11. Mission: MOA’s Islamic Political Party of America

One of Abdelaziz’s key objectives was to gather intelligence on a supposedly “independent” political party that was actually a front for MOA named the Islamic Political Party of America (IPPA). Officials involved in the front would meet in his apartment in Binghamton, which the NYPD covertly paid for. 

Although the IPPA publicly said its headquarters was in Charlotte, North Carolina, it was overseen by a top MOA official from the “Islamville” compound in South Carolina. That official, the now-deceased Atiq Shahid, was a “best friend” of Sheikh Gilani’s, and spent months in Pakistan with him every year.

IPPA’s anti-American, incendiary platform contradicted the moderate, democratic, patriotic presentation that MOA was giving to the public and law enforcement. By using the “independent” IPPA, MOA could engage other anti-American Islamist extremists without undermining its PR efforts.

IPPA served another purpose: MOA’s own intelligence-gathering for militant purposes.

According to intelligence reports from March 2006 that were included in the U.S. Army collection, IPPA personnel were trying to recruit personnel from the Defense Department and the Navy in Norfolk, Virginia.

This supposed “political party” was collecting data on military installations and trying to find recruits who could provide military training and access to sensitive facilities. 

We also have documents from a Naval Criminal Investigative Service counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence investigation into MOA’s efforts to infiltrate U.S. bases, sometimes as contractors, in order to gather intelligence and win government contracts.

The declassified documents show that MOA’s “political party” was intertwined with the MOA section that most concerned investigators: The “military squad.”

According to former MOA members, squad members also had a prophetic purpose. 

One day soon, they would lead MOA in fighting alongside the messianic-type figures known as the “Mahdi” and “7th Sultan” during the Armageddon. Gilani claims he is the “6th Sultan” and, in 2009, claimed that he and other top MOA leaders had met the Mahdi in person.

As one FBI report explained:

“The above-mentioned Islamberg camp is owned by the MOA and has been identified as a training site for MOA’s military squad. MOA has been known to develop and train security squads in preparation for holy war and law enforcement incursions.” 

Ryan Mauro

Professor Ryan Mauro is the National Security Analyst for the Clarion Project, a nonprofit organization that educates the public about the threat of Islamic extremism and provides a platform for voices of moderation and tolerance within the Muslim community. Clarion Project films have been seen by over 50 million people. Mauro is a frequent contributor to Clarion’s dynamic website ClarionProject.org, providing insightful analysis of the latest news around the global on this subject. The site is viewed by over 250,000 visitors per month.