transported these funds on their person through Canada to Pakistan.

It is believed that [redacted] and MOA members located at 786 Security have had direct contact with [redacted] and/or terrorist organizations in Pakistan who provide both moral and material assistance. JUF [Jamaat ul-Fuqra] members also appear to be somewhat of a U.S. based host network used as a point of contact for overseas terrorist cells. The links and/or associations are mostly seen through weapons training.”

An April 2003 Naval Criminal Investigative Service report states, “MOA members from all compounds also travel to Pakistan for both religious education as well as military style training and operational experience fighting in the Kashmir region of Pakistan.”

In 2003, pictures from inside Islamberg were published online showing a school bus that was apparently used for target practice, as bulletholes could be seen throughout and the glass was shattered. MOA responded by claiming that the bus was vandalized. However, photos obtained by this website from MOA’s “Baladullah” camp in Miramonte, California from 2002 show that cars were being used for target practice there, as well.

A 2004 report by the National White Collar Crime Center, funded by a Justice Department grant, described the Hancock site as a “training compound.” It also listed the neighboring town of Deposit as the location of a second “training compound.”[19]

A 2006 report for law enforcement by the Regional Organized Crime Information Center stated that MOA has at least seven “covert paramilitary training compounds,” although Islamberg was not mentioned as one. It stated that New York Tri-State bridge and tunnel workers have attended events at Islamberg.”[20]

A 2007 FBI report said, “The documented propensity for violence by this organization supports the belief the leadership of the MOA extols membership to pursue a policy of jihad or holy war against individuals or groups it considers enemies of Islam, which includes the U.S. Government. Members of the MOA are encouraged to travel to Pakistan to receive religious and military/terrorist training from Sheikh Gilani.”

The document also stated, “The MOA is now an autonomous organization which possesses an infrastructure capable of planning and mounting terrorist campaigns overseas and within the U.S.”

In the 2008 Clarion Project documentary, The Third Jihad, Sgt. Lou D’Marco of the neighboring Deposit Police Department is shown saying, You hear gunfire when you go past there. At night, you do hear screaming and yelling. And there have been people who have left the compound that have told us information about some of the stuff they have done.”

Deposit Mayor Will Smith is shown saying, “What is Islamberg? Are there two faces? Is there a goodwill face to show the community and then a second, backdoor face? That’s what really my concerns are.”[21]

Ali Abdel-Aziz, a former MOA member who served as a NYPD informant from 2003 to 2010 and lived for two years at Islamberg, said “mass military training” has stopped. MOA instead picks a select group of proven members for advanced training that takes place off-site.

The best ones go to Pakistan for additional training and return home to share some of their skills. Training also takes place using non-MOA facilities outside the camps, with Ali joining a “formed military squad” that took classes in Virginia.

Ali said there are no underground tunnels as some writers have claimed, but there are a “whole lot of guns.” He claims that he intercepted weapons shipments involving MOA on behalf of the NYPD.[22]

Other MOA-affiliated sources state with certainty that basic military-type instruction continues under the guise of “self-defense.” The Muslim Boy Scouts retreats on the camps, including Islamberg, is where some training takes place and the best recruits are identified.

The sources said that training also takes place outside of Islamberg during these retreats and that it involves guerilla training. Events during the retreats have specifically said they are preparing for jihad and glorified “martyrdom,” according to these sources.

One source said, “That military-style training is still going on at these retreats they hold. Sometimes the event takes place at Islamberg or another land and then those that get the real training go somewhere else. The more sensitive training happens off the land.

The training includes handling guns, combat tactics, how to physically fight, archery, mountain climbing bomb-making for some… Members have to pay to go to these retreats and that money goes to Gilani when the top women go to Pakistan. Every retreat is just a cover for this kind of stuff. Even kids learn how to use guns. The retreats end with Gilani addressing the group from Pakistan where he brags about the group and tells them how they are all good Muslims. And they just fawn over him.”

The sources say that the Muslim Boy Scouts learn about major battles in Islamic history and are even organized into separate “brigades” for exercises, each named after a companion of Prophet Muhammad who engaged in warfare.

One source said that permitted non-MOA individuals have also attended training sessions.

MOA denies that it stockpiles weapons and or gives guerilla/paramilitary training to its members. Three senior officials were deposed when the group launched a $30 million lawsuit against Martin Mawyer, which was tossed out.

Hussein Adams claims he was not aware of any training taking place like what was recorded since he arrived in Islamberg from Canada in 2000. He said there are no weapons storages in Islamberg but “if there is, you’re referring to individuals’ personal firearms.” The interviewer then asked, “So there may be [weapons], but they would be individuals’ personal firearms?” He replied, “Correct.”

Muhammad Hasib al-Haqq, a “founding father” of MOA, said he had not seen “any actual training like that” but had seen parts of the video.

I know that they were doing things. They were going out there and marching and carrying on with some wooden sticks. Yeah, I know about that,” he said.

In an interview with the Al-Arabiya outlet in 2010, Hasib Haqq said that there are yearly Muslim Boy Scouts events in Islamberg and confirmed that the participants fire guns. He downplayed it as firing a .22 a few times as a way of learning gun safety. He said the focus is mainly on spirituality and physical fitness.

Khaidjah Smith, assistant chief executive of MOA, was asked in her deposition whether she saw training like that in the video. She replied, “Self—we have self-defense classes, yes.”

She challenged the idea that the training was military-like.

That’s in reference—that’s basically personal opinion, but I know that I’ve actually taken self-defense classes, as well as all the other ladies did,” she said.

She said she “briefly” had firearms training at Islamberg, but “I don’t know a whole lot about guns. I know how to shoot a rifle, not even a handgun.”

A December 2010 FBI counter-terrorism report said that “the Muslims of the Americas terrorist organization” has a “jamaat” (private commune) in Hancock, New York.

The documents confirmed that MOA is an alternative name for Jamaat ul-Fuqra and described the group as “armed and dangerous,” urging personnel to “use extreme caution when dealing with confirmed members or individuals who are believed to be associated with this group.”

Regarding MOA’s jamaats, the FBI reports said, “Organized training is also conducted to include weapons training, tactics, hand-to-hand combat, rappelling, and live-fire exercises.”

1993 World Trade Center Bombing and “Day of Terror” Plot

At least one member of Fuqra was involved in the bombing of the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993. He was also connected to the “Day of Terror” plot to bomb the U.N. headquarters, FBI office and Holland and Lincoln Tunnels.[23] The “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman and Sudanese cleric Hasan al-Turabi, two allies of Sheikh Gilani, were linked to the New York City bomb plots.

A 1993 State Department intelligence memo says the bombing was carried out by “devout” followers of the Blind Sheikh and Sheikh Gilani. It said that Fuqra is part of intertwined Islamist terror network that involves other parties suspected of involvement. It reads:

“A close working relationship reportedly exists among [Gulbuddin] Hekmatyar, Egyptian Islamic Gama’at spiritual leader Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, Yemeni Islamic Jihad leader Sheikh Zindani and Sudanese National Islamic Front (NIF) leader Hassan al-Turabi. Sheikh Jilani, the leader of the Jama’at al-Fuqra based in Lahore, is also believed to have some ties to the mujahidin network. This circle of mutual admiration nurtures the network of safe havens, bases and logistical support.”

It said that Sheikh Gilani was in Peshawar, Pakistan at the time, although Fuqra was based in Lahore. It noted that the “Blind Sheikh” Rahman’s organization continued to have links to the “mujahidin hub” in Peshawar.[24]

A U.S. government source told the Clarion Project’s Ryan Mauro that she saw an internal assessment placing partial responsibility for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing on Sheikh Gilani and Fuqra/MOA.

Another law enforcement source involved in a Fuqra/MOA investigation recalls seeing a list of MOA members that included about a dozen of the Blind Sheikh’s devoted associates.

Testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1998 by terrorism expert Steven Emerson likewise framed the bombing as the fruits of an interconnected Islamist network in America that included Fuqra/MOA:

“The culmination of this pan-Islamic militant partnership may have been seen in the World Trade Center bombing: Rather than being an attack dominated by the militant Islamic Jamaa from Egypt, evidence now shoes that the bombing was the product of collaboration from five different radical Islamic organizations, including the Gama Islamiya, Islamic Jihad, al-Fuqra, Sudanese National Islamic Front and Hamas.

The scope and breath of these militant Islamic groups should demonstrate unambiguously that, while not coordinated formally on an operational level, the militant Islamic groups network with one another in a sort of terrorist ‘internet.’”[25]

Sheikh Gilani and MOA deny having any involvement in the February 1993 World Trade Center bombing or any terrorism on U.S. soil overall.

Senior MOA official Hasib Haqq told police in 2002 that Omar Abdel Rahman, the “Blind Sheikh” responsible for the bombing, never visited Islamberg and that MOA had no connection to him.[26]

Various documents and MOA-affiliated sources contradict this claim, describing the Blind Sheikh as a “dear spiritual friend” of Gilani and one of the very few Islamic leaders that the membership adored. More information about MOA’s links to the Blind Sheikh can be found in the relevant section of this website.

A source formerly with the NYPD said that several members of MOA’s mosque in Brooklyn associated with the Blind Sheikh and Clement Hampton-El, a MOA member linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the “Day of Terror” plots. Hampton-El attended MOA’s mosque and was “heavily influenced” by Gilani.

It is unclear from publicly-available documents about whether Hampton-El joined MOA before going to Afghanistan and fighting under the leadership of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, after he returned to the U.S., or whether he was linked to MOA the entire time.

Various press reports said that detectives concluded that Hampton-El “worked closely” with MOA and was seen as a local religious figure among black Muslims in the Brooklyn area. He would bless various kinds of violent crime, including bank robberies and certain murders.

A MOA-affiliated source from this time said that MOA’s Colorado operatives (whose terrorist training camp was raided in 1992) had mysterious connections to Egyptian extremists, possibly linked to the Blind Sheikh, in the northern N.J. and New York area.

Another MOA-affiliated source confirmed that someone from overseas linked to the World Trade Center bombing briefly stayed with the group. The source said he believed it was the Blind Sheikh.

One of the key Colorado MOA terrorists, James Upshur, successfully fought for a picture of Gilani with the Blind Sheikh not to be introduced into evidence during his trial.

Undersheriff David Bowers, who led the investigation into the Colorado MOA operation, confirms that a photo of Gilani with the Blind Sheikh was discovered. It is believed that it was taken at Islamberg’s Quranic Open University site in Wallkill, N.Y., and not inside Islamberg itself.

He said that other photos and posters of the Blind Sheikh were found throughout the Colorado training camp. This is very significant because MOA is devoted to Gilani and few other Islamic leaders receive such admiration.

“Dr. Rashid” (Hampton-El)

The MOA-affiliated sources say there were conflicting accounts about Hampton-El’s status with the group at the time of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. They said that “many” knew him well as a “close companion and brother.” They said MOA was very insular at the time and was only close with Muslims who supported their cause.

In early 1993, ATF agents arrested nine Muslims in New York who considered the Blind Sheikh to be their spiritual leader for selling explosives. The group had 180 cleaned submachine guns, automatic pistols and revolvers. One of their firearms was used in the murder of a drug dealer in Brooklyn. The leader of this group was Lamont Holder, also known as Massoud Shaheed, who identified Hampton-El as their weapons supplier.

A close associate of Hampton-El and the Blind Sheikh was Yahya Abu Ubaidah Muhammad, also known as Karl Dexter Taylor. He was the security chief for Masjid at-Taqwa, a radical mosque whose imam testified on Hampton-El’s behalf. A former New York law enforcement source said that MOA members were tracked to the mosque, although the mosque leadership does not endorse Gilani. The mosque was close to the Blind Sheikh.

Yahya Abu Ubaidah Muhammad purchased assault rifles and ammunition at a gun show in Virginia in November 1992 and smuggling them to New York. He served two tours in Vietnam and trained militants linked to the Blind Sheikh’s network, likely including MOA. His training included simulations of nighttime assaults on electric power substations, a unique interest of MOA’s operatives in Colorado.

Ubaidah was arrested in February 1995 for delivering guns to a paramilitary group linked to the Blind Sheikh.[27] The group trained at a large camp in New Bloomfield, PA that is suspected of having MOA links and fits the group’s unique profile.

Melvin Lattimore / Mujahid Abdul Qadir Menepta

Another reported MOA member with some connection to the bombing is Melvin Lattimore, also known as Mujahid Abdul Qadir Menepta. He is also a close associate of Al-Qaeda operative Zacharias Moussaoui, who is suspected of being the “20th hijacker” who was unable to take part in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Participants in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing were linked to Menepta. When it was discovered that they used his travel visa, he claimed it was stolen or copied. Gray also obtained a docket sheet from the Southern District of New York that showed that Menepta had been investigated by counter-terrorism officials around the time of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and subsequent terrorist plots in New York and New Jersey. He was not charged.[28]

Wadih El-Hage

Also of interest is Wadih El-Hage, a member of Al-Qaeda who conducted surveillance for the MOA plot in Arizona to kill Imam Rashad Khalifa in Tucson, Arizona in January 1990. Hage developed Al-Qaeda’s network using an international Islamist network known as Al-Kifah, which was intertwined with the Blind Sheikh and associated with MOA.

Hage met with an Egyptian named Mahmud Abouhalima at the Al-Kifah office in Oklahoma City. The Egyptian was later convicted of involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.[29] Hage also bought the chemicals used in the bombing.[30]

Sheikh Gilani & MOA Deny Involvement but Exalt Perpetrators

Sheikh Gilani and MOA responded to the allegations of involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing by publishing a book the following year titled, “Target Islam: Exposing the Malicious Conspiracy of the Zionists Against the World of Islam and Prominent Muslim Leaders.”[31]

The book took issue with reports claiming that Sheikh Gilani and Pakistani intelligence had transferred operational control over MOA terrorist and criminal activities in the U.S. to the Blind Sheikh, with Gilani remaining as the overall spiritual leader. It asserted that Gilani retains tight control over the entire group.

The book denied that MOA had any involvement and claimed that the bombing was part of a Zionist-Satanic conspiracy against Islam. It defended the innocence of the Blind Sheikh and the Sudanese regime, which was also linked to the bombing and close to Gilani.

MOA admitted that one or more Muslims accused of being a part of the bomb plots had visited Gilani’s mosque in N.J. It claimed that Hampton-El denied any association with any MOA member. It also claimed that Muslims accused of involvement were set up by the FBI.

It also addressed the paramilitary training of Muslims linked to the Blind Shiekh’s network by claiming they only wanted to go to Bosnia to fight Serbian forces oppressing Muslims and that an undercover FBI agent conducted the training. The effort to defend this group may be interpreted as another indication that it was connected to MOA.

NYPD Counter-Terrorism Investigations

The NYPD’s investigation into MOA included penetrating the organization with an informant named Ali Abdel-Aziz, who was a member for at least 8 years and lived at Islamberg for two years. He is a major figure in the Mixed Martial Arts industry.

He began telling his story in 2011 by talking to activist Martin Mawyer, President of the Christian Action Network, who has released a documentary[32] and book about Fuqra/MOA.[33] Reporter Mike Russell than begin a series of investigative exposes about Ali’s life, revealing a complicated spy story.[34][35]

More comprehensive information about Ali Abdel-Aziz can be found in the section of this website dedicated to first-hand testimony.

Islamberg and MOA’s New York network were under New York Police Department (NYPD) investigation as of 2009.  A NYPD counter-terrorism document from 2006 lists MOA as a “Tier One Group” for intelligence-gathering and indicated it was penetrated by an informant but the Department did not have an undercover officer inside the group. [36] An October 2007 NYPD document shows that a surveillance camera was set up on a pole near 1291 Dean St. in Brooklyn for a case involving MOA.[37]

A 2009 NYPD document shows that Fuqra/MOA was the subject of a Terrorism Enterprise Investigation (TEI #14/03) and one MOA member of concern was under surveillance as part of the Terrorism Enterprise Investigation into the Tablighi Jamaat group.

It stated that Mian Ahmad, who lived at Islamberg “for some time” and “was and may still be” a member of MOA, is a member of the Masjid Zakariyya mosque in Buffalo that is part of the Tablighi Jamaat network. It said that Mian Ahmad is on a terrorism watch list. Three other attendees of the mosque, Farid Bhana, Abdulmuqeet Choudhury and Muhammad Sadruzzaman, were identified as being on terrorism watch lists.

Sadruzzaman is named as a possible member of a terrorist organization and it says he led a “jamaat” from the mosque attended by MOA member Mian Ahmad to Masjid Al-Huda in Lackawanna. The leader of the mosque attended by Ahmad and the New York Tablighi Jamaat network arranged various international trips of concerns, including ones that included terrorism suspects and involved stays in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Talagan-Multan, Pakistan.[38]

Killing of California Fresno County Deputy Erik Telen on August 21, 2001

On August 21, 2001, MOA member Ramadan Abdur-Rauf Abdullah, shot Deputy Erik Telen of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department in the face with a shotgun, killing him. Abdullah attempted to use the insanity defense and failed.[39]

The incident began when Robert Gregory of Dunlap discovered Abdullah hiding in his treehouse. Abdullah said he was sick and asked for food and a ride to the bus stop. Gregory refused and fled inside to get his gun when Abdullah kept coming closer to him. Abdullah walked towards the front door and briefly attempted to enter. He then went to the neighbor’s property, found a shotgun and used it on officers.

Ramadan Abdur-Rauf Abdullah was originally born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and lived in Binghamton, N.Y. before coming to Fresno, California. He also said he had lived in Michigan. His parents, Mahdi and Yasmeen Abdullah, were MOA members. He says that his father and paternal grandfather were police officers and that his father taught him firearm safety and occasionally brought him hunting.

He worked for Telespectrum in May 2000 and coworkers noticed odd behavior and more radical religious beliefs in the fall. He would say that the company would be destroyed by Allah just like Sodom and Gomorroah was for having homosexual employees and immoral behavior by coworkers. He quit June 29, 2001 and said he was leaving for religious reasons, such as the fact there were too many gays, witches and warlocks at the business.

Shortly thereafter in late June or early July, he attended a men’s retreat at Islamberg. His father says that he was called and told to come to the retreat immediately and saw Abdullah proclaiming to be Jesus, Son of Mary and demanding that other MOA members follow his orders. He later had another episode where he was found exhausted in tears in the Islamberg community center. His father brought him back to the family apartment in Binghamton.

Rather than send him to a legitimate doctor, his father decided that he would be treated with Sheikh Gilani’s Quranic Therapy. Abdullah then went to Baladullah in Fresno, California, where MOA member Uthman Aziz planned to treat him for 30 days.

After his arrest, he said his doctor is Sheikh Syed Mubarak Ali Gilani in Pakistan but that he had never met him in person. He said that he had an unknown illness and was living at the International Quranic Open University in the “Baladullah” compound at Miramonte. He said he was treated using Quranic Therapy right up until the night before the murder.[40]

Criminal Activity

MOA member James Hobson, who lived at the Baladullah compound in California, was arrested in March 2001 for weapons trafficking between New York and South Carolina.[41]

Ali Abdel-Aziz, a MOA member for 8 years who lived at Islamberg for two years working as a NYPD informant, claims that he intercepted weapons shipments involving MOA on behalf of the NYPD.[42]

Documents from a Naval Criminal Investigative Service probe into MOA in 2003-2004 state:

“All locations have individuals who are involved with criminal scams to raise money for MOA/JAF [Jamaat al-Fuqra]. The scams include, but are not limited to insurance fraud, mail fraud, credit card fraud, workman’s compensation fraud, illegal straw purchases of weapons, conversion of semi-automatic weapons to fully automatic, etc.”

“Members of these groups send money via mail orders to Hancock, NY and Lahore, Pakistan to fund [redacted] the spiritual leader and founder of JAF.”

On August 16, 2005, members of MOA in New York were arrested and later sentenced in an investigation that the Drug Enforcement Administration took part in. The DEA investigation was closed on January 17, 2007.[43]

The DEA investigated a drug trafficking organization in Binghamton, NY that involved local street-level dealers who belonged to MOA and were supplied by MOA members. The suspects were linked to a robbery and undercover agents purchased cocaine from them. The DEA identified 42 MOA members in the Binghamton area. Surveillance was also conducted on a home in Walton.

The drug trafficking was linked to Islamberg in Hancock, NY. DEA documents stated that cooperating agencies “believe that through a narcotics distribution network these individuals were generating funds and then taking these funds back to the compound.” Surveillance of suspect residencies showed one vehicle’s owner had an address at Islamberg and another was linked to a PO Box commonly used by Islamberg residents.

MOA members in Binghamton, Hancock and Walton sent money via Western Union to Pakistan, primarily Lahore, for Sheikh Gilani. The DEA noted that “MOA members are required to send at least 10% of their earnings to him.” Transactions totaling about $20,000 between 2003 and 2005 were identified, transferred in increments of less than $1,000.

Investigators saw four women from one suspect’s residence meet with a man at the One-Stop Grocery at 283 Front Street, Binghamton, NY. They noted that the area is known for drug distribution. Suspects also possessed a letter from the Rainbow School in Binghamton, which is owned by MOA.

Evidence obtained during the investigation indicated that the MOA-linked drug dealers had links to Canada, Georgia, South Carolina and Trinidad. One suspect possessed a receipt for VHS tapes and CD-Rs purchased by a computer company based at a MOA village in Odum, Georgia. The company had the items delivered to an address in Binghamton.

A law enforcement source aware of investigations into MOA drug trafficking described them as “smart criminals” who move across states and do a good job of being “very low-key” in order to avoid getting caught.

2017 Arrests of MOA Associates

Gun trafficking Ramadan Abdullah

Islamberg and MOA received significant attention when Ryan Mauro and Martin Mawyer reported that 64-year old Ramadan Abdullah, who was arrested on weapons-related charges in Johnson City, was a long-time associate of MOA.[i]

This was confirmed by sources inside MOA who had mentioned Ramadan Abdullah more than a year prior to the arrest. Various law enforcement sources in New York confirmed that Abdullah was associated with MOA members. A former non-MOA associate of Abdullah also substantiated the claim and provided additional details.

On May 31, Abdullah was arrested  after trying to steal four boxes of ammunition from a local Gander Mountain store. When police questioned him about the purpose of the ammo, his answers made them suspicious, and they obtained a search warrant for a storage locker he was renting in the town of Union.

During that search, police found a large assortment of weaponry including:

  • 8 assault weapons
  • 4 loaded handguns
  • 1 loaded shotgun
  • 2 rifles
  • 64 high-capacity ammunition feeding devices
  • flak jackets
  • 1,000s of rounds of ammunition, including .50-caliber armor-piercing rounds

Searches of other residences linked to Abdullah turned up another loaded handgun, more high-capacity ammunition feeding devices and ammunition, including .38-caliber rounds.

. A source inside MOA says the weapons were intended for the group’s Islamberg headquarters in Hancock, NY, ostensibly to prepare for upcoming protests against MOA that they believed had violent intentions.

The suspect, 64-year old Ramadan Abdullah, was previously arrested in 1977 when he and another man tried to rob a candy store in Brooklyn and someone was murdered in the process. When police searched his home, they found enough material to build 50 bombs. In the end, the charges against Abdullah were strangely reduced.

New York State Police Major Jim Barnes would not say whether Abdullah was connected to terrorist groups or any organizations, but confirmed that police believe Abdullah had made trips overseas.

“There’s no indications there was a plan in place to commit an act of violence. However, it begs the question, what was he doing with all this and what were his intentions down the road?” said New York State Police Maj. Jim Barnes.

“It’s just a tremendous blessing to be able to take all these high power weapons and high power ammunition off the streets, and who knows what kind of large scale tragedy that this investigation may have prevented later down the road,” said Johnson City Police Chief Brent Dodge.

The New York State Police Chief later said they had no evidence that the weaponry was headed to Islamberg. Mauro and Mawyer state that they know for a fact that specific evidence is in the possession of New York law enforcement.

Confidential sources inside MOA say that Ramadan Abdullah has been a significant member of the group since it first formed in the United States in 1980 and helped buy the land that became “Islamberg.” Additional research substantiates their information that he is close to MOA members.

They say that he is an “elder” and often visits Islamberg to spend time with older members but does not live inside the commune. He’s also provided firearms instruction for MOA, they report.

The sources say that Abdullah’s weapons were destined for the group, specifically Islamberg.

Abdullah has no apparent blood relationship with another convicted MOA member bearing the same name. In 2001, Ramadan Abdur-Rauf Abdullah fatally shot Fresno County Deputy Erik Telen with a shotgun. Court documents identified his father as a law enforcement officer in Brooklyn named Mahdi Abdullah. The murderer lived in New York and on the now-abandoned commune named “Baladullah” in California.

“We were told some bullsh** that the weapons were coming to MOA to help us defend ourselves against an upcoming biker rally. They had armor-piercing bullets coming to them. Why would they want that if they are just protecting themselves against some bikers?” said one source who learned about the explanation following a meeting that was held by MOA after Abdullah’s arrest.

Back in May 2016, a previous biker rally was held against Islamberg the group’s Hancock, NY location.  MOA’s website claims their interfaith allies “thwart[ed] a planned attack by anti-American bikers.”

The demonstration turned out, however, to be nothing more than a few bikers and cars driving past the compound in a mostly silent and uneventful protest.

Even though the biker’s protest was small, peaceful and uneventful, MOA officials reportedly said they were upset that there wasn’t greater police protection and therefore needed more weaponry for self-protection, the source said.

One source said that he was shocked over MOA’s claim that there was a lack of police protection during the rally.

“That’s nonsense,” he said.  “There were cops everywhere during that first protest.  Sh**, MOA even had people in the trees with guns ready to shoot anybody coming on the property.  These weapons (from Abdullah) weren’t coming to MOA for any upcoming biker rally,” he said.

“And here’s the kicker,” the source continued.  “Ramadan Abdullah was there!  He was at that rally, just last year.  He was on the property.  He was MOA.  He’s still MOA.”

Law enforcement sources have told us that New York State Police knows that Abdullah was a member of MOA during its early years, but are operating with the belief that he was kicked out by Sheikh Gilani in the early 80’s because he was banned from “Islamberg” and other communes.

One source in MOA with direct knowledge of Abdullah being “kicked out” recalled it this way:

“Ramadan was one of the original founders of the group but refused to follow Sheikh Gilani’s orders to move onto Islamberg when the land was first purchased. He didn’t want to move onto the land in tents and shabby trailers in the dead of winter and pay the required fee, and he was seen as being disrespectful. So, Gilani kicked him off the land, but he very much remained a member.”

A MOA-affiliated source further explained:

Ramadan Abdullah is like many punished members. You can still teach skills like how to use guns or if they can use you for another reason, then you’re called upon to provide help. You just can’t live on the compounds, but you can visit. 

The police would probably never know for a fact whether a member is MOA, former MOA, an affiliate of MOA, etc. unless he completely came out against them. I can’t believe they’d say he hasn’t been a part of MOA since the early days.” 

Unfortunately, the district attorney’s office has not been responsive to our offers to provide additional information.

In addition, another source said:

Being kicked off the land and being kicked out of the group are two different things.  Lots of members are kicked off the land for disobeying orders, refusing to pay tithes or rent or because they got arrested.  But you’re still a member.”

MOA members who have been arrested and are on parole are also the ones who are most likely to get “kicked off the land” but remain in the group. Under state law, police may enter the property of any parolee without having to first obtain a search warrant. To avoid searches by the police, MOA officials do not normally allow parolees to live in their communes.

Abdullah has been arrested several times in the past, so the security-conscious MOA would obviously not want him to live on the land. Living away from the land also allows for plausible deniability.

MOA denied any connection, direct or indirect, to Ramadan Abdullah at any point in all its comments on the story except for one. In an interview with Buzzfeed, MOA’s spokesperson confirmed the group had contact with him decades ago. They claimed that he wanted to join the group but they rejected him because several members were suspicious of him. The spokesperson did not elaborate on those suspicions and interactions.

In 1977, Abdullah and another individual were charged with the murder of Ali Shawish, in a botched attempt to rob a Brooklyn candy store.

In the night of the shooting, police went to Abdullah’s Brooklyn home at 12:15 a.m. to question him. Upon entering, they discovered enough bomb-making materials to construct 50 bombs.

The police found 14 pounds of gunpowder, three pipe casings, fuses, and chemicals like potassium cyanide, sodium nitrate and aluminum nitrate, which are used as accelerants by bomb-makers.

Abdulalh, a chemistry student at the time, said the chemicals were for a school project. He was charged with possession of explosives and criminal possession of a dangerous weapon.

Strangely, both the murder and explosive possession charges were drastically reduced to a “minor misdemeanor weapons possession” charge.

One police officer, speaking off the record, suspects Abdullah received the reduced charge because he “snitched” on someone.  But the officer still expressed shock that a murder and explosive possession charge could be reduced to a minor misdemeanor weapons charge.

[i] Ryan Mauro and Martin Mawyer. Exclusive: Jihadi Cult Associate Arrested in NY with Firearms Stockpile. (2017). Clarion Project. https://clarionproject.org/exclusive-jihadi-cult-associate-arrested-ny-firearms-stockpile/

Ramadan Abdullah was convicted on all 15 counts of weapons-related charges in mid-November.

Multiple other reported associates of MOA in New York were arrested in 2017.[i]

Murderer Jihad Ray

In April, Jihad Ray, age 27, was arrested for murder after shooting Brandon Hernandez, 22, outside an after-hours nightclub on the West Side of Binghamton, NY.

Jihad Ray, who one source says has stayed at the “Islamberg” commune that hosts the organization’s headquarters in Hancock, NY, pled guilty to Hernandez’s shooting death on October 18. He’ll be sentenced to 18 years in prison on December 14.

A motive for the killing is unclear, though police suspect it was gang related.

Nationwide Drug Trafficking

In September 2017, another reported MOA associate was arrested in Binghamton named Akuan “Bleek” Johnson, age 38.

Johnson was arrested, along with nine others, on September 20 as part of a law enforcement investigation into an Arizona-to-Binghamton methamphetamine pipeline.

Sources say that Johnson is a member of a gang called the Land Boys, which insiders say is a gang of MOA members that often commit crime while living off of the main communes. The investigation, called Operation Hail Storm, recovered six pounds of meth, more than $60,000 of cash and three handguns.

Murderer Hamza Muhamma

Less than a month after Johnson’s arrest, Hanza Muhammad, 26, was arrested for the murder of John White, 22, in Syracuse, NY.

MOA insiders say that Muhammad is related to Hussain Abdallah, a founding father of MOA and prominent leader.

Hussain Abdallah is best known among MOA members as K1 (meaning Khalifa 1). He was recently demoted when Sheikh Gilani’s son, Sultan Gilani, assumed the role of K1 this past summer, but Abdallah remains a highly respected senior leader.

Muhammad was arrested on October 20 near Port Dickerson, NY after fleeing the murder scene in Syracuse. Details of the killing are sketchy, say Syracuse police.

What is known is that Muhammad shot White multiple times around midnight on October 8 during a heated argument. The pair had reportedly been arguing most of the day. White was transported to Upstate University Hospital where he died a short time later.

Muhammad fled the scene and his whereabouts were unknown to police for the next 12 days. NY State Police issued an APB on Muhammad and with the help of a license reader, he was finally apprehended without incident near Port Dickerson.

Informers inside MOA say that Muhammad has stayed at MOA’s “Islamberg” headquarters in Hancock, but moved to Syracuse on his own.

Identity Fraud

Within days following the arrest of Muhammad, Johnson City police arrested Megan McQueen, 31, in New York. McQueen is a self-professed member of MOA, according to inside sources.

She was jailed for allegedly using the stolen credit card of an elderly woman and purchasing $1,616 in merchandise. She has been charged with several criminal offenses, including forgery, identity theft and possessing stolen property.

[i] Ryan Mauro and Martin Mawyer. (2017). Spate of Arrests Plagues American Jihadist Cult. Clarion Project. https://clarionproject.org/spate-arrests-plagues-american-jihadi-cult/

Report: Tax Fraud in Collusion with New York City Mosques

In January 2010, a law enforcement source told a blogger that many male residents of Islamberg had left the commune to engage in a tax fraud conspiracy with mosque leaders around New York City, specifically in the Bronx and Brooklyn. The report explained:

“[Mosque leaders] are directing mosque members to storefront tax outfits run by Jamaat al-Fuqra. Using information from these mosque attendees, the tax fraud operation will then use that information to file false tax returns (probably without the knowledge of the tax filer) and collect 24 hour rapid returns. A referral fee is given to the imam and the remainder of the money will then be forwarded overseas to accounts controlled by Gilani. The filer is then on the hook for the fraud if it is discovered.”[44]

Brooklyn Brawl with NYPD in 2003

Top Fuqra/MOA leader Hussein Abdallah, one of the group’s “founding fathers,” owned 786 Security and 786 Parking at Restoration Plaza in Brooklyn. He is seen in a secret videotape with Sheikh Gilani from the early 1990s to advertise their guerilla warfare training in Pakistan and Kashmir. Gilani instructs viewers to contact MOA’s founders including Hussein Abdallah to sign up for the training.

Members of MOA’s 786 Security front brawled with NYPD officers in an incident in 2003. An account written by an author with a clear anti-police (and possibly pro-MOA) bias claims that NYPD 79th Precinct were trying to restrain a “deranged” man and began unnecessarily using a nightstick. The account claims that 786 Security held back a crowd that was ready to riot for the police.

786 Security guard Jamal Williams claims that a police officer attacked his father, Mahmoud Williams, the “captain” of 786 Security, for asking them to stop using the nightstick. He claims the officer swung the nightstick at his father, who caught it and began defending himself, at which point Jamal joined the fight. The author quotes Lem Peterkin, identified as a photo-journalist for an outlet named the Daily Challenge, as claiming he was attacked by police for taking pictures.

Mahmoud and Jamal Williams were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Peterkin was detained and released due to intervention by Assemblywoman Annette Robinson, Congressman Ed Towns and Rabbi Tate.[45]

Other MOA-Affiliated Sites in New York

MOA’s newspaper said that its International Jihad Conference held an event in New York City in 1982. The purpose was to recruit fighters for the jihad in Afghanistan. The newspaper said the majority of attendees were supporters of Sheikh Gilani and recalled that the women “were also skilled in weapons.” It did not specify a location.

A FBI report from 1988 identifies Tompkins (referring to Islamberg) and Brooklyn as the locations of Fuqra “jamaats,” or communities. MOA had a mosque at 578 Van Siclen Ave at the time.

An online directory of MOA “Dawah Centers” that has proven accurate in the past identifies a MOA Da’wah Center at 135 Front Street in Binghamton.[46] MOA-affiliated sources confirm that the group has a heavy presence in Binghamton and Johnson City to the point that some talk as if they “own it.”

A 2001 memo from the Colorado Attorney General’s Office warns that a Quranic Open University (a MOA front) was still operating in New York City.

MOA has a friendly relationship with the Muslim Community Center of the Capital District in Schenectady. It held its first annual International Islamophobia Conference there. Imraan Siddiqi, one of the speakers at the event and the delegate representing India, is on the mosque’s board of directors.[47]

On July 18, 2016, the MOA newspaper Islamic Post promoted a halal farm named Abu’s Farms near the Catskills Mountains (the Islamberg area) that was selling sheep and goats. Ibrahim Smith is listed as the owner.[48]

Link to CAIR

Three officials from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) spoke at the MOA’s first annual International Islamophobia Conference in Schenectady on November 14, 2015.

The U.S. Justice Department designated CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, a CAIR-linked charity that was shut down for financing the Hamas terrorist group. The Justice Department identified CAIR as an “entity” of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, a secret body established by the Brotherhood to advance Hamas’ cause.[49]

In another terrorism trial, that of Sabri Benkhala, federal prosecutors said in a 2008 court filing:

“From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists … the conspirators agreed to use deception to conceal from the American public their connections to terrorists.”

The United Arab Emirates, a Muslim country that previously supported CAIR, designated the organization as a terrorist group when it decided to ban the Muslim Brotherhood.[50]

MOA General Counsel Tahirah Amatul-Wadud lives in Springfield, Massachusetts and spoke at the New York event. She is on the board of the Massachusetts chapter of CAIR. The biography of her used by CAIR declines to mention her affiliation with MOA, instead referring to her generally as the “general counsel for a New York Muslim congregation.”

She posted an article by Sheikh Gilani on her Facebook account that preached that the Islamic State terrorist group (also known as ISIS or ISIL) is a front for British intelligence and that a Jewish conspiracy orchestrated the 9/11 attacks and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The article criticizes the U.S. for going to war with Nazi Germany:

“There was no need for America to go to war against Hitler. Hitler was not the enemy of America or the American people. There was a mutual animosity between Hitler and the Jews. So, the American people paid a very heavy price for fighting someone else’s war,” Gilani wrote.[51]

Imraan Siddiqi, the executive director of the Arizona chapter of CAIR, served as a delegate representing India. He was a member of the board of directors of the mosque hosting the event, the Muslim Community Center of Capitol District in Schenectady, New York.[52]

In 2013, Siddiqi retweeted a message that referred to the U.S. military as an “Occupying Army” and said that Americans should be “rescued” from serving in it.[53]

Dawud Walid, the executive director of the Michigan chapter of CAIR, was a featured speaker.

Walid has expressed support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and accused the West of secretly plotting to undermine the group after it won the presidency. He has also downplayed Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel. He frequently characterizes the FBI and law enforcement as systematically persecuting innocent Muslims and minorities.

He says that the FBI infiltrates mosques with the objective of “basically cultivating and inciting people towards extremism.” He claims that the FBI is “basically manufacturing their own terrorism suspects to give the appearance that they’re actually doing something tangible in the so-called ‘War on Terrorism.’”

Walid was quoted by another CAIR official in 2014 as suggesting that fallen U.S. troops should not be honored on Memorial Day if they died in wars where he sees the U.S. as the aggressor.  He also said in 2014 that he was “not getting excited” about Independence Day because the U.S. “has yet to atone for slavery and ethnic cleansing.”[54]

Islamberg’s Open Anti-Semitism

In 2007, the Islamberg website linked to an anti-Semitic website, ”The Synagogue of Satan,’ promoting the book ‘The Synagogue of Satan: The Secret History of Jewish World Domination.’ Islamberg recommended it as a ‘Must See.'”


Footnotes and Citations

[1] Al-Fuqra: Holy Warriors of Terrorism.” (1993). Anti-Defamation League: http://archive.adl.org/extremism/moa/al-fuqra.pdf

[2] Hussain Adams deposition (2014). The Muslims of the Americas Inc. V. Martin Mawyer.

[3] Mawyer, Martin. (2012). Twilight in America: The Untold Story of Islamic Terrorist Training Camps Inside America. Christian Action Network.

[4] Law Enforcement Source: Jamaat Al-Fuqra/Muslims of America Involved in Tax Return Fraud Plot.” (2010). My Pet Jawa blog: http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/200254.php

[5] “For the Record: Sleeper Cell” Documentary on Jamaat ul Fuqra / Sheikh Gilani / Muslims of Americas. (2014). The Blaze. Available on the Fuqra Files YouTube channel. https://youtu.be/ETZ3THwjz-I

[6] Law enforcement report by Colorado State Investigator Susan Fenger. (1993).

[7] Law enforcement report by Colorado State Investigator Susan Fenger. (1993).

[8] Mawyer, Martin. (2012). Twilight in America: The Untold Story of Islamic Terrorist Training Camps Inside America. Christian Action Network.

[9] Mauro, Ryan. (2016). Do Radicalized Islamic Communities Exist in the U.S.? Clarion Project. http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/do-radicalized-islamic-communities-exit-us

[10] Mauro, Ryan. (2016). Exclusive: I was Raised by an Islamist Terror Cult in America. Clarion Project. Retrieved from: http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/exclusive-i-was-raised-islamist-terror-cult-america

[11] The former member’s testimony can be found in the section of this website for first-hand testimony.

[12] Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and Jane Idleman Smith. (1994). Muslim Communities in North America. SUNY Series.

[13] Colorado law enforcement report authored by Special Investigator Susan Fenger. (1993).

[14] “Information Regarding Colorado’s Investigation and Prosecution of Members of Jamaat Ul Fuqra.” (2001). Colorado Attorney General’s Office. http://www.ago.state.co.us/Reports/fuqra.stm.

[15] Boland, Mira L. (2002). “Sheikh Gilani’s American Disciples.” Weekly Standard.

[16] Gilani, El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah. (2008). Journey to the Land of Gold and Apricots. Islamic Post. https://islamicpost.wordpress.com/2008/06/22/journey-to-the-land-of-gold-and-apricots/

[17] “Fuqra/MOA Video of Armed Guerilla Training of Women in Islamberg, NY.” (2002). Fuqra Files YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMhmvozQK_E

[18] “Fuqra/MOA Propaganda Tape: Muslims Are Majority in USA.” (2002). International Quranic Open University at Islamberg, New York and the Directorate of Information of The Muslims of the Americas. Fuqra Files YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_INNLAsab5g

[19] Kane, John and April Wall. “Identifying the Links Between White-Collar Crime and Terrorism,” National White Collar Crime Center, September 2004. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/209520.pdf

[20] “Jamaat ul-Fuqra: Gilani Followers Conducting Paramilitary Training in U.S.,” Regional Organized Crime Information Center (dissemination limited to law enforcement), 2006. http://info.publicintelligence.net/ROCICjamaatulfuqra.pdf

[21] The Third Jihad. (2008). Clarion Project: https://youtu.be/31VNapZGjio

[22] Twilight in America. (2011). http://www.christianaction.org/shop/twilight-in-america

[23] Al-Fuqra: Holy Warriors of Terrorism.” (1993). Anti-Defamation League: http://archive.adl.org/extremism/moa/al-fuqra.pdf

[24] “The Wandering Mujahidin: Armed and Dangerous.” (1993). State Department Intelligence and Research Bureau.

[25] “Foreign Terrorists in America: Five Years After the World Trade Center.” (1998). Hearing before the Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Government Information of the Committee of the Judiciary. United States Senate.

[26] NY Police-Islamberg Discuss Cooperation. (2002). Fuqra Files YouTube Channel. https://youtu.be/7AWLFXtdWmQ

[27] McKinley, James. (1995). Man Tied to Sedition Case Held in Gun-Running. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/02/22/nyregion/man-tied-to-sedition-case-held-in-gun-running.html

[28] Gray, Mitchell. (2015). I Heard You Were Going on Jihad. Mill City Press.

[29] Gray, Mitchell. (2015). I Heard You Were Going on Jihad. Mill City Press.

[30] Stated during the 2001 trial of MOA operative Vincente Pierre.

[31] Target Islam: Exposing the Malicious Conspiracy of the Zionists Against the World of Islam and Prominent Muslim Leaders. (1994). Quranic Open University and Pakistan Foundation for Strategic Studies.

[32] Homegrown Jihad. (2009). PRB Films. http://www.christianaction.org/shop/homegrown-jihad

[33] Twilight in America. (2011). http://www.christianaction.org/shop/twilight-in-america

[34] Russell, Mike. (2015). Rat in a Cage: The Real Story of Ali Abdel Aziz. Real Fighting Stories. http://realfightstories.com/2015/12/02/real-ali-abdel-aziz/

[35] Russell, Mike. (2015). Who Are You? The Real Story of Ali Abdel Aziz – Part 2. Real Fighting Stories. http://realfightstories.com/2015/12/08/who-are-you-the-real-story-of-ali-abdel-aziz-chapter-2/

[36] “NYPD Intelligence Division Strategic Posture 2006.” (2006). New York Police Department.

[37] “Pole Cameras 10-01-07.” (2007). New York Police Department.

[38] “Amended Investigative Statement: TEI # 08/03 Extension #06.” (2009). New York Police Department.

[39] People V. Ramadan Abdur-Rauf Abdullah

[40] People V. Ramadan Abdur-Rauf Abdullah

[41] Sean Webby, Karen de Sa and Brandon Bailey. (2001). Muslim Enclave in California Draws Suspicion from FBI. Associated Press. http://lang.sbsun.com/socal/terrorist/1201/25/terror15.asp

[42] Twilight in America. (2011). http://www.christianaction.org/shop/twilight-in-america

[43] Drug Enforcement Administration documents dated 2005-2007.

[44] Law Enforcement Source: Jamaat Al-Fuqra/Muslims of America Involved in Tax Return Fraud Plot.” (2010). My Pet Jawa blog: http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/200254.php

[45] Arinde, Nayaba. (2003). “Cops Gone Wild.” AfricanStudios.tv, posted on the BlackList Topica email list. http://lists.topica.com/lists/TheBlackList/read/message.html?sort=a&mid=907824717

[46] “MOA Da’wah Center Directory,” Al-Adaab.org, http://www.al-adaab.org/dawah/directory.html

[47] Mauro, Ryan. (2016). CAIR Intertwines with U.S.-Based, Terror-Linked Fuqra Group. Clarion Project. http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/cair-intertwines-us-based-terror-linked-fuqra-group

[48] The Islamic Post Twitter account. (2016). https://twitter.com/IslamicPost/status/755171892097671169

[49] Mauro, Ryan. (2013). Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – Nat’l Headquarters. Clarion Project. http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/council-islamic-relations-cair

[50] Mauro, Ryan. (2014). UAE Doubles Down on Designation of CAIR as Terrorists. Clarion Project. http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/uae-doubles-down-designation-cair-terrorists

[51] Mauro, Ryan. (2016). CAIR-Fuqra Official Announces Intention to Run for Governor. Clarion Project. http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/cair-fuqra-official-announces-intention-run-governor

[52] Mauro, Ryan. (2016). CAIR Intertwines with U.S.-Based, Terror-Linked Fuqra Group. Clarion Project. http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/cair-intertwines-us-based-terror-linked-fuqra-group

[53] Mauro, Ryan. (2013). CAIR Officials: U.S. Army ‘Occupiers,’ ‘Murderers.’ Clarion Project. http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/cair-officials-decry-muslims-us-military

[54] Mauro, Ryan. (2014). CAIR-Michigan. Clarion Project. http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/cair-michigan.


Islamberg often referred to as Holy Islamberg by its residents, is a 70-acre compound enclosed with gates and no trespassing signs.  The village teaches Islam under the direction of Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani who is the founder of the known terrorist cell, Jamaat ul-Fuqra.  The Islamic village was founded in 1980 on a piece of land tucked away in the Catskill Mountains in Upstate New York; the enclave is part of a network of 22 villages across the United States.  A video recorded during a tour of Islamberg in 2010, noted that Khalifa Hussein Adams is the leader of the compound.  The term Khalifa, also known as Caliphia, is a term that means successor and is an honorable title given to those who chose to defend the Koran.  Even though Adams is young in his years, he is a strong member of the community and plays other roles within the community such as the chief executive of the Muslims of the Americas, which is conveniently located within the Muslim village.  Islamberg is also the headquarters to the International Quranic Open University, The Islamic Post, and the United Muslim Christian Forum, which is also lead by Khalifa Hussein Adams.

islamberg-hp_0Some individuals question the intentions of the rural Islamic village as many of the leaders of Islamberg suggest that the group is a quiet Muslim community housing second and third generation Muslim Americans who fled to Islamberg from large cities, but evidence that has been uncovered over the years would suggest otherwise.  A video surfaced in 2009 that was obtained by Clarion Project National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro, which uncovered Muslim women dressed in military combat uniforms.  These women were learning how to use various weapons such as firearms mounted with swords and training in combatives.

By: Shelby K.

in Activities By State